“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”
Last friday, I was “informed” by some well known figure in the vegan community that this adage should form the basis of all vegan activism.
While this old saying may be fundamentally true, I believe it cannot and should not be the basis for all activism.
The first obvious reason being that vegans have no interest in catching flies in the first place and they for sure wouldn’t use honey if they did.
Now, this person (if you’re vegan you probably know who I’m referring to) made a point to say that she “stands against the ‘angry vegan movement’ and wants us to join her in her love movement”.
First of all, what is a angry vegan? Does a “Angry Vegan Movement” really exists?
Being angry refers to either feeling anger or showing anger. Anger being defined as having a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed.
An angry vegan is thus someone who is strongly upset and annoyed by the consumption of animals in any shape or form and/or show to others this anger.
I know that this topic is controversial among vegans but I believe this is a discussion that needs to be had.
Every movement whose basis is pushing towards some kind of social reform faces heated disagreements in the best way to disseminate its core beliefs.
The vegan movement is no exception, I would argue it is even more so plagued with divergence of opinions because compassion and love is at its core. It has also been widely embraced by and associated with so called “hippies”.
I, myself, lean more towards the “hippie” stereotype. I am peaceful, loving and highly non-confrontational.
You could say I practice what is claimed to be the “right” way to spread the vegan message, at least in the eyes of some people.
However, I will say this: “The Angry Vegan movement doesn’t exist and if it did I would be all for it”.
Most people would say that veganism is all about love and compassion and that we become vegan for those reasons.
Anger is at the root of veganism. Without anger there would be no vegans. If I wasn’t deeply upset by the consumption and use of animals I would see no need to be vegan.
Any real change is met by resistance, wanting to suppress this resistance by suppressing our own anger is bound to be fruitless (pun intended).
Suppressing our feelings to cater to meat-eaters sends the message that there is nothing to be angry about.
That’s not true and it’s a disservice to people to hide the truth and it’s a disservice to the most important ones; the animals.
If being confrontational and showing anger is too much for you, like it is for me, at least be supportive of people who have the courage to tell things like it is to those who need to hear it.