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Thread by @vegan: "1/ Judgmental shit like this annoys me no end. Let me explain why. 2/ There are two ways people use the word vegan. One is as a concept that […]"

, 18 tweets, 3 min read
1/ Judgmental shit like this annoys me no end. Let me explain why.
2/ There are two ways people use the word vegan. One is as a concept that is a useful direction to move your diet in, that delivers potentially massive payoffs where animals, health, and environmental sustainability is concerned.
3/ @bittman once shared a nice metaphor with me. He thinks of veganism as a goalpost. If your favorite NFL team moves the ball 30 yards closer to the goalpost, you cheer. You don’t boo them for not scoring a touchdown on that play!
4/ While I’d love to see a world of 7 billion full-time vegans, I’ve never smoked anything so great that this seems like it could happen anytime soon.
5/ With that in mind, anytime anyone moves the ball closer to the vegan goalpost, I cheer. And if they go all the way and score a touchdown, I’ll stand up and applaud.
6/ The other way to see the word vegan is along tribal lines, as a tool to confirming or denying identification. This is fundamentalism pure and simple, and it’s totally counterproductive.
7/ When you get someone claiming that they don’t even know what a part-time vegan is even supposed to mean, there are only two possibilities. Either this person is the most stupid person alive, or they are saying this in totally bad faith.
8/ See, what’s really going on is that this person wants the word “vegan” to only be used to confer identity. If you satisfy his requirements (and nearly all Vegan Police are men, by the way, but that’s another topic for another time), then he’ll let you use the word vegan.
9/ So, to the Vegan Police, you’re not allowed to be vegan before 6:00 PM. You’re not allowed to be vegan on Monday through Friday. You’re not allowed to be vegan for the summer.
10/ And if you don’t draw a hard vegan line in every other part of your life, from cosmetics to car seats, they’ll tell you you’re not vegan either.
11/ Some of these clownsticks will attempt to deny you from using the word if your motivation isn’t sufficiently pure. They’ll say that if you’re not doing for the animals, then you’re merely “plant-based” and shouldn’t call yourself vegan.
12/ Thing is, one can always ultra-aggressively draw the line so that NOBODY can call themselves vegan. And at that point the word loses any useful purpose, and simply becomes a means where the Vegan Police tribe can self-identify for purposes of their escalating circle jerk.
13/ Somewhere in storage I still have a pair of Herman Survivors leather work-boots I haven’t worn since high school. I guess I’m not vegan. Even though I’ve eaten exclusively vegan for 30+ years and have written several books on the topic. Oh well.
14/ So screw the vegan police, and their efforts to keep people from using the word vegan in a way that encourages progress and change. Their attempts at policing are obnoxious, harmful, and deserve unrestrained scorn and ridicule.
15/ We all need to push back at our movement’s fundamentalists. I’m in the business of pointing omnivores to the vegan goalpost, and encouraging every possible step whether big or small. If you want to go from being a daily meat-eater to a part-time vegan, I’ll cheer you on!
16/ I personally don’t view myself as a vegan. I view myself as someone who cares enormously about keeping animals from harm, and who will use the vegan concept in every possible way to inspire change.
17/ In summary: fuck the (vegan) police. END. Vegan.com/vegan-police
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