A group called Go Vegan – London are planning a Vegan ‘Pride’ Parade in London in August. We are calling on all vegans to boycott this event and unfollow their page until the organisers apologise and change the name of the event.
Whilst on the surface this may seem like a harmless and positive event, we couldn’t disagree more. Pride came from the need to stand up to literal violent oppression. Like, literally needing to not be beaten up in the street or murdered for a thing we have no choice about. Vegans may often feel marginalised, but they have not suffered the systemic, violent oppression that has been endured by LGBTQIA+ people. In 2018, no vegans will be banned from marrying, or given the death penalty for their choice to be vegan, but many LGBTQIA+ people will be, because of their gender or sexuality.
We have the ability to choose to be vegan. Being LGBTQIA+ is not a choice, and to equate the two belittles the lengthy struggle that LGBTQIA+ individuals are still going through. Being proud to be vegan as an individual is great, but insisting on appropriating Pride just so we can collectively pat ourselves on the back is making our veganism about our own egos, and not about the individuals who should be the focus – the animals. There are plenty other things a big vegan party can be called that don’t minimise the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.
With the commercialisation of Pride Go Vegan London could be forgiven for not realising their mistake but they have proactively ignored and deleted concerns of people within the vegan community about this situation, choosing to silence marginalised voices rather than heeding their concerns and criticism. Worryingly, this echoes with the growing numbers within the vegan community that have become openly bigoted and allowed to spread hate.
As a movement and a community, we need to be serious about how we strive towards animal liberation. If we have any hope of society taking the anti-speciesist position seriously we must be able to work alongside other social justice movements. Plain and simple.
The vegan community is growing every year, we must ensure that our community is welcoming and inclusive, that it’s no place for bigotry or hate. Go Vegan London, show our community and others that we can learn from mistakes and take responsibility for our actions. We are asking that you publicly apologise for silencing concerns of the community and change the name of your event.