Can anyone explain the XVX subculture to me? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-02-2014, 03:26 PM
 
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As someone who aspires to live my life in a manner that causes the least amount of suffering possible, I'm not being sarcastic, I truly want to understand. If I'm making choices that cause harm to other beings, I want to stop. So, if any straight edge vegans out there could chime in, that would be rad. :)

I understand the straight edge lifestyle as a personal decision for yourself, but what I don't understand is how an individual's choice to smoke weed, or use illicit drugs causes animals harm? I saw a XVX meme that said "When you do drugs, so do they." This just doesn't seem logical to me, but I realize I may be missing something. I can even understand cigarettes, and that type of thing, because I suppose that if nobody bought cigarettes they wouldn't have a need to test them on animals… but I don't understand how someone's choice to smoke a plant grown in someones basement or use a drug synthesized by someone in their home has any correlation to vivisection? 

Also: although it appears that some of the most radical vegans I've met have been xvx, I've also seen some things come out of this subculture that are incredibly concerning and oppressive towards individuals who struggle with addictions and etc. Shirts with Amy Winehouse on it that say "No sympathy" and reference to "junkies" (this is an example:http://motive.merchnow.com/products/132741) totally stigmatizing, oppressive and disgusting. Your compassion cannot end at your veganism… understanding the intersections among not only animal oppression, but human systems of oppression is critical. Oppressing another marginalized, oppressed group of people will never, ever win you the liberation of another. I recognize though that, at least in my experience, most xvx are not this way, and this is probably a small percentage but that type of thing makes me incredibly weary. 

I just want to understand the logic and reasoning behind it… so if anyone could enlighten me? I've been thinking about it quite a bit. Thank you :)

PS: I've also read blogs by XVX individuals who are against promiscuity. While this is fine as a personal choice (and if you're avoiding affirming patriarchal slut shaming) I again fail to see how my sex life has anything to do with anybody else, or with preventing suffering to animals?

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#2 Old 05-02-2014, 03:53 PM
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*disclaimer: not straight edge*

 

Hi,

 

I must admit I haven't seen anything of this subculture, though I do admire anyone who is straight edge vegan.  

 

I also don't really see how the odd bifter hurts animals as long as any baccy and papers are vegan.  I need to know more so I'm off to investigate on t'internet >>> 

 

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#3 Old 05-02-2014, 04:06 PM
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My 21-year old son has been straight edge vegan since he was about 9 or 10 years old, although he doesn't use the term to describe himself.

He truly doesn't understand why people would want to drink alcohol, smoke weed, do prescription drugs, or have casual sex. He's seen too many friends and relatives ruin or end their lives doing these things.

He doesn't lecture or nag people if they choose to do these things, but he is a personal trainer and won't accept clients who don't agree to his rules. Vegan food only, no drinking alcohol, no unprescribed drugs, no nicotine, no caffeine, plenty of water, no electronic media within an hour of bedtime, and scheduled sleep times every night. His clients get in shape and feel great FAST. He makes it sound so logical. grin.gif
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#4 Old 05-02-2014, 05:10 PM
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I was part of the straight edge lifestyle for a little bit during college.  A far as I understand, the avoidance of drugs and alcohol is more of a personal health choice.  However, there were some people I met that said they wouldn't do drugs because of all the harm the drug trade causes in terms of human suffering.  So in a sense it is an extension of vegan compassion for those humans caught up in the drug cartels and violence that mar a lot of the drug exchange systems that provide consumers with their product.  However, while this certainly holds true for cocaine, heroine, meth (meth is not so much an issue with the cartels as the horrible price it takes on people who consume it and the people who make it) and some of the harder drugs that the cartels usually have a hand in, home grown marijuana wouldn't be such an issue, I would think, especially if you can get it at a medical marijuana shop or from a responsible grower.  There is a lot of marijuana on the American market that goes through cartel hands, but the majority is home-grown.


"It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh"- Clement of Alexandria
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#5 Old 05-02-2014, 06:08 PM
 
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I was part of the straight edge lifestyle for a little bit during college.  A far as I understand, the avoidance of drugs and alcohol is more of a personal health choice.  However, there were some people I met that said they wouldn't do drugs because of all the harm the drug trade causes in terms of human suffering.  So in a sense it is an extension of vegan compassion for those humans caught up in the drug cartels and violence that mar a lot of the drug exchange systems that provide consumers with their product.  However, while this certainly holds true for cocaine, heroine, meth (meth is not so much an issue with the cartels as the horrible price it takes on people who consume it and the people who make it) and some of the harder drugs that the cartels usually have a hand in, home grown marijuana wouldn't be such an issue, I would think, especially if you can get it at a medical marijuana shop or from a responsible grower.  There is a lot of marijuana on the American market that goes through cartel hands, but the majority is home-grown.

Thanks everyone for your responses so far! That's really interesting. I can see their point, but a part of me feels like maybe they're a bit misguided in their target. From the research I've done, I feel really strongly that the majority of human suffering thought to be caused by drug use, is actually the product of legal prohibition of those substances. Organized crime, cartels, the drug trade, theft etc are generally products of prohibition and lack of harm reduction and truthful drug education. If these substances weren’t illegal, drug dealers and organized crime rings would be out of business, these substances would be less accessible to children (the clerk in the store knows he’ll lose his job if he sells to a child, a drug dealer has nothing to lose and gives no f*cks).

It’s definitely an interesting perspective though. I grew up with a lot of addiction in my family and I definitely understand the negative consequences of that, but I have also seen positive aspects of recreational substance use and drug culture. Before prescriptions, counselors, etc a lot of indigenous groups used psychedelic plants to heal, and this still holds true today. Gabor Mate and his successful treatment of downtown eastside residents in Vancouver, BC with ayahuasca is a good example of this. It’s difficult for me to believe we have these receptors that can only be activated by certain substances for no reason. :)

What was it that caused you to no longer consider yourself straight edge, if you don’t mind me asking? 

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#6 Old 05-02-2014, 06:43 PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses so far! That's really interesting. I can see their point, but a part of me feels like maybe they're a bit misguided in their target. From the research I've done, I feel really strongly that the majority of human suffering thought to be caused by drug use, is actually the product of legal prohibition of those substances. Organized crime, cartels, the drug trade, theft etc are generally products of prohibition and lack of harm reduction and truthful drug education. If these substances weren’t illegal, drug dealers and organized crime rings would be out of business, these substances would be less accessible to children (the clerk in the store knows he’ll lose his job if he sells to a child, a drug dealer has nothing to lose and gives no f*cks).

It’s definitely an interesting perspective though. I grew up with a lot of addiction in my family and I definitely understand the negative consequences of that, but I have also seen positive aspects of recreational substance use and drug culture. Before prescriptions, counselors, etc a lot of indigenous groups used psychedelic plants to heal, and this still holds true today. Gabor Mate and his successful treatment of downtown eastside residents in Vancouver, BC with ayahuasca is a good example of this. It’s difficult for me to believe we have these receptors that can only be activated by certain substances for no reason. :)

What was it that caused you to no longer consider yourself straight edge, if you don’t mind me asking? 

I agree completely, and I'm hoping the legalization of weed in Washington and Colorado will do a lot of weaken the cartels, though, of course, they will still have the hard drug market.

 

Straight edge vegans, who tend to be incredibly socially aware, see the harm caused in people's lives by drugs and alcohol and so tend to avoid these substances.  But, you're right, recreational drugs and alcohol can be used responsibly, and certain types of drugs, especially the psychedelics, have a great potential for spiritual, as well as physical, healing.  Medicine has long known that psilocybn is one of the only effective treatments against cluster headaches, and igoba has proven itself invaluable in treating opiate, nicotine, meth and cocaine addictions.  Plus the potential psychedelics have within them for spiritual development is unlimited, and is the main reason why I gave up the straight edge lifestyle (plus I like to smoke the occasional joint when I'm over at a friend's house).  I think humanity would be kinder, more gentle and less given to monologizing discourses and uniltateral actions if we relied on a spirituality supported by plant spirits such as marijuana, psilocybn, salvia, morning glories, ayahuasca, igoba, etc.

 

Gotta love those seratonin re-uptake inhibitors!


"It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh"- Clement of Alexandria
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#7 Old 05-02-2014, 09:32 PM
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I self identified as straight edge around 1988-1994 or so. You could write a book about straight edge. Heck, someone did. There's a preview on Google books of Straightedge Youth: Complexity and Contradictions of a Subculture.

 

Oooops, I accidentally linked to my search for the word vegan in the book. Just click on the link for page 51 there, that'll take you into the book.

 

Anyway, that should help you out. I'll post more personal thoughts later, but I need to eat now, and I can see that post being a little time consuming. Plus I feel a strong need to listen to some SE RIGHT NOW!

 

Here's the song that started it all - or at least gave it a name. I agree with the author of the book that straight edge grew out of something latent in hardcore, just as straightedge birthed vegan straightedge. Anyway, here's Straight Edge by Minor Threat:

 


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#8 Old 05-02-2014, 09:47 PM
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Oooh, here's Ian MacKaye (wrote and vocals on the song Straight Edge) on why he sees a connection between SE and vegetarianism:

 


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#9 Old 05-03-2014, 01:34 AM
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Technically I'm straight edge atm, trust me I don't class myself as that. I don't drink, I like some good green when its about and there isn't much of a leg for me atm.

In regards to the alcohol/drugs you've got to consider the post high effects of stuff. Alcohol is a known depressant. A lot of green now is grown to get you high, completely different to what they'd have at Woodstock. It's been selectively bred for higher THC over balance with other cannabinoids.
MDMA/ecstasy/X/E are known to take a week to recover from. Others I'm not so clued up on. It's also what stuff has been cut with; chalk/talk if you're lucky there's horror stories of rat poison. Drug dealers don't care, they just want to make more money.

A lot (too many?) pharmaceuticals are tested on animals

Okay I'm rambling a bit now.
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#10 Old 05-03-2014, 11:53 AM
 
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straight edge and it's derivatives are an incredibly controversial subculture. i am literally a breath or two away from going full on godwin so i politely request that this be moved out of the "vegan support" forum.

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#11 Old 05-03-2014, 03:01 PM
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straight edge and it's derivatives are an incredibly controversial subculture. i am literally a breath or two away from going full on godwin so i politely request that this be moved out of the "vegan support" forum.

 

I wasn't sure where to relocate this to so hope The Veggie patch is appropriate.

 

Now I'm off to Google what "full on godwin" means >>>

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#12 Old 05-03-2014, 03:44 PM
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Now I'm off to Google what "full on godwin" means >>>

Godwin's Law says that the longer an online discussion goes on, the closer a comparission to Hitler or the nazis approaches, after which point people consider all that can usefully be said on the subject already said and the thread able to be locked.  I'm a bit confused, however, why it was brought up, unless uenthical vegan feels straightedgers are particularly prone to a sort of fascism in their thinking.  Sure straightedgers, like all vegans, can be judgementle and inflexible at times, but I don't think they are particularly fascist.


"It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh"- Clement of Alexandria
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#13 Old 05-03-2014, 03:47 PM
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I wasn't sure where to relocate this to so hope The Veggie patch is appropriate.

Now I'm off to Google what "full on godwin" means >>>

For a Godwin discussion, the compost heap would probably be the only appropriate place. Unfortunately there are some POS out there that like to rep sXe, when (what I would like to hope) most sXe would rather they follow their leader.

I was xvx for roughly a year in Uni, although it was more by happenstance than self identification. I admire most of these folks, it seems to me like they are often the ones busting the most asparagus in the gym. My substance use is moderated, meaning no booze binging or cheech and chong spliffs, but I respect those that find their release in more constructive methods.
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#14 Old 05-03-2014, 04:16 PM
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I think SE is being conflated with hardline. Easy to do. Earth Crisis is one of the better known bands to meld SE and veganism. Earth Crisis is (arguably maybe) hardline. Vegan Reich was one of the first and they are early hardline (as the name suggests!)

 

Hardline is its own deal though, distinct from plain old straightedge.

 

EDIT:

 

OK, apparently *I'm* the one who doesn't know what I'm talking about. My sources (AKA Wikipedia :)) tell me that hardline is the daddy of "vegan straight edge". Unfortunate, that. I never did care for hardline, which I've always thought of as straightedge+fascism. Straightedge itself has a lot to offer I think,


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#15 Old 05-03-2014, 04:28 PM
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I just googled and read a bunch about straight edge. I didn't know about some of the connections.
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#16 Old 05-03-2014, 04:43 PM
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I think SE is being conflated with hardline. Easy to do. Earth Crisis is one of the better known bands to meld SE and veganism. Earth Crisis is (arguably maybe) hardline. Vegan Reich was one of the first and they are early hardline (as the name suggests!)

Hardline is its own deal though, distinct from plain old straightedge.

Just got through reading Wikipedia 'hard line'.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardline_(subculture)

If hardline didn't include prohibitive stances on homosexuality and abortion, I could see it appealing to a wider audience. Those positions seem to clash with their leftist ideals concerning workers rights and fair trade ideas.

Was the experimental commune in Hawaii really disbanded because of clashing opinions on how 'natural' cooked food is? Seems pretty silly to get undies in a bunch if someone wants to cook a potato.
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#17 Old 05-03-2014, 05:34 PM
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I'm sure some of us here remember JoshJamesxvx (or something like that?)

He explained his views on straight edge very well. He's another member I really miss!

 

Can you find old members posts? 

 

Seems to me straight edge lifestyles are as varied as vegans. I thought of it as a very controlling group of extremists until I asked him about it.


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#18 Old 05-03-2014, 05:36 PM
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Wow, hardline is all kinds of crazy.  I didn't knos there were people like this in the vegan movement.


"It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh"- Clement of Alexandria
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#19 Old 05-06-2014, 01:46 AM
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I'm a vegetarian and identify as straight-edge, although I don't use the label much anymore.  For me they are two completely separate issues.  The only real connection is through hardcore punk and a rejection of corporate values. 


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#20 Old 06-07-2014, 02:09 PM
 
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I have met few straight edge folk in my life. The one I am familiar with by association calls himself straight edge, yet he eats meat. I think he uses it as an excuse not to take medication he needs, as he has some serious mental issues (borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder).

I was a very devout Christian teen, so I called myself straight edge when I was a vegetarian, because I also liked punk music. I didn't fully grasp the ideas of it, though, to be honest. It was just something I had a vague understanding of through the Internet.

I obviously have no problems with people wanting to live a clean and so we life. That is their choice. It's not something I'm interested in. I like to find natural alternatives to synthetic ones, but I suffer from panic disorder. I take medicine for it when I can, I self medicate when I can't. It makes me happier, makes me easier to deal with and makes life easier to deal with. I quit to make sure I'm not developing issues every so often, but all around I feel I am doing minimal harm to my body (especially when compared to the damage of stress) and it seems better for me and everyone around me if I can take medicine or get a bit buzzed when I feel anxious. I also drink for fun, but not as often. Getting plastered is less fun the older you get...
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