A musician named Grimes' described by some sources (including herself) as a vegan, has caused a bit of a stir by posting a picture of herself holding a tub of icecream and declaring a 'one-day hiatus' from veganism. Suffice to say, this was not a situation in which the non-vegan food was standing between her and starvation, neither was she eating it at gunpoint. It was completely avoidable in all senses of the word. Unsurprisingly, vegans reacted.
Grimes' defence is, well, interesting.
First of all: 'Part of the reason I posted the ben and jerry’s thing is because I
like to encourage people towards a type of veganism that is inviting and
accepting. For the longest time I was vegan but I just wouldn’t say I
was because of the bad reputation of veganism. most of the vegans i know
are dogmatic assholes, and it completely turns people off.'
Now I'm no fan of being an arsehole (sorry, going to speak my native language here :p ) and have no illusion that all vegans are saints, but I also suspect that some of the 'dogmatism' going on here is a response to having an acquaintance who proudly proclaims 'hiatuses' and tries to 'encourage people to towards a type of veganism' that is, to be blunt, not vegan. I can't imagine any other moral decision where it is considered acceptable to go back on what you apparently believe in the name of being 'inviting and accepting'. In fact, I even struggle to think of a remotely plausible example for illustrative purposes, which is usually a dire situation for someone who teaches ethics. Sure, being an arsehole is offputting, but consistency shouldn't be.
I believe more people would be drawn to having more ethical diets if
they didn’t feel bullied to do so, or if they felt they were entering a
Sure, some vegans are perfectly capable of bullying, but they're not the majority. To a great extent the community is pretty welcoming to those who don't snap pictures of themselves with nonvegan food to make some faintly ridiculous point. But what really gets me about this statement is the idea that people would be 'drawn to having more ethical diets' if they didn't actually have to be more ethical. Defeating the purpose much?
And then we have this complete doozy: 'My brand of veganism is one wherein if your grandparents have no
idea what you are talking about then you eat their beef stew rather than
upset or confuse them. or if you really want to have cake with an egg
in it on the holidays then you have that rather than just not being a
vegan because you don’t want to give up occasionally having something
that you love.'
My brand of anti-racism is one wherein if your grandparents have no idea what you are talking about you join right in with their ill-informed prejudices and offensive language rather than upset or confuse them.** My belief in workers' rights encompasses the idea that I can occasionally stick a small child up my chimney if I really want it cleaned the old-fashioned way.*** And why should I give up shitting on my neighbour's lawn every once in a while, as opposed to not being a person who generally respects their neighbours because I don't want to give up occasionally doing something I love?**** Obviously being remotely consistent here would make me a dogmatic arsehole, because there are so many issues on which short-term personal gratification could override a moral stance...
*Sorry, I'm British, it is arse all the way unless in a direct quote
**Sarcasm, for those who have trouble picking it up.
****Sarcasm for the time being as I like the current neighbours*****
Stuff your Prejudice! This is sport
40 minutes ago