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Vegan SXSW party?
Moniker Posted at 2007/03/09 2:59pm reply to

Moniker
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AAM and Brooklyn Vegan Present
Who: Mew, Matt and Kim, O Death, Rock Plaza Central, Rob Crow, Hella, Best Fwends, Golden Bear, New Violators, Cloud Cult, Brothers and Sisters, The Finches, Fucked Up, and The Twilight Sad
Where: Scoot Inn, 1308 E. Fourth
When: Thursday, March 15
Time: Noon-6pm
Details: Free

www.austinist.com
jen Posted at 2007/03/09 3:12pm reply to

jen
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i LOVE mew!  any idea what time they'd be playing?  I have to work but may be able to get there towards the end.  

jeff Posted at 2007/03/09 3:44pm reply to

jeff
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Yeah, I noticed brooklynvegan.com years ago when I lived there.  It is really a meticulous music news blog run by a vegan, and seems to often get the scoop on SXSW info and get quoted on other major sites.  It's not really about veganism--apparently just run by a vegan music industry insider in Brooklyn.

But hopefully the party will have some vegan snacks?!
Cristen Posted at 2007/03/19 12:49am reply to

Cristen
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I was there. Nope. There was a vegetable tray and peanut butter. The rest was cheese, roast beef, white bread, and non-vegan cupcake things.
Ross Posted at 2007/03/19 7:40am reply to

Ross
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that's so lame.
Jacob Posted at 2007/03/19 12:51pm reply to

Jacob
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but I guess it's ok.... I mean.. since we all drive tires
jeff Posted at 2007/03/19 2:45pm reply to

jeff
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>but I guess it's ok.... I mean.. since we all drive tires


After the dialogue we all had, I can't let this unspecified dig pass.  If there are more issues or feelings to air I think doing it directly is healthier.  

Everyone agrees that meat should never be bought, especially for a party co-sponsored by a group with the word 'vegan' in it!  But to reference this to parody the pragmatic views (about used wool, etc.) expressed by several of us in the "transitioning" thread is counterproductive in my opinion.

If people can't agree to disagree, then we should keep the discussion going rather than make scattered digs.  If it means naming everyone you think is hypocritical or unvegan, exactly why they are and others aren't, and how they should be treated as a result, at least that would be direct.

I know we all like each other and have a lot of fun together.  But if you need to speak your mind, you should not hold back or make quips you don't acknowledge as judgments.
Gabriel Posted at 2007/03/19 7:09pm reply to

Gabriel
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Jeff,

I find it interesting that you couldn't let this pass, but not other "digs" like "there's a real battle happening on these boards and you gots to take sides, sister.  the true vegans are coming forward and leaving behind the rest of us hypocrites to wallow in our tubs of animal fat." or "there just isn't enough extremism and disagreement on the boards these days."  Those are just from one thread that had nothing to even do with the subject, where someone chose to indirectly fling crap at people who were saying that vegans shouldn't use ANY avoidable animal products.  Could it be that you chose to respond here because this particular comment (Jacob's) was taking issue with what you consider to be a pragmatic view?  Why are others allowed to make comments via sarcasm that is directly insulting to others on the board?  I see it on here all the time, but it seems that you chose to call out only the view that dissented with your own perspective.  Are you really calling Jacob out on his method, or is this another means of discounting his point of view?

I could write volumes about why using avoidable animal products (new or used) is not vegan and is not pragmatic if we're concerned with animal suffering, but I've refrained thus far from commenting on the "transitioning" thread.  The reason is that people take offense when their identity is called into question. Regardless, people need to take a step back and consider that they are actually doing harm by identifying themselves as vegan when they aren't quite there yet.  I need to post about this at some point, but I was waiting for the fervor to die down.  

When we formed this group, we made it a group where vegans could have a safe haven to have fun and meet like-minded individuals.  And, people who were wanting to become vegan could have a place to see what vegans were like and learn about veganism in a fun way.  But, what is disturbing to me is that I am seeing a lot of people profess to be vegan while still in the stage of transitioning.  I think this makes our cause seem inconsistent and makes us look wishy-washy.  Don't get me wrong.  I understand transitioning, and I think it is an important thing for those who aren't yet able to go 100% vegan.  But when you are in this stage, it is not accurate to refer to yourself as vegan just as it is not accurate for someone who has not cut out chicken and/or fish to refer to himself as vegetarian.  Do I think that someone who is almost-vegan is the same as a meat-eater?  Absolutely not.  I would be happy if there were more almost-vegan people in the world, but they would still not be vegan.  

People come to our website to learn about veganism, even though that's not its primary purpose.  Let's not give them inaccurate information about what veganism is.  Instead of a meaningless label for the masses, veganism should continue to reflect an uncompromising* approach to a cruelty-free lifestyle.  It's really not that hard to never use avoidable animal products.  

*By uncompromising, I mean that which we can avoid.  I realize that there are many things in all of our lives that involve animal products, but I don't think that gives us an excuse to include more animal products in our lives.  That's what I hate about the whole tire argument.  I actually know where that first originated in the vegan movement.  Jay Dinshah, the late founder of the American Vegan Society, was the first to talk about tires not being vegan.  He, however, didn't use that as a means of excusing non-vegan behaviors but rather as a way of remembering that there are some things that we can't practically avoid.  I knew Jay well enough to know that what he thought about secondhand animal products.  They were still products of animal suffering, and purchasing them only allowed for increased demand of animal suffering since others who would have purchased them would now go for new animal products.

I think the way that Jacob wrote this was well-intentioned and made a good point.  He was trying to illustrate what it looks like when people use the tire argument to justify behavior that is not vegan.  And, I am glad that he wrote it.
jeff Posted at 2007/03/19 8:28pm reply to

jeff
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Gabe,

I haven't even seen the first quote you mentioned.  The second one does not necessarily seem pointed in one direction, but regardless, those are not my words.  Of course, my response to Jacob's comment was based on the viewpoint as well as the method of expression.

I do think that going off about transitioning vegans as hypocrites or calling their well-intentioned actions 'bullshit' is hurtful to the cause, the group and the individuals involved.  I have seen too many people turned away from the group.  I've spoken with and read here about a number of people who were made to feel unwelcome for this reason.  Some were veg folks who felt interrogated when group members asked them first thing after meeting, "Are you vegan?".  I used to be more blunt about those things myself, but I've been learning how judged people feel in these situations.  I don't think the group should just be a safe space for 'true' vegans.

I think making people who are already moving away from the omnivorous diet (that 98% of the country eats) feel unwelcome is way more damaging than any appearance of wishy-washiness.  I am more concerned about people's feelings and minimizing the demand for animal products than protecting the definition of the word vegan.  I know you feel its dilution is dangerous, and I respect that concern, but I think in the scheme of things pushing away the semi-converted is more dangerous than not seeming bulletproof to people who are just looking to criticize and justify their meat eating.

As far as the tire thing, we all know it is not isolated--who doesn't buy cotton, or plywood, or photo paper, which were made with dead animals, or for that matter pay taxes which subsidize factory farming (and the murder of Iraqis)?  I think we all agree it is worth trying our best to minimize the suffering our lifestyles cause, but it flies in the face of logic to talk about anyone in this world being truly vegan.  We can't admit there are gray areas or little non-vegan things we all do, then make a leap of reasoning that entitles some of us to call ourselves VEGAN.  Talking about veganism and anything but in absolute terms is comforting in a binary, George W way [he stole the elections cuz people like his "moral certainty"] but it is a false dichotomy.

No one is trying to excuse non-vegan behaviors.  I think we should just look at people as people and not as shared labels whose protection is more important than the label-carrier's feelings.   And I think it is utterly pointless to debate who deserves the label vegan, when it really is a goal and a process, not a possibility in this lifetime.  Admitting that is not tantamount to accepting apathy, and it doesn't negate the struggle--it's just being human.  

  
jen Posted at 2007/03/20 8:53am reply to

jen
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i'd be really curious to hear the definition of "avoidable".

so i can't speak for jeff, but the reason jacob's comment rubbed me the wrong way is i'm just tired of it.  i know the stuff i deal with on a daily basis....the awkward moments when someone i hardly know offers me a cookie and no thank you is just not good enough, when i look down at my payless shoes and think "how ugly", when i order my meal without cheese and lo and behold it arrives with cheese, etc.  this is stuff we all deal with on a daily basis...this group should be the ONE place i don't feel judged and the one place i don't have to deal with self righteousness.

i have to say i have met some AMAZING people in this group who have become great friends. warm, loving, individuals who have SO much to offer to the vegan community.  i fear that those new to the group might be really intimidated and turned off by some of the stuff posted here.  while i do believe this is a place to share your thoughts, feelings, etc. uninhibited, when your comment is judging another vegan just because your opinion is different then theirs it can't help but get personal.

one last thought about the tire argument.  i don't think anyone on here is using it to justify unvegan actions, but more as a way to say "hey...none of us are totally 100% vegan".  
mattabo71 Posted at 2007/03/20 10:41am reply to

mattabo71
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"this group should be the ONE place i don't feel judged and the one place i don't have to deal with self righteousness.

when your comment is judging another vegan just because your opinion is different then theirs it can't help but get personal. "


Don't you think Jacob and Gabe are feeling like they've been "judged" right about now?
My point being - there is no safe place where people aren't judging one another - -and if you want these boards to be open and honest, you will see things that piss you off - and things that you will judge as too extreme, or hurtful to the vegan community - -but that is the nature of open discussion, and I welcome it because I think these differing opinions can help people better figure out where they stand. I think it is possible to not take these converstions personally, but it seems like many are having a hard time doing that.
chris Posted at 2007/03/20 11:27am reply to

chris
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sure, open discussion CAN be positive.  

but this is a club and forum for vegans.  gabe and jacob are in effect telling the majority that they are NOT vegan.  which can easily be interpreted as "you are not vegan so you do not belong in a vegan club and are not welcome here".  that's how things become personal.  

discussion and opinions should be exchanged between vegans, but telling someone they aren't pure enough to belong here is self-righteous, extremist, and exclusionary.  i've had one-on-one conversations with most people in this group about how far they take their veganism.  it turns out i've actually made my way to the extreme end of the spectrum, but i'm okay with other people's choices.  

it would be a 1-person group if we followed the reasoning described in the previous posts.  and i guarantee we could find a vegan somewhere who thinks it is practical to give up travel on tires or who wouldn't eat any mechanically-farmed vegetables because the machines accidentally kill animals and would argue that gabe isn't actually vegan.  this shit is all relative and absolutism can only isolate yourself and decrease your positive influence in the world of veganism.  look at matt and ross who were also there at the beginning of this group.  their inclusiveness and positivity has influenced a lot people (myself included) to increase their vegan lifestyle, which has probably saved many more animals than extremism and non-participation.

jen Posted at 2007/03/20 12:54pm reply to

jen
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how did a thread with "party" in the title get so crazy? :-)

chris said everything i was thinking.  as a side note, i'm not taking any of this personally.  in fact i'm quite comfortable in my veganism.  i'm just tired of this going back and forth.  i realize i could ignore it, but that's not my personality.  
mattabo71 Posted at 2007/03/20 2:56pm reply to

mattabo71
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>how did a thread with "party" in the title get so crazy? :-)
>

word


>chris said everything i was thinking.  as a side note, i'm not taking any of this personally.  in fact i'm quite comfortable in my veganism.  i'm just tired of this going back and forth.  i realize i could ignore it, but that's not my personality.  

I'm glad you don't just ignore it - I love hearing everyone's opinions - and keeping the dialogue open. If it weren't for this crazy thread, we wouldn't have had a chance to hear jeff talk about non-poo issues.
jeff Posted at 2007/03/20 3:26pm reply to

jeff
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>If it weren't for this crazy thread, we wouldn't have had a chance to hear jeff talk about non-poo issues.

Hey, don't pooh-pooh my usual issues!  awesome
. Posted at 2007/03/21 8:28pm reply to

.
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jeff Posted at 2007/03/21 10:34pm reply to

jeff
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Thanks for sharing your thoughtful post Heidi.  I don't want anyone to hesitate to express views that may not be in the majority, but I know it can be tough to do so.  Let me share some personal thoughts.

I admit I did in my more militant days feel disgust/disheartenment at seeing veg people, much less vegans, wearing leather and such.  I don't reject any of the principles you mention and I don't violate them if I can help it at all.  But I do, once a year or so, go bowling with colleagues and wear cow skin shoes for an hour or so, for instance.  None of these meat-eating colleagues even give it a thought.  That's just an example of the sort of thing that being judged for would be absurd in my view.  

There have been statements in some conversations that even such things with no discernable impact on the demand for animal products are impure and unethical acts.  To have that vibe being sent out concerns me more for those new to the board or curious about veganism, because it creates the sense that veganism is about almost superstitious symbolic avoidances and that vegans are in a constant state of distressed vigilance about how anything enjoyable in life might harm animals.

Let me give a personal example of how this can be upsetting.  I was taken aback soon after I joined the site last spring, by a mesage in a thread where me and one other person supported throwing (vegan) pies as an act of protest.  Gabe said to this "what seems comical to some is an affront to those of us committed to living in our lives in a totally vegan way."  Although he said that it wasn't directed at anyone, I honestly think it was a really untactful, even hostile statement that is reasonably inferred as saying that anyone who supports this PETA-style tactic is trivial, and not really vegan.  While his objection is a non-sequitir to me and does not affect my 'vegan self-image', I think that is the kind of communication and attitude that many people are turned off by.

I know you and Gabe have enriched the group (especially through great cooking!) and a lot of the people in it.  I agree it is good for all of us to be exposed to new ways to minimize animal suffering, and to people who make choices we may not have considered.  But people are going to be rightfully upset if they feel like their right to belong in this group is being called into question.

Nobody is saying that just anyone should feel free to call themselves vegan, and I think charicatures about meat-eating vegans that have been made are willfully oversimplified.  I know that everyone I've met in this group is sincere in striving not to hurt animals.  Case in point: If Peter wears some used wool or leather, I'm not goint to tell him he's not vegan.  I know what a sincere person he is, and I know that he has been thoughtful in weighing the values of consumerism, spending money, animal suffering, appearance of contradictions, etc.  If he's an example of a vegan, I'm would be glad for the average citizen to meet him and see how deeply conscientious he is.  I think we have to respect other people's decisions and not just assume they were made out of ignorance or laziness.

Anyway, I'm glad we are getting to have this dialogue.  Sorry if people are sick of hearing my ramblings!  I'm sure others have thoughts to share.
Gabriel Posted at 2007/03/21 10:44pm reply to

Gabriel
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Jeff, did you read everything that I wrote about the pies?  I was talking about non-vegan pies.  I don't agree with the tactic even with vegan pies, but I was talking primarily about the non-vegan pies.  I remember that you reacted strongly in the original thread and ending up seriously editing what you wrote (i.e. deleting most of it) when you understood me a little more clearly....or so I thought....

Please read the whole thing:

"I don't have a whole lot to add here, but I do want to express my total agreement with Kayla.  Throwing a cream pie in someone's face is a bit ridiculous and seems like it could actually set a cause back rather than move it forward.  In addition, as a vegan, I would not champion a method that uses something that isn't vegan.  I seriously doubt that these pies were vegan.  Aside from the obvious cruelty involved in the animal products, can you imagine how it would feel if someone who disagreed with our actions threw something like that our faces?  I can tell you that I would be livid and would consider taking some legal action, since that would be a violation of my principles and an inherently violent act.  What seems comical to some is an affront to those of us committed to living our lives in a totally vegan way."
Ross Posted at 2007/03/21 10:47pm reply to

Ross
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To Heidi-

For one thing, I don't think there was a consensus on really any of those particular issues. I certainly don't remember people actually promoting the use of animals in entertainment, but merely talking about it. I remember thinking that it was good that the piglets in Charlotte's web were taken to a sanctuary, but then you pointed out that they had to be taken from their mothers in the first place, and I realized the error in my thought process, and I let it be known.

And I still don't agree with some people about it being okay to eat/wear animal products while being vegan, and while there are certainly people who don't agree with me, I don't feel like everyone's being made to feel that they have to think the same thing. So I don't see the board or group descending in such a manner.
jeff Posted at 2007/03/21 11:08pm reply to

jeff
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Gabe,

I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt and not cause tension among a group of new friends so I retracted part of my reply.  I think you assumed that we were approving of real cream pies, which as I mentioned, from working at PETA for 2 years, they are not.  I just think you shouldn't rush to judgment about people's intentions or awareness of the vegan-ness of their behavior.  It's the tone of incredulousness over others' authenticity or dedication, which I later realized was used by a few people with some regularity, that troubled me.

That's just a preference, but I know some others feel same way.
Gabriel Posted at 2007/03/21 11:22pm reply to

Gabriel
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No point in going back and forth on the pie thing.  I'll let people read the thread themselves to see what I was actually saying:

http://veganaustin.org/topic.php?id=652
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