124 Restless & Radical: The Future of Veganism?
We talk about the Restless Vegans Manifesto AND Christopher Sebastion’s latest posts on radical veganism this week, examining the ways these works could shape a better future for veganism.
In This Episode
As we are evolving our vegan activism and exploring our identities as vegan activists, we have been feeling like non-humans animals have lost their place as our primary focus. We came across two pieces of work that explore this topic and have inspired us to make non-humans animals once again center to our veganism, while of course keeping a pro-intersectional approach and an equal concern for human animals as top priorities.
The first is the Restless Vegans Manifesto, a self-critical manifesto towards veganism written in Turkey by several contributors after a workshop called “Where is animal liberation within veganism?” that took place in Namekan (İzmir) during World Vegan Week in November 2013.
Much like feminism has had waves or phases, the Restless Vegan Manifesto calls for veganism to enter a second wave, one that puts non-human animals in the center of the movement and aims to disrupt capitalism. Many amazing points are made in the manifesto, including the concept that veganism has become about consumption rather than disruption (as they say, when someone finds out you are vegan, often the first thing they ask is what do you eat or what do you use for makeup or what shoes do you wear). This keeps veganism as a tool of capitalism, rather than a disruptive political stance that seeks to dismantle this system of oppression.
In an interview on the Animal Voices podcast, Gurey Tezcan, one of the authors of the Restless Vegan Manifesto, talks about how veganism should be more of an action or verb, rather than an identity. Our identities should focus on our ethics, with veganism as an action that we perform as a natural result of those ethics (think: “I practice veganism because I am anti-oppression” versus “I am vegan”).
Christopher Sebastian has done it again with two very recent posts about ditching the “intersectional vegan” label and adopting the mantle of radical veganism instead. He speaks about ways that intersectionality has been used inappropriately by the vegan community, how many spaces have become hotbeds of judgment and a closure of any real dialogue, and how really the term should be used by black and brown feminists, not vegans.
He proposes instead radical veganism: a stance that still includes intersectional or pro-intersectional awareness, but that also centers on animals, is solutions-focused and seeks to build community. His brave posts are so desperately needed, in our opinion, and are eternally appreciated by us. Please please please read them: Yes to Intersectionality, Boo to Intersectional Vegans; and the follow up Exploring Radical Veganism.
Joke in the Middle
“I asked a librarian if she had a book on Pavlov’s dog and Schrodinger’s cat” …