Someone made a comment recently on LiveVegan that although he was not vegan or gay and although he “loved some people who were” and although he could understand why vegans stand up for animals because animals can not do it themselves, he said “Gay and Lesbian groups can fight their own battles.” He was questioning our position on our page as to why we address other forms of discrimination as well as speciesism. I appreciate this comment and here is our reasoning.
On LiveVegan we promote nonviolence. We address other forms of discrimination as well as speciesism. We do so because if one is against speciesism, it is a logical extension of justice and nonviolence to be against racism, sexism, heterosexism and so on. We need to understand that all forms of discrimination are related and cause violence. Where we have one form of discrimination, we will have all forms.
Veganism is about the rejection of the property status of nonhumans and the recognition of their moral personhood. Veganism is relevant to every person that is using animals and that probably accounts for 99% of the population. So veganism is relevant to all of us who were not born into a vegan household and raised vegan. It is not enough to say we support vegans as if veganism is somehow “noble” and unrelated to us. The way to support and respect ethical vegans and other animals is to become an ethical vegan yourself. Veganism is relevant to *every* single human on the planet.
And the following quote is something we should consider next time we are about to dismiss or display indifference to a particular individual or group (human or nonhuman) who is being persecuted, exploited and oppressed:
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I was Protestant.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.“
NOTE: [“First they came…” is a famous statement attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. The text of the quotation is usually presented roughly as follows: