Monday, May 19, 2008

To the Preachy Vegan Assholes Who Left a Post-It on My Vegan Bumper-Sticker That Said 'Nice Leather Seats':

When I parked behind your car for the Hessler Street Fair and saw your vegan bumper stickers, my face lit up with that "Yay, a vegan" joyfulness we all feel when we happen to bump into another vegan. When I returned a short while later to see a post-it on my bumper sticker, I thought to myself, "Yay! I bet the vegan put a cute 'Yay, a vegan'-type note on my bumper!" But my geekiness immediately deflated when I saw that it was, of all things, a snarky bullshit note that you had left instead.

First off, my seats are not leather. And if you weren't the kind of judgmental, holier-than-thou prick that gives us vegans a bad name, you might've actually paused for a second to consider that before spewing forth your Hello-Kitty post-it preachiness. I don't wear leather. I don't buy leather. Unfortunately the seats are (apparently) a very convincing faux leather. Which was of course not my goal in BUYING the car. But sometimes, when a used car is in your price range, you try to make the best of the situation. So fuck you.

Secondly, you need a serious vegan posse to round you up and kick your motherf-ing ass. As a vegan, it's hard enough putting up with some meat-eaters' bullshit need to jam their two cents down our throats. We don't need it coming from people who are SUPPOSEDLY ON OUR SIDE. I mean, wtf. The #1 misconception us vegans have to deal with is that we're all preachy. And most of us AREN'T. So it pisses me off to have someone like you reinforcing this bullshit stereotype. And not even by proselytizing to meat-eaters, but by getting all holier-than-thou WITH ANOTHER VEGAN.

I truly hope you happen to be a reader of this blog, because you should be ashamed of yourself, and I am furious at the fact that you didn't leave me the opportunity tell you that to your face. Yes, it bothers me to occasionally see a vegan being inconsistent with their beliefs, mostly because they (unfortunately) stand in as representatives of something I believe in, so when they're NOT being consistent, then it gives ALL us vegans a bad name. BUT 1) I give people the benefit of the doubt. Change does not come through always assuming the worst in people. Change comes from hope. And hope is not rooted in cynicism. And 2) that's where open dialogue comes in. If you see something that you have issues with, you open a dialogue about it. This is how change is brought about--from both parties listening to what each one has to say, from the old 'back-and-forth' exchange of ideas. This is how people educate, change, cause a revolution. The exact opposite, the wrench in the machine, the bullshit rhetoric that turns people's faces to unresponsive stone, is one-sided preachiness.

Do you really think that leaving a snarky note on, say, a meat-eater's car about eating vegan would have even the REMOTEST chance in hell of convincing them to do so? Do you really think they'd read a bitchy note criticizing them and say, "Man, this assholey sarcastic vegan rhetoric sure has got ME convinced, yessirree!" No. All that this bullshit rhetoric does is piss them off and leave them crumpling up the note in their fist and moving on with their day. And rightfully so.

Criticism needs to be constructive. Criticism needs to come in the form of a dialogue. As soon as you get up on the pulpit and start pounding your fists and hollering, you've lost everyone. You really need to rethink your way of addressing the topic of veganism and of how you choose to represent the rest of us vegans.

And even more bothersome to me is that you're standing on your pulpit, banging your fists AT SOMEONE WHO'S ALREADY ON YOUR SIDE. In-fighting only helps make a cause crumble. What the fuck is the point? Vegans get enough crap from everyone else, so why add to it by picking at other vegans just so you can feel like you're one rung higher than everyone else? Hopefully you're not vegan just to make yourself feel more righteous than everyone else, so why use your veganism as a weapon against your own? The only way we can make a change as a community is through unity, not division. As soon as you start sitting around judging people, measuring out whether you're better than someone else just because you eat less cheese, you've missed the point. Fuck yeah, veganism is a good thing. Fuck yeah, meat-eating sucks. But you know what? Most of us were meat-eaters at some point. We're all human. We all err. We all have the capacity to learn and grow. And it surely wasn't a snarky assholey vegan that brought us over to the other side. And it's surely not snarky assholey vegans that will keep us there.

Perhaps this letter sounds preachy as well. I don't mean it to. But you gave me no option of opening a dialogue with you. And my ranting and raving is borne out of a genuine concern, not just some snarky desire to show that I'm better than someone else. And it's borne out of anger, a non-constructive anger that consumed most of my evening yesterday, thanks to you, and which I'm trying to now transform into something useful. I'm not perfect. So I would never DEIGN to snarkily call someone out on their imperfections when I don't know thing one about them. We're all human. We're all imperfect. And none of us likes to be preached at and told that we're wrong and that we're bad people. Because, regardless of who we are and our occasional bad errors in judgment, most of us AREN'T bad people. So seriously: if you want to be useful as a vegan, if you want to actually help MAKE a change, ditch that bullshit rhetoric, dude, and grow up.

Lindy Loo


Anonymous said...

How do you know it was the people from the car in front of you who left the note? I've never, ever heard "nice leather" (which I don't wear) from a vegan, but I've heard it plenty from ominis.

Anastasia said...

This is the greatest blog entry I have ever read. Kudos to you for addressing the supercilious attitude that many vegans seem to have.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I mean, big coincidence, but it could have been a passing omnivore. For one thing, many vegans would not call animal skin 'leather'...maybe it's time for an 'it's pleather!' bumper sticker/badge...? ;)

Anonymous said...

I hate vegans. They're the worse people to go out to eat with.

Anonymous said...

Vegans are losers. I guess it is easier to grandstand about food instead of actually getting a life.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you all suck.

Anonymous said...

Well Said Lindy Loo! Why would we want to fight one another? There is enough grief out there without the in-fighting that results from people one-upping each other. Personally, I have gotten a lot further with humor than putting people down. And who needs more CRAP in your life?

I Love you site, your writing and your insights. Thank you for what you do!