An unfortunate side-effect of my goodbye post at VoC is that I receive emails about every, single response (even after I left the blog).
Including this one:
Im not sure what Royce is trying to do by writing at ‘The Non-Practicing Vegan’ blog. Is he trying to seduce more people away from veganism or rationalizing away his excuses to going back to consuming animals? His choice of using the word Vegan in his blog as if he can ‘own’ the word is wrong IMHO.
Maybe it is useful for me to explore my purpose every now and again, especially at this point where the blog is only three days old.
What Royce Is Trying To Do
I’m no evangelical. I have no desire to convert people to the tenants of whatever it is I believe. So why am I writing? Because I always liked to share (as long as you washed your hands and give it back). I’m trying to explore the spaces that veganism forgot. The alternate paths to a non-speciesist world that are ignored or never made. For that it requires a bit of fieldwork. It can no longer be theoretical and speculative.
I also feel like I have to explore veganism’s failures and weaknesses. Not out of some theoretical sadism, or at least not completely, but also because critique is important for creating real change. A better veganism is also in my interest. I want veganism to be better.
Food and animals are also things I enjoy writing about. I enjoy reading (critical) animal studies and food studies. I find it fascinating. This will be a good venue.
For the ideologue of any variety there can be only two things an ex-comrade can do: seduce the weak-minded away from Truth or attempt to rationalize their betrayal, so as not to feel guilty.
I have no interest in seducing anyone away from veganism. In fact, I’d say veganism does a fine job of either enveloping people in the cult of vegan culture (fun as it is) or pushing people way, way out of it. Former vegetarians almost never have the vehement hatred of vegetarianism like ex-vegans do of veganism. Why no vegan takes these accounts seriously is curious enough to me.
Everyone rationalizes. I rationalize why I personally consume flesh, though I’m try really hard to explain my own personal consumption habits. At this point I feel it is important for me to say that I eat flesh without guilt, without qualifying how I come across this meat.
Can He Do That
Upset that I use vegan in the title of my blog? Too bad! I’m not going to explain humor to anyone, lord knows I don’t get the average person’s humor. Not that I think I can own the word (who owns words?) but I sure as hell can use it. But, you know, I can rationalize it and everything. I turn to the 1951 definition from the Vegan Society:
The word veganism shall mean the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals.
Sure, they envisioned it accompanied by certain practices. But that definition defines veganism first and foremost as a doctrine. As far as I agree with that doctrine I’m left as a non-practicing vegan.
[V]eganism is itself a principle, from which certain practices logically flow.
But if the root is the principle of non-exploitation of animals, perhaps there are unorthodox branches that could flourish.
Don’t worry your pretty little head if you don’t get my purpose. Obviously, not everyone is going to get it. I’m really not talking to them.