Video: Comparing veganism to other rights movements

Is comparing veganism with other rights movements acceptable? Or offensive?

Comparing veganism to other rights movements misses the mark

It’s a question I’ve been seeing a lot lately. But it’s nothing new. I first encountered when I first heard about veganism back in University. PETA was running a campaign at the time that compared animal suffering to the holocaust, and one of my friends, an Israeli, was understandably upset.

In this video I delve into the topic in more depth, explaining why I think these comparisons are justified if we carefully distinguish it is the animals who are suffering, not us.

There’s so much we can learn from other rights movements. Of course, it’s crucial to remember that one of the key distinctions between, say, the gay rights movement and the animal rights movement is that we are advocates for the group that is being attacked and marginalized. As vegans we are not the victims of animal cruelty, we are advocates for the animals.

That is not to say that being vegan doesn’t make you feel marginalized at times. As my video about the attack on the Kiwi Cafe in Tbilisi, Georgia, demonstrates, vegans can certainly experience violence because of their beliefs.

We should be comparing animal rights (not veganism) with other movements

But at its core, veganism is about the animals, not about us.

A good parallel here might be the freedom riders who fought alongside african americans for their civil rights in the 1960s.

White freedom riders wouldn’t have experienced danger or discrimination if they hadn’t stood up for the rights of others. They chose to support the civil rights movement because it was the right thing to do.

I see veganism as being more along these lines. However, it’s important to note that most vegans are not activists, and in that sense a more accurate comparison might be the people who supported the boycott of South African products during apartheid.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I realize it can be very sensitive for many people, and I understand why people find comparing veganism with other rights movements so offensive.

Personally I think as vegans we have the most to gain from learning from these other movements, rather than comparing animal rights to them. Animal rights is the next major rights movement with billions suffering and dying each day. And as vegans, want to be as effective a voice for these beings as we possibly can.

Thanks for watching!
Margaret

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