Everything veganism focuses on, the victims of human oppression or the humans who exploit animals, happens because of politics. Vegans cannot promote veganism in a non-political way, because veganism is intrinsically political.
JORDI CASAMITJANA: One of the good things about the term vegan becoming more well-known and used in mainstream society is that we now have more delicious vegan food available everywhere. One of the bad things, though, is that more people may use the term incorrectly, or co-opt the concept of veganism taking it somewhere far from what it should be.
Luckily, we have the definition of the Vegan Society to set things straight: “Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
I like this definition — I certainly use it a lot in my writing — and as an ethical vegan, I live following it to the full (as opposed to dietary vegans, or plant-based people, who may only follow part of it). However, I think something is missing from it. Over the years, the philosophy of veganism, and the lifestyle it created, have become something bigger. As the number of people following this philosophy has grown, and they have created identities, organisations, communities, economies, campaigns, policies, and sub-ideologies, something else has been born: a socio-political movement.
That’s not surprising; many ideologies have done so. Many “isms” (such as feminism, pacifism, or liberalism) have done so. In the same way that, under environmental pressure, evolution created multicellular organisms after the number and interconnectivity of unicellular organisms grew, people sharing the same ethical beliefs that shape their behaviour may generate social movements if they feel social pressure against them leading them to coordinate their aspirations.
Social movements are “movements” because they attempt to move the status quo from a state of being wrong or unfair for the members of such movements — or who they represent — to a better one for them. And veganism, having been born as a reaction to what the establishment does to animals by exploiting them as commodities, wants to change this paradigm and “move” society toward another one — what we call “the vegan world” where sentient beings no longer suffer because of exploitation or cruelty perpetrated by humans.
So, the philosophy of veganism seems perfect for the generation of a social movement, and this is what precisely happened. There have been people following the philosophy of veganism for millennia all over the world, well before the term was first coined by the Vegan Society in 1944. But after the creation of this society, when veganism was secularised and made available to everyone, is when we see an international transformative social movement growing, which has not slowed down since. But veganism is not just a social movement. It is a socio-political movement, and as such, it cannot be separated from politics…
Veganism is politics. Everything veganism focuses on, the victims of human oppression or the humans who exploit animals, happens because of politics. And anything that veganism wants to achieve are political goals. So, no, vegans cannot promote veganism in a non-political way, because veganism is intrinsically political. SOURCE…