Add Feeds
Publisher Windows
Streaming Headlines
Streaming Windows

Log out

Social Connect

OR Log into your Account below
Want One? Create New Account
Email:
Password:
"Criticising" and “Shaming” are Not the Same Things

"Criticising" and “Shaming” are Not the Same Things

2015-10-18 
| by Roger Yates

Dr. Melanie Joy is best known in the animal advocacy movement for developing a concept that describes a sub-ideology of speciesism called “Carnism”.

 

She recently wrote a blog entry about “vegans shaming other vegans.” She was angered that a small non-violent protest occurred at the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg, where she was speaking along with colleagues Sebastian Zösch, the managing director of the German Vegetarian Association (VEBU), and Tobias Leenaert, founder of a government-funded vegetarian organisation in Belgium.

 

 

Two activists disrupted Zösch’s talk. One held up a banner reading: “Animal Rights NOT Animal Profit. VEBU: Effectively Wasting Veganism,” while another made an announcement about what many vegan advocates seem to think are problematic elements of VEBU’s activities. From what I can gather, the protest was entirely non-violent, although one source suggested that the body of a chicken had been thrown during the protest.

 

The activist’s main complaint seems to be that Zösch’s organisation is working with those they describe as the “worst animal exploiters.” I was subsequently sent this picture of a VEBU approved product which is 71% made from hens’ eggs.

 

 

Melanie Joy claims that this action amounted to “vegans shaming vegans” and called for the establishment of a “shame free culture.” She recognises something that is reflected in social movement theory: that discussion is important in social movements but urges that, “we approach our disagreements with curiosity and compassion.”

 

This all seems fairly reasonable – but I fear that Dr. Joy is confusing “shaming” with criticising and protesting. This action appeared to “fit” into the long tradition of non-violent direct action and, let’s not forget, it took place at the International Animal Rights Conference which is overwhelmingly vegan in orientation and is attended in the main by animal activists from all over Europe and beyond.

 

Rather than even being surprised by this protest and its alleged “shaming” content, perhaps the question is more fundamental: how appropriate is it that vegetarian organisations present at animal rights events? 

 

Melanie Joy, Mr. Zösch, and Mr. Leenaert are leading figures in an ongoing backlash against consistent veganism, criticising the concept of veganism being the “moral baseline” of the movement, trying to reduce the philosophy of veganism to a diet and, in the case of Zösch and Leenaert, being involved in a crude social construction of consistent vegan advocacy as the product of robotic people who may be mentally ill.

 

 

Given this context of the current backlash against the philosophy of veganism, perhaps the non-violent protest at Luxembourg was to be expected and, moreover, who is shaming whom?

Get Involved! If you have a great Vegan news feed, blog, podcast or video channel that you’d like us to include your focus on in the site, then please just contact us at info@vegfest.co.uk with details!






Post Comment
Join the conversation!Log in to leave a comment.

Latest News

from Vegfest UK

27/10/2019

7th annual vegan festival VegfestUK London attracted 13,500 attendees at Olympia London

The 7th annual vegan festival VegfestUK London drew to a glorious
26/10/2019

VegfestUK Awards 2019 – Full Results

VegfestUK hosted its own vegan Awards Ceremony on Saturday October
15/10/2019

pH Power of Health at VegfestUK London 2019

In this guest blog, the team from PH Power of Health talks about
01/10/2019

#ZeroWasteWeek: Biodegradable Vs Compostable

In this guest blog, sustainability specialist Madeleine Loveday at
27/09/2019

Vivo Life ambassadors to host panel discussions on optimising fitness on plant-based diets at VegfestUK London 2019

Exciting news for both fitness fanatics and those looking to get
25/09/2019

Geekstraveganza Board Games area at VegfestUK London 2019

This year’s VegfestUK London not only features a huge range of
25/09/2019

Premium organic vegan supplement producers Vivo Life sponsoring VegfestUK London 2019

Meet the Vivo Life team at this year’s London Vegfest! Our
23/09/2019

VegfestUK Awards return with 19 categories celebrating the best vegan products and projects in the UK

The VegfestUK Awards return for the 13th year running, with the aim
15/09/2019

Feel the PVLSE of your city

The VegfestUK organisers are delighted to announce that PVLSE, the
14/09/2019

BIOCANNA: Growing in an honest and sustainable way

In this guest blog, BIOCANNA, who is kindly sponsoring this year’s
13/09/2019

VGN hosts Climate Summit at VegfestUK London 2019

The imminence of climate change and global warming
10/09/2019

Feel the PVLSE of your city

The VegfestUK organisers are delighted to announce that PVLSE, the
09/09/2019

Huge array of globally inspired vegan cuisine awaits at VegfestUK London

VegfestUK events traditionally pride themselves on the calibre and
05/09/2019

Vegan Lifestyle and Wellbeing to be discussed at VegfestUK London 2019

How to ensure that our beauty products and clothes are ethically
03/09/2019

Premium organic vegan supplement producers Vivo Life sponsoring VegfestUK London 2019

Meet the Vivo Life team at this year’s London Vegfest! Our
23/08/2019

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE offer for tickets to VegfestUK London ending Aug 31st

Not long left before the BUY ONE GET ONE FREE ticket offer ends for
16/08/2019

Animal Rebellion summit planned for VegfestUK London Oct 26th 27th 2019

Animal Rebellion – a loose alliance of some 20 or so animal rights
14/08/2019

Dolma – Vegan and Cruelty Free Fragrances

In this guest blog, the team from Dolma Vegan Fragrances talk about
12/08/2019

The Art of Compassion Exhibition makes its return to VegfestUK London in support of Hunt Saboteurs Association

The VegfestUK team are delighted to welcome back The Art of
08/08/2019

BIOCANNA: Growing in an honest and sustainable way

In this guest blog, BIOCANNA, who is kindly sponsoring this year’s

About The Vegfest Express
Brought to you by Vegfest UK
Get the latest Vegan Recipes, Videos, Podcasts and News on Animals, Environment and Vegan Products, all curated by experts in the field. Want your blog or site featured on The Vegfest Express? Contact Us!
Contact Us
Follow Us