There are vegans of all shapes and sizes and without assigning any strange political label to a specific group of vegans, I will say this:
I believe it is possible to be a conservative and vegan, but support for this view can be hard to find within the larger vegan community. The good news is that the rise of conservative vegans is having a positive impact on the animal rights movement, as they are able to reach people who might not otherwise be open to the message. Here are the differences between them as I see it.
Veganism involves social and political change
Vegans often get labelled as liberals, mostly because of the antics displayed by vegan activists. Telling someone you are vegan may result with eye-rolling and “so, you’re one of THOSE people” type comments. At hello you are already branded a liberal because of those “crazy” vegan activists seen on TV.
No conservative vegan would ever remove their clothes, cover themselves in fake blood and make a public display of their message. No conservative vegan would stage a sit-in at their local grocer, ‘discouraging’ customers from buying milk and dairy products. However, Veganism involves social and even political change, not conservation making it hard for liberal vegans to understand a conservative approach. “For every minute we dally, another animal loses its life.” For some vegans who describe themselves as liberal vegans, no act is too drastic to further their cause and the more public the better. Conservative vegans may feel that this type of behavior only hurts the cause of veganism because it may send the wrong message and condemn all vegans as liberals. Here is an example of one vegan who leans to the right being labeled a ‘fake’ vegan.
Furthermore, the fact that some conservatives are vegan does not mean that veganism and animal rights groups can be called either conservative or liberal. Protecting animals is about changing laws and government regulation, not maintaining the status quo. Conservative vegans don’t have the power or influence to change anything because they take a back seat to activism preferring instead to quietly go about their vegan life, eliminating meat and dairy products, hoping their choices are felt where it hurts the most, reduced profits and tanking stock prices.
Vegan conservatives want change through education
Conservative vegans love animals too, it’s a major reason they became vegan in the first place but they take a much more lawful (conservative) approach toward protecting them. We have witnessed self-regulation in animal industries has had little impact but Is kidnapping a farmer’s pig while getting media attention the way to affect change? Maybe in the end that will be what it takes, but so far, the kidnapping of animals slated to be slaughtered for food only gets people arrested and fined.
Conservative vegans argue that the way to change is through proven science, logic and education but will that be enough to accomplish what liberal vegans insist upon? As I see it, liberal vegans want change NOW! No more animals killed to feed humans, period! Conservative vegans make their views known simply by not consuming animal products which they hope will have an impact economically. Which one will make the most impact in getting the meatheads to change their ways?
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