Weekend Reading: Should we abandon the word/identity Vegan?

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Weekend Reading: Should we abandon the word/identity Vegan?

Non-vegan chef José Andrés runs a restaurant that serves exclusively plant based food.. but he doesn’t call it ‘Vegan’:

We shun the word ‘vegan’ because it comes with a lot of preconceived notions. They think there’s a bunch of stoned hippies back there listening to the Grateful Dead, stirring vegan chili and kale salads.

An interesting discussion is going on over at reddit provoked by a vegan’s concern that the label ‘vegan’ is undermining their potential for advocacy:

I’ve recently been considering whether labelling myself a vegan is setting up a barrier between myself and non-vegans; a barrier that means that they engage less with points I may make about animal rights, because the vegan dichotomy causes them to see that point as coming from The Other.

This article about labels within the LBGTQ community focuses on the importance of embracing the label Bisexual to solidify community… could these ideas apply to Vegans too?

A community cannot exist without a word to call itself. That’s just the pure and simple truth. Show me any community that has no name. You can’t do it.

Does the self prophecy effect lead people who identify as vegans to have a better chance of maintaining their integrity and continuing to make vegan choices? This study, published in the Journal of psychology in 2003, explores the use of self-prophecy in promoting moral behaviour.

Rebecca Fox is as likely to be found meditating and burning incense as she is in an academic library, and yet is a passionate atheist and a skeptic. Her artistic career is fuelled primarily by ingestion of soy lattes. Her artwork can be found at rebeccaonpaper.com. Her vegan and skeptical activism is fuelled by critical thinking and compassion.

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