More Musings on the Potential for An Anti-Speciesist Carnist to Exist

Question: Can one be a speciesist vegetarian?

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Finally philosoph-nerds are more seriously talking green.

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for the ox is the poor man’s slave, a work in progress pt. 1

Aristotle says:

Out of these two relationships between man and woman, master and slave, the first thing to arise is the family, and Hesiod is right when he says, “First house and wife and an ox for the plough,” for the ox is the poor man’s slave.

That is the animal is the first possession, the first “instrument of action, the first slave.”

So then how does the ox liberate itself from bondage? If the ox is truly lacking in  intellect there is no hope for a Hegelian liberation. For how could the ox come to know itself as having the true power of freedom through production and connection with its work.

And the master cannot free the ox for ou’s very being (civility, material) is dependent on the ox.

And if the master cannot free the ox, and the ox cannot free itself, who shall be the liberator?

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No More Non-Practicing Vegan

Now it is just The Carnist.

Maybe other things will change.

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I’m Awake pt. 1

Back from a vanwinklian break, roused from my utter boredom towards veganism by my favorite vegan blog conqueror, Alex Melonas. Seriously, critique veganism and this feller will come running–even if it has been a virtual eternity.

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√egans: vegan radicalism, radical veganism, vegan radicals


This Vegan Life posted a question today–asking Is Veganism Radical.

Oprah’s Vegan Challenge continues to be a hot topic around the vegan blogosphere. One objection that keeps coming up is Oprah’s use of the word “radical” in describing a vegan diet. Initially, it’s easy to see how this might ruffle a few feathers. After all, it’s pretty mind-boggling that a diet based on compassion, mercy and nonviolence would be considered “radical.”

Radical is used in a million different contexts; all with different shades and hues of meaning. Let’s take a look.


1. Favoring fundamental change, or change at the root cause of a matter:

In this sense veganism is radical–it favors a fundamental change in human-animal relations. For a certain breed of vegan this is the only way to get at the root issue of these relations, especially in the exploitive form that most of these relations occur in our current social system.

2. Very different from the usual or traditional:

This is the definition I’m sure Oprah is using. There is no doubt veganism is different from the industrial carnism that is usual and prevalent in the USA and most of the Global North. And veganism, as the post-WWII ideology of a bunch of Brits is different from the traditional diets of most of humankind.

3. In politics, denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways:

In my younger-younger days, not all that many years ago, veganism was part of the radical milieu. If you had radical politics you were vegan, or versed in veganism, or at least had to engage with veganism on occasion. Whether or not that remains so at large, though not so within the circles I frequent, veganism still has that tint in the public image: FNB, ALF/ELF, and bicyclists with their carrots and circle-A’s.

4. slang, excellent, cool

Derived from surfer culture this form of radical is largely dependent on the beholder. For each of us some vegans are rad, and others are not.


Why would anyone be upset with being called radical? Or having their diets considered rad, as This Vegan Life’s post seems to indicate? I think it speaks to a larger concern of veganism, which reveals a portion of the vegan movement at large.

Many vegans don’t want to be radical (1), (2), or (3)–everyone is chill with (4). Vegans desire a mainstream status, which ignores the fact that the vegan world they desire requires a fundamental change in the way society is organized–that veganism can never be mainstream without changing the mainstream. This is the contradiction of radicalism that veganism must solve: it must depend on a liberal notion of dietary choice to fit into the mainstream (which it is largely doing) or, Oprah audiences and popularity be damned, embrace the radical teleology of animal liberation that demands restructure for a new world.




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From Rhys To Royce: Vegan Skeptics

A new feature of The Non-Practicing Vegan are public letters between myself and others. The first is a letter from Rhys of LetThemEatMeat. Keep an eye on his blog and here for my response.

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