by Felix King
The word vegan has a very specific objective and definition, it’s to dismantle speciesism. It doesn’t have to be set up in behavioral terms other than believing and acting on that belief that animals are equal.
Speciesism is a systematic oppression as is racism, sexism, queerphobia etc. It all stems from the notion that having a privilege (doing nothing but receiving special treatment because of how you’re born) is the correct hierarchy of things.
Even “vegans” don’t understand what veganism is! And the result is a bunch of vegans who hate animals trying to teach the rest of the vegans to hate animals.
Putting anyone below us is hate and violence.
And the term vegan pretty much sums up our own ego. Instead of the vital message of “Hey something is horribly wrong” we just describe what WE do. It’s us In the spotlight, being performative.
We have vegan welfarists (slave reform), we have vegan healthists – exclaiming how great veganism is to them and this is what the public widely knows vegan as, because no surprise once it’s about humans it takes off; we have vegan apologists, who feel guilty and side with carnists instead of siding with the victims; we have vegan reformists, trying to change what veganism is to incorporate speciesism back into the movement – all of this is pretty consistent with the anthropocentricism of the term vegan.
The name vegan actually completely focuses on the human being aspect – which is counter productive. 99 percent of human ego is already centered on us, and now the One (1) one! thing that is supposed to be about animals, we have made about us again. This is the very same attitude that has caused untold suffering, more suffering than any other in history. And we just continue on with this attitude. To change how we view and therefore treat animals, we need to change ourselves and be mindful of who we are and what we do.
Furthermore, our goal is not to “know what each other means”. This isn’t a club, we need everyone to educate themselves and Stop.
The more clear, direct, consistent (especially with out choice of language) and uncompromising we are, the more effective we are.
Felix King is an abolitionist activist, who has no compromises for animal use, capitalism, racism or any systematic oppression. He’s a poc, two spirit, and neurodivergent and has been an activist for his community for over a decade – including pushing and redeveloping new theory for more effective activism.