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Welcome to the Weekly Debate Post.

As a reminder, anyone (vegan or non-vegan) is welcome to participate in posts tagged as "Debate Thread". However, we do appreciate everyone being respectful and coming to the discussion with the goal of education and collaboration.

That Vegan Teacher has created a stir on social media (especially TikTok) with her confrontational activism. She had a huge following on TikTok (1.6m followers) before she was banned last week. The cause of her ban hasn't been made public, but she has said a lot of controversial things and had interactions with some pretty big name celebrities (Gordon Ramsey, most recently).

I think this prompts an interesting question, and one that comes up often in vegan activism. Is That Vegan Teacher helping or harming to the vegan movement? What do you think about some of her controversial statements, such as saying "Coming out as a vegan animal rights activist...is much more special than it is to come out as a member of the LGBTQ community" or comparing animal slaughter to the holocaust?

Welcome to the Weekly Debate Post. As a reminder, anyone (vegan or non-vegan) is welcome to participate in posts tagged as "Debate Thread". However, we do appreciate everyone being respectful and coming to the discussion with the goal of education and collaboration. That Vegan Teacher has created a stir on social media (especially TikTok) with her confrontational activism. She had a huge following on TikTok (1.6m followers) before she was banned last week. The cause of her ban hasn't been made public, but she has said a lot of controversial things and had interactions with some pretty big name celebrities (Gordon Ramsey, most recently). I think this prompts an interesting question, and one that comes up often in vegan activism. Is That Vegan Teacher helping or harming to the vegan movement? What do you think about some of her controversial statements, such as saying "Coming out as a vegan animal rights activist...is much more special than it is to come out as a member of the LGBTQ community" or comparing animal slaughter to the holocaust?

5 comments

[–] mathwitch 4 points (+5|-1)

I had never heard of her before this post. I generally avoid online personalities who center themselves around being vegan. The quotation you included is completely wrong-headed!

Coming out as a vegan animal rights activist...is much more special than it is to come out as a member of the LGBTQ community

Veganism or animal rights activism are things you do, not inherent identities. If they're important to you, share them, but if someone disagrees with you, that's not an attack on your identity.

Speaking to your larger point, I am generally much more supportive of activists who focus on spreading information about modern slaughter facilities and practices (which are not only horrific for the animals but also for the human workers) or who focus on advertising what variety there is for nutritious vegan food or vegan products. Maybe I'm brainwashed by having many close family members who eat meat, but I always regard success as people eating less meat or consuming fewer products tested on animals or using animal by-products.

[–] Craywo 1 points (+2|-1)

The bubble of people who know of her are likely to be already vegan or people who deliberately seek out vegan activists to be mad at. It doesn't appear to me that she did anything to further the wellbeing of animals apart from being vegan herself.

As she can be held up as an example of the "extreme vegan activist" that's so often used as a straw man against vegans, I think she does/did more harm than good. Being confrontational and accusing is unlikely to lead to a change of mind and especially not in behavior. If it worked like that, we'd all be slim, active, vegan non-smokers, wouldn't we?

Disclaimer: I'm not vegan, I eat plant-based, but that doesn't have the same ethical considerations to it as being vegan. Additionally, I am German, so comparing the consumption of animal products to the Holocaust (which she did) is a sensitive topic for me. It has been ruled in our courts that comparing abortion providers to the Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust is not allowed, and if someone took it to court, I'd wager the comparison of animal husbandry to the Holocaust would be banned, too.

[–] lilSealGirl 1 points (+3|-2)

That Vegan Teacher is not affecting anything. She probably will affirm already very biased individuals. I'm an ex-vegan thought still mostly plant based. I've heard things like this said for years. I don't think people who are already opened minded about veganism care that much.

I think there are some very bigoted people against veganism. It probably can feel similar to what an LGB person could experience. Telling people I was bi was met with less harassment than telling them I'm vegan. People take eating as seriously as sex in some cultures.

[–] MadameOvary 1 points (+2|-1)

I had never heard of her before, but the examples provided suggest I would find her annoying. However, there is no such thing as The Right Way To Be A Vegan Activist. Different people need different messages, and maybe her type appeals to some people in ways some other types of activism wouldn't.

As a rule, I am always suspicious of celebrity vegans. If somebody has a platform and they use it to raise awareness, that's great. But there is always the danger that it is just a trendy lifestyle choice for them and in the next minute they will be onto something else. Then what?