In June 1969 the movement for LGBTQIA+ equality and liberation began. A series of riots took place centring around the Stonewall Inn in New York. These riots were instigated by transgender women of colour and the next year, the first Pride Parade was held. (You can read more about the history of Pride HERE.)
In recent years Pride has been the victim of commercialisation, police acceptance and the perpetrator of documented trans and bisexual erasure. We are fighting a battle within our own movement to reclaim our heritage and our purpose. We forget that trans women of colour started our journey to liberation because of police aggression and centre our celebrations around cis gay men.
All is not lost however. Various Pride’s around the world now incorporate political blocs. I was part of one that was removed from Pride by the police in the summer of 2017. Those who are fed up of Pride being taken from us, have splintered and created their own after parade parties, much of them political in nature and centring around queer and trans people especially those of BAME origin.
In the world outside of Pride and our little queer families we tend to make for ourselves, the struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights continues. Transphobia and homophobia are rife in schools, workplaces and the media. There’s a moral panic about trans children in the UK media which is damaging communities already on the edge of society. We’ve already had one trans woman murdered in 2018. How many more are we going to lose?
Then there’s the intersex babies that no one talks about. The babies who’s sex and gender are decided for them at birth and surgery undertaken to change their ambiguous genitals so they match the sex the parents have decided for them. There are many documented of cases of ongoing psychological damage in intersex adults.
So with all of that to contend with, I was surprised to see an event in London calling itself, “Vegan Pride.” It takes after various events around the world, including one in Toronto which after it’s first year had to rename itself due to uproar from the LGBTQIA+ community.
So why “Vegan Pride?” Why not any other number of names it could have been that doesn’t have any LGBTQIA+ association? London Vegan Parade? March for Veganism? Vegans United Parade? Nope. They HAD to appropriate queer culture and use it for themselves.
Some people have mistaken it as a parade for LGBTQIA+ vegans, but it’s anything but. If you go onto the Facebook event you’ll see a big group of privileged cis white vegans claiming they are oppressed for an ethical choice they have chosen to make, “all lives matter” rhetoric and certain people who have known Nazi affiliations. I even saw a cis friend of mine silence queer people’s objections to them stealing our culture. I was shocked and suddenly felt really unsafe. I’ve yet to confront him about it. Maybe he’ll see this and realise what he’s done. 😦 The event organisers are banning any LGBTQIA+ people who comment objecting, thus silencing our objection.
The whole event is really off putting for vegans and non-vegans alike. It waters down everyone’s message. The message for queer liberation, the ongoing struggles of queer POC and it screams of human centricity. What about the animals?
The worst part? It clashes with one of the biggest and most prolific Pride events in theUK: Brighton Pride.
Please remember that vegans are not oppressed. Oppression needs a power structure to uphold it. Your uncle making bacon jokes or you not being able to get a decent sandwich for lunch is not oppression. It’s just difficulties from a life choice that you have made, a choice which so many other people do not have, putting you in a position of privilege not misfortune. Queer and trans people did not choose and cannot unchoose who they are, like you can with your veganism.
In closing I would like to ask you to boycott this event and tell people why you are doing it, especially if you are an ally. We need you more now than ever.
14 thoughts on “My thoughts on Vegan Pride.”
It seems to me that you are appropriating the values of tolerance and liberalism to construct an environment in which no-one may disagree with you. In your Newspeak, ‘silence’ (verb) means ‘disagree with’ so anyone who expresses a different view from your own is ‘silencing’ you. In this way, no views different from your own may be openly expressed and you have achieved your goal of silencing dissent. ‘Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.’ Much of what you claim to believe is absurd and you are not entitled to demand that others agree with you.
I have the power to allow or block comments from this page. I decided to allow your comment because it doesn’t go against any of my page rules with regards to how we should treat each other with respect, so thank-you for keeping things respectful.
Lots of people disagree with me on a great deal of things. Sometimes their disagreement is valid. We have a discussion and my view point changes. Sometimes people come here with a big old word salad that doesn’t really say a lot.
Believing that people deserve respect and dignity is not an absurd notion. Can you explain to me how it is?
I also don’t demand anything, I ask nicely. It’s your choice after having read what I have written, what you do with that information. If you become rude, abusive or start derailing the conversation to fit another agenda, then you get removed from being able to view, comment on or share my blog and my Facebook. I don’t think that is unfair or unreasonable. Can you tell me why you think it is people should be allowed to come to my page and scream transphobic abuse at me and why I should just tolerate it?
If you want to say something, you are welcome to do so.
You’re reading a lot into a single use of the word ‘silence’. You may consider it hyperbolic, but queer people do genuinely struggle to make their voices heard as easily as straight cis people. We live in a culture that is dominated by straight/cis voices, even on queer issues. As such, having an influential straight/cis person loudly put down your view point can feel a lot like silencing in many contexts.
Even if the use of the word ‘silence’ is hyperbolic, you’re extrapolating a genocidal state from an understandable expression of frustration. And what ‘absurdities’ that Mouche espouses will death camps be built on? That trans women are women? That queer concerns about queer issues are valid?
Also, why are queer criticisms/objections “entitled demand(s)” whereas straight/cis criticisms/objections are “expressing a different view from your own”? Free speech means everyone can express their ideas right? And other people can criticise those ideas? Why are Mouche’s criticisms a road to authoritarianism whereas the opinions of straight/cis people a noble expression of free speech?
There’s no demanding in this post. Plus an oppressed group doesn’t have power behind a demand anyway.
I read someone calmly asking for basic respect and I read you arguing against that.
Well, amongst the pseudo intellectual word salad you typed out.
I’m fully behind this article. I’m vegan and while it was a choice to become vegan it’s now who I am. I no longer have a choice to not be vegan. To ask me to eat meat or buy leather products makes me feel feel ill. It’s abhorrent to me. I know I’d rather starve than be forced to eat animals. So making light of veganism is not the greatest point in this article.
As a vegan I don’t want Pride associated with our movement. It dilutes our message and Prides message.
I’m not gay but I’ve marched with Pride.
I’d like to think that the pride movement can march with vegans.
Just change the name of the march FFS.
I’m a queer person working at a vegan charity. The number of LGBTQ+ people we get calling our charity is absolutely phenomenal. From the people who contact us at least, I’m certain there is a greater percentage of vegans within the LGBTQ+ community, or vice versa.
Maybe one connection between the two is how both reject typical notions of how we’re taught humans should behave. I agree that vegan pride might well be appropriation, not a great name for it. Maybe your post will help a more appropriate slogan to get sorted, something like LGBTQ+ vegans could be fine.
I personally love it when social groups work together at demos. It brings more people in.
Anyway… controversial post!
(Plz don’t publish my original comment, I hadn’t read your article properly so not rly relevant hehe).
I know it’s a luxury being vegan. Really great post. Even if it does bring the vegan name into even greater disrepair and seeming class disparity. Better to expose the few shitty parts of our movement than help to cover them up. Only way to make it (even) better.
They changed the name! Maybe you could edit the article to reflect that?
I’m planning on doing so, however I feel that the message itself is still really important and shouldn’t be altered so that other people can use it to highlight why other such parades are not acceptable.
Of course, but I think you can add a sentence confirming that they’ve changed the name but it’s still important to bear it in mind. If nothing else it’ll stop people being confused about why they can’t find any info about an event called vegan pride in London, plus it’ll let people know that you’re talking about what is now called the vegan for life parade (of course people could just read this, but not everyone reads the comments!
Good article.I shall boycott Vegan Pride (I’m hoping to go to Trans Pride anyway).
I forget that Pride was started by trans PoC,and I’m saddended that the wider Pride movement forgets that
Thanks for your article, it really sums up a lot of important points about this whole fiasco. It is worth pointing out that in spite of the fact that the organisers have now changed the name of the march, they are still deleting comments and blocking people from their page. Yet interestingly, some of the most prolific commenters have been given free rein to harass and insult the LGBT+ community. The comments section has now descended into Islamophobia and even a defence of fascism, but somehow the organisers can’t moderate those particular comments.
thank you for that article, there’s some very good points in it and ofc i agree that the initial name choice of this ‘vegan pride’ was incredibly stupid (i’m a queer vegan btw).
i would, however, like to comment on your last paragraph on vegans not being oppressed – i agree, they’re not. that being said, wouldn’t you agree that the main point of veganism is to give a voice to the oppressed party centred around this movement? by which, ofc, i mean animals! animals are the oppressed party in the vegan movement and too many ppl forget that. so while i agree that vegans themselves are not oppressed (even though they are ignored, dismissed and discriminated against), the animals are very much so and it is our duty as vegans to remind ppl of that and to fight on their behalf.
i’m incredibly invested in both the queer and the vegan movement and would love if like-minded ppl would not put down one in favour of the other. we can fully support more than one cause at a time, after all. and at the core of each of these movements is the very important message that life – in all its forms – matters. be kind, always ❤
Hey! I agree with what you’ve written and at no point did I say we shouldn’t be speaking out for animals, we absolutely should. I just don’t think we should tread on people to make it happen. 🙂