radical thought... - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 08-13-2016, 01:11 PM
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Question radical thought...

So, I had a bit of a radical thought the other day and wanted to get some opinions on it. I was thinking about the fact that I still own some leather shoes and purses that I bought pre-vegan, and I've been working on a YouTube cooking channel to make vegan feel easy and mainstream, essentially aspiring to be a vegan public figure, and what would I say to vegans who criticized my choice to keep these leather things. I generally abhor consumerism, so for me, I'm going to live with the fact that I bought those things and just use the **** out of them for as many years as they will last. But that's not the radical thought I had. The next thought that went through my mind was, why do us vegans do that anyway? Why do we nitpick and dissect and criticize within our own community? Then I was thinking back to all the documentaries I've watched about the government in bed with food folks and advertising... I wonder if it is possible that non-vegans started this whole "attack within" thing. I mean, think about it. How much progress are we going to make as a group when we're fighting with each other about "How Vegan Are You REALLY?" We're all just trying here, and we're set up for occasional failure because we live in a world that works against us, a world we are trying to change. I am so tired of all this vegan drama... It makes us look vicious and extreme and I'm certain it turns non-vegans off to even the idea. Turn them all against each other and they won't progress quickly. Make them all seem weird and extreme and violent within their own community and no one will want to join. Big companies have so much money, and every vegan-to-vegan argument literally sounds like a non-vegan-to-vegan argument (like, ****ing arbitrary and stupid). And then perhaps the attitude caught on within the community and now it seems normal to attack another vegan for eating too much fat, or going to restaurants that also serve animal products, boycotting vegan restaurants, etc etc. It's all in an effort to keep veganism subculture. If it seems too "weird" from the outside, how are we going to get people to get woke AF and join the movement? Opinions please, if you've made it this far, haha. ❤️
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#2 Old 08-13-2016, 02:17 PM
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Using already-purchased non-vegan items doesn't harm any additional animals, that is very true.

Publicly using non-vegan items (leather etc.) can inadvertently send the message that it's OK to purchase these items.

I know what you mean about vegans going ballistic against one another. Certain parts of the Vegan YouTube scene are insane. I wonder how much of that is competitive popular-seeking.

Criticism serves to correct errors, but it should be done carefully, in a way that minimizes humiliation. Public humiliation and discord are especially bad, because it's bad for the community's public image, and it can drive people away from veganism.

Also, we should do our best to avoid creating angry ex-vegans. We've all seen examples of these people on YouTube - very sad and very bad for everyone.
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“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 08-13-2016 at 02:26 PM.
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#3 Old 08-13-2016, 02:50 PM
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Can you name a group on youtube that doesn't have radical members?
I've only seen enough of those to get the idea of what people are referring to, I don't have any desire to watch.
There are tons of great youtube channels, blogs, books, websites, groups, that are very encouraging and do much to help people understand they can be a big part in contributing to a more practical and compassionate world, even if they don't go veg'n. This forum doesn't really tolerate 'vegan supremists'
Whether you choose to keep your items or donate, it's your own decision.

I think it's just as harmful, if not more, to lump vegans into a 'us' and 'them' stereotype.
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#4 Old 08-13-2016, 02:58 PM
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Personally, I try to be as encouraging as possible to new vegans. Everyone makes mistakes, and no one is an expert in the beginning. As for avoiding vegan drama, turn off YouTube.

However, calling yourself vegan, while continuing to use non-vegan items, is truly misleading. If you choose to continue to wear leather, please don't use the term vegan, instead say that your diet is plant-based.
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It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#5 Old 08-13-2016, 04:11 PM
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If I buried the leather, if I sold it or donated it, it does not change the fact that I paid for someone to do something horrible to a cow. Every time I put those shoes on, I think about that. That in itself is facing the truth more than throwing away the evidence and pretending that I was a perfect person my entire life.
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#6 Old 08-13-2016, 04:21 PM
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How long have you been vegan?
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#7 Old 08-13-2016, 05:36 PM
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two years!
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#8 Old 08-14-2016, 02:12 AM
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I wonder how many VB members eat vegetables that are grown using animal fertilizers? Maybe best not to criticise others too much.
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#9 Old 08-14-2016, 10:00 AM
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Why would you think donating your leather shoes would make it seem that you're pretending to have always been perfect???

In actuality, it is impossible for anyone to be a perfect vegan - see the fertilizer example above. It's also argued that the animals that are killed in the production of plant food (bugs, field critters, etc..) should mean that even plants cannot be considered truly vegan. And people like to come here and say that using computers or driving cars is isn't vegan either. Oh well.

The best anyone can do is try his or her best. We have all done at least some of the following: worn leather, eaten meat, used animal-tested household products, seen "entertainment" that took advantage of animals, looked the other way, hunted or fished or let someone else do it for us, boiled sea creatures alive, eaten factory-farmed eggs, consumed dairy or veal, made the choice to not pick the vegan option, bought an animal at a store, etc.

But what I think most of us hope to do, by fully embracing the "vegan" label, is to show that it's absolutely possible, enjoyable and thoroughly satisfying to abstain from animal products to the greatest extent possible. No one (especially not me) is saying that donating your leather shoes means you'll look cooler in some "vegan club", more that donating your vegan shoes, choosing to choose non leather when you face the rest of the leather-wearing world, makes a much more positive statement than wearing your leather shoes and feeling that you need to justify that you continue to wear them because of the guilt you feel about the animals who's skin you're in.

Of course, do what you're comfortable with. A few years after my diet when vegan, I was still holding on to a few designer bags in my closet. I hadn't used them much, but held on to them because they had either cost a fortune or had been gifts from special family members. But really, what good were they doing anyone in my closet? So I finally donated them. I haven't missed them.

But please, try not to add to confusion by saying you are vegan when you choose not to be. Say that you're working toward it, that your diet is plant-based, that you're a "strict vegetarian", whatever. You won't get any extra points when you finally choose to donate your shoes, but you just might feel better.
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It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#10 Old 08-15-2016, 06:17 AM
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As has been said on this forum, there's no such thing as a perfect vegan, cogey. We all make "accommodations" with our veganism. Of course the "accommodations" I make are understandable/excusable whereas the (slightly?) different "accommodations" that others make are less understandable/excusable in fact they may even mean that they're not a "real" vegans.
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#11 Old 08-15-2016, 10:29 AM
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This is what I mean. how am I not vegan  because I am choosing to make less of a c arbon footprint by using what I already bou ght? Who is anyone to even tell me that I 'm "not vegan enough"? Is there an almighty  vegan judge I should stand before to find  out if I qualify? And an we just take a  minute and recognize that this extreme beh avior is EXACTLY what turns people off of  veganism in the first place. Everything abou t me is vegan, every facet of my life, I am passionate about it and I love talking to people about it. I wasn't even posting about leather as the question, yet it's be ing latched onto as the only thing I said,  and not only that, but it's proving my p oint entirely that there is a huge problem with vegans fighting with each other over  "how vegan are you really". Seriously, so a nnoying. It is absolutely no wonder that th ere is a huge stigma.
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#12 Old 08-16-2016, 02:46 AM
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I don't see this so much on these boards, but man oh man on a few vegan Facebook groups, they are AWFUL. Though I have been vegan for over five years, have advocated for our cause, love everything about being vegan, apparently I am not vegan enough because my partner is still an omni. I don't cook any of his animal products, do not buy them for him, do not support it. But we have been together for over 18 years and our relationship is about more than being exactly the same in every cause and belief. Veganism is important to me, but not to the point of cutting off relationships with people who aren't. And I am certainly not going to call them "murderers". I'm pretty much excluded from the level five vegan club due to living with an omni. It really doesn't bother me a ton though because I don't need support or approval from other vegans to be vegan. I'm not vegan to impress anyone.

If we all had to live up to the vegan "ideal", none of us could rightfully call ourselves vegan. Here are more exclusions in case you think you meet every qualification:

you have a pet (add more points if you feed him/her animal based food or he/she must be kept caged)
you have children (chance they might not remain vegan, and more humans add to our carbon footprint and demands on our Earth)
you own anything at all that is made with animals...candles, car, leather couch...
You shop at a regular grocery store (indirectly supporting selling of animal products) or eat out at an omni restaurant
You buy from companies that use palm oil (many vegan companies do this, and they too are not immune from attacks from the level five vegans...even Daiya is not vegan now).
You are on any medication
You get vaccinated (doesn't matter if you work in a hospital or care for sick children etc)

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#13 Old 08-16-2016, 07:09 AM
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Sorry if this is not about leather, but I thought it was. I understood your question to be how should you respond when you find yourself criticized by vegans for saying you're vegan when you're wearing your leather shoes. Then you wondered why we vegans nitpick each other about things like leather when you really, really want to keep your shoes because you hate consumerism. Here's the answer: We nitpick to get better.

If you think we're (I'm) fighting with you, please go back and reread. It is not possible to be a perfect vegan, every agrees. The best anyone can do is try his or her best. If you don't mind feeling like you have to continually explain your shoes, then that is your choice. If, however, you'd prefer to present yourself as embracing the vegan definition to the best of your ability, you may want to reconsider your footwear.

You're not being judged, you're being challenged. There's a huge difference.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#14 Old 08-16-2016, 10:04 AM
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I think the journey for every vegan is unique and individual. I have been vegan for three months. The first thing I did, of course, was replace/get rid of any food or pantry items with animal products in them. The next step was cosmetics/personal items/household items. Now I'm moving on to replacing wardrobe items, shoes and handbags. I think this is one area which will take me longer, though I know it's necessary. I just purchased my first vegan handbag and it felt really great to transfer my things over from the old one, which I will be donating to a friend or family member. Shoes are tougher. I have lots of designer shoes/boots, and I am still pondering what the right choice for ME is. I think that's the thing - you have to do what's right for you in your time, but also be aware that as long as you're wearing leather shoes or carrying a leather handbag, you will be judged - by non-vegans and vegans alike, simply because you are not personifying the ideals you proclaim to live by, even if you do have legitimate reasons for it.
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#15 Old 08-16-2016, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symondezyn View Post
I think that's the thing - you have to do what's right for you in your time, but also be aware that as long as you're wearing leather shoes or carrying a leather handbag, you will be judged - by non-vegans and vegans alike, simply because you are not personifying the ideals you proclaim to live by, even if you do have legitimate reasons for it.
If you're ok about using leather stuff (until it wears out) because it feels "right for you", then as Symondezyn says, do it.

You can explain to both vegans and omnis if asked, why you're doing this and some will understand/agree and some won't. Whatever you do as a vegan, there will always be people ready to criticise ie you're too extreme/you're not extreme enough, so don't worry about it and just do your "thing".

Good wishes

Lv
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#16 Old 08-16-2016, 02:28 PM
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Personally I think the stigma against vegans comes from meat eaters who feel guilty about supporting such horrible activities. No vegan has ever asked me about my shoes, or Isn't That Chicken You Are Eating....but lots of omnivores have. (Pleather shoes, chikken nuggets)... They don't want to admit they are unnecessarily wearing animal skin and eating a bird themselves.
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#17 Old 08-16-2016, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
Personally I think the stigma against vegans comes from meat eaters who feel guilty about supporting such horrible activities. No vegan has ever asked me about my shoes, or Isn't That Chicken You Are Eating....but lots of omnivores have. (Pleather shoes, chikken nuggets)... They don't want to admit they are unnecessarily wearing animal skin and eating a bird themselves.
Absolutely! A lot of of the criticism aimed at veg*ns comes off as deflecting the attention away from the much larger harm that the non-veg*ns are doing. You eat a plant-based diet and didn't donate your leather shoes last week to the domestic violence shelter? You're still eating a plant-based diet. That is not negated by the shoes. Neither does the diet negate the shoes, to be fair. I definitely understand feeling frustrated with finding suitable footwear. My feet are so wide I have a hard time finding anything comfortable, work-suitable, non-leather, and relatively inexpensive. Throw in "not made in a sweatshop" and that almost never happens.
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#18 Old 08-29-2016, 03:58 PM
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To make up for what I done and to not get a bad press by other vegans I'd sell them, replace them with vegan alternatives and donate the money to a charity that helps farm animals. 🐮🐷
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#19 Old 01-11-2017, 11:01 PM
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You are going to have to toughen up if you want to be a big vegan You Tube personality. There's two ways to go about it: do what some of the most popular ones do and bash each other openly and cause drama, OR do vegan activism YOUR WAY and ignore people who disagree with you unless you think it will be productive.

Two of my favorites are very different people. One is extremely preoccupied with trying to mediate the public image of vegans to the general public by staying calm 99% of the time, and sometimes she apologizes too much for it but she's so rational and fact based a lot of the time that I really enjoy her channel. The other is a brilliant but apparently unapologetic "for the animals" guy who makes nihilistic art-house clips full of dark humor, spliced violent slaughterhouse images, and openly addresses other problems with American culture, he does not give two ****s about "social norms." I think they're both really smart and they both sort of stay out of the drama while still doing commentary on especially problematic individuals.

There are different approaches to veganism, or plant based, and your argument for not being wasteful is a perfectly rational one. Some people will not agree but you can't be a public figure if you are going to change yourself just to please everyone else, which is impossible. The vegan community is now too large to be so monolithic and that's actually a good thing. It takes all kinds, and I want to see even the biggest meattards go plant based and in order for that to happen there will have to be activists I disagree with who may know the trick to reaching them (vanity, health, whatever).

And for example I respect your approach and that of first woman I mentioned, because diplomatic people like you are a necessity, but for me personally I think the apologetic "let's not look weird or crazy" act is a cop out, but that's because I think American people are entitled narcissists on the whole and I don't care to pander to their enormous stupid egos, and I know that being too "easy" on people will lull them into thinking it's OK to just eat grass fed beef and that feel good garbage is permissive crap our earth just doesn't have time for.

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