I get off work pretty late some nights and despite the fact that my family is in bed and snoring, I need to unwind a bit before being able to attempt sleep. One of my rituals is to search Google for vegan and animal rights news. Some nights the stories that reach the top of the list are ridiculous or not really news at all. Other nights, my search is packed full with information. Tonight there was one that has my head spinning and I am not really sure about it so I wanted to share to see what you all think.
The piece that caught my attention was, “Vegan Sellout List” Publicizes, Shames, and Threatens Former Vegans, by Juniper Russo. In her article she writes about how she has been added to a website called exvegans.com where they basically describe, post pictures and call out ex-vegans all over the country.
On the exvegans.com mission statement it states “vegan sellouts- those who are aware of the suffering caused by meat, dairy, egg, fur, and leather production, yet choose to look away while the animals suffer,” which I have to admit I have trouble wrapping my head around and I would love to hear an answer about how individuals are able to deal with this aspect when converting away from veganism. Despite my inability to understand this, I am not sure I agree with what this website is doing
In my opinion it seems like a lot of energy is being used that could be redirected to help those who are interested in becoming vegan or possibly saving animals. I mean the part of the mission statement that I shared explains that the individuals being shamed, have the information and it hasn’t made a difference in their choice, what good is shaming them going to do for anyone? Please give me your take and tell me if I am missing something.
*Here is a link to the Facebook comments on this thread if you are interested in following along.
These are the people that give vegans a bad name. I hate that we’re stereotyped as extremists. I would never be able to go back, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t go vegan for the animals. Some people do it for their health, or to lose weight, or to jump on the band wagon of some “trending” diet. These are the people who just don’t care about the animals. All of that said, no one deserves to be shamed or bullied… especially on the Internet.
Or they just changed their way of thinking due to various reasons. We don’t have to remain intact with an idea our 20 year younger self ,thought.
I think many people, not just ex-vegans “are aware of the suffering caused by meat, dairy, egg, fur, and leather production, yet choose to look away while the animals suffer”. Many meat eaters fall into that category. There are people who are completely ignorant and unaware of what is going on, either by choice (they simply choose to ignore it and choose to believe animals live on farms and have a perfect life until slaughter day) or they just haven’t thought about it.
I also feel that as a vegan, I am made out to be extreme when I think eating flesh and secretions is extreme and cutting someone open to clear out cholesterol is extreme. I do have a hard time understanding the people who venture into veganism and then back out of it. I don’t think they should be shamed and bullied but I do find a certain disappointment in those people.
However, those people that choose to move away from veganism make it harder for those of us trying to make a difference. They lie about how difficult it is to eat plant based or they lie about ‘needing’ animal proteins to stay healthy. I find that I have to waste time defending veganism from those fallacies when the time should be spent on the animals and about health instead of how they got sick living on Oreos and french fries or how they wouldn’t make the time to cook.
It is only as hard as you make it.
Because naming and shaming them on an online list is definitely going to encourage them to go back to veganism…
Publicly criticizing ex-vegans does absolutely nothing for the cause! The best way to win friends is with gentle persuasion and patience. If ex-vegans follow their own hearts they will return to a healthy, vegan lifestyle – we must remember to love other people as much as we love animals.
I’m hoping if we ignore exvegans it’ll go away. Not only is it embarrassing to right-thinking vegans and harmful to the vegan movement itself, it’s also faaaar too cavalier about suicide (several times the ex-vegan is told to go kill her/himself).
I was happy to wake up this morning and find out that I wasn’t alone with my frustration for the site. From a completely different perspective, how is the site even legal? I am sure none of the people signed releases for their images to be used and where is their fact checking? This is so off the deep end that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a carnivore started the site just to make vegans look bad!
Wow, I had never thought of that!
I wish the site would come up so that I could actually see it. It has an error page at this point. lol maybe all the vegan traffic broke it haha. Anyway I don’t see how shaming people does anything for the cause. The only time someone exiting the vegan door bothers me is when it is a celebrity that has talked and talked about being vegan and then uses some really lame excuse as to why they are no longer vegan and needs to proclaim their ex-veganism to every outlet. We’ve seen a lot of that lately and that confuses people to think it is a fad diet not a way of life. Okay back to the site at hand. Who has the time for this kind of negativity? Also in the long run how is scolding people for their eating habits doing anything positive to promote veganism?
Oops hit post a bit too soon. It’s not a carnivore that runs the site, they are connected with http://www.animalliberationfrontline.com . After seeing that it made a lot more sense to me as far as who & why the site exists.
Man, I hate it when things like this make “big news” because any vegan that makes “big news” is suddenly representative of all other vegans in the world. Its a shame. As you say, all that time and energy could be directed in a more positive way. The whole website is petty and vengeful…and for what purpose?? I definitely think it qualifies as bullying and wonder as you mention if it is even legal.