Why this blog doesn’t tell you to go vegan

Most vegan blogs show you how to prepare vegan food. The rest describe animal abuse and then urge you to go vegan. I’ll eventually write about why this is not a food blog; today, I’ll explain why you’ll never read „go vegan!“ on this site.

Simply put, a blog is the wrong forum for convincing people that we’re abusing animals or pleading them to go vegan. Readers of vegan blogs tend to already be vegan, and those we would most like to persuade to go vegan do not read vegan blogs. The internet allows you to select which information you want to expose yourself to even more than other platforms. Political advocates can never force anyone to listen, but not reading vegan blogs is much easier than not seeing a poster on the street or walking away from a conversation.

Basically, I don’t use this blog to convince you speciesism is a problem because I assume you already know. Instead, I take speciesism as a given and veganism as a norm. To me, it is obvious that speciesism governs our coexistence with most other lives and that using other living beings is always exploitation, no matter how well you treat them. Once you realize this, arguments for veganism become superfluous.

This superfluity is my jumping-off point as a writer. It gives me the freedom to not have to showcase every way we abuse animals or to rehash every "go vegan" argument. Instead, I can explore the nuances of anti-speciesism and the moral and social challenges of being vegan when the world is not. I get to practice variants of my vegan arguments by applying them to all kinds of situations without ever having to go far afield and justify my premise—that speciesism exists and is untenable, and veganism is the only solution.

Something Carol J. Adams said about The Sexual Politics of Meat the other day rang true with me and reminded me of how I myself approach writing about veganism:

The other thing I think I did, was that by presuming the normativeness of vegetarianism and veganism, I didn't have to make all the arguments. I had read so many books and they were predictable, "this is the moral reason why we shouldn't eat animals, this is the health reason, this is the environmental reason." It seemed to only operate on one level. I wanted to take those reasons but presume them, and then (…) illuminate them but not resort to arguments for them.

Some may think waiving the opportunity to tell people to go vegan frivolous. But I really believe this blog is not that kind of opportunity, and so I didn’t waste it. It feels good to have a space to talk about the questions that actually occupy me. I never think about whether or why I should be vegan, yet this is all I get to talk about when speaking with non-vegans about my veganism. This blog should not be the place where I have to discuss the questions I find easy—although straightforward advocacy obviously has its place elsewhere in day-to-day life. I’d rather discuss the things actually on my mind: questions I haven’t yet been able to answer; ways in which I fall short of my own expectations; issues on which I have changed my mind over time; or interactions with non-vegans and vegans that startled me in some way.

As vegans, we’re often forced to argue why the world is speciesist. Given how I’ve based my whole life on this premise, it may be surprising that I hardly ever think about this. But the thing is, it has ceased being a question to me. With non-vegans we should discuss these issues that are no longer questions on our minds; amongst other vegans we should focus on those things which have not yet turned into premises.