Thoughts on Elite Veganism

I’m still working through a lot of these thoughts on White/Elite veganism as you can probably see on my other post about controversial vegan opinions. I’m spending less time on social media, especially twitter, these days but every time I pop on to see what’s new, I see the same old crap from white/elite vegans.

(Disclaimer: I’m white)

I saw a tweeted tiktok of a white woman yelling at non-vegans for not “doing their best”. Now, on the surface, I agree with her. People who are able to and have the resources not even trying really gets under my skin like nothing else. Not just talking about diet here, but just life in general. HOWEVER this lady seems the exact same sort that when someone does try to go vegan, she’s yelling at them that they’re doing it all wrong. They didn’t go vegan overnight. They didn’t throw out everything they own that’s leather. They didn’t watch the correct documentary. They are still friends with non-vegans. They aren’t vegan enough because they don’t post animal cruelty photos 24/7. Blah blah blah… no matter what you’re doing, it’s wrong because they are the vegan elite and you’ll never match up.

Which reminds me of how I saw some vegans complaining about some half veggie/half meat burger patties. Now, I wouldn’t buy them now BUT there was a time when I probably would have. No, it’s not vegan but some folks are trying to do better FOR FUCKS SAKE. Maybe they are just trying to eat healthier. Maybe they are curious about transitioning to being vegan. Who knows? The result is there’s only half the meat in each of those packages. That’s not nothing.

It must have been about a year ago when someone made the infamous $36 per serving vegan chili. It was funny because it was so absurd. But if you have literally nothing – no pots, pans, spices, utensils, etc. like if you were poor or just getting started living on your own, it’s not that out there. I recall a Christmas where I decided I was going to make food treats for gifts and we must have spent $200 at the store because we didn’t have ingredients in a well-stocked pantry or many tools to cook with. I had instant regrets and wished we’d used some of the money and time to just buy gifts. Anyway, if you have to buy every ingredient for a recipe, it’s going to cost way more than going out to eat. Vegans will yell at how affordable food can be, and the example always given is beans and rice. Now, I love beans and rice and maybe some folks will love eating that every day, but you probably will want some spices for it. Or some Beyond Brats with it. More likely you’re going to want variety and also some convenience and comfort foods. I’m guilty of advocating for veganism being affordable and I try to post recipes that don’t require a lot of kitchen tools or a ton of expensive spices that you’d only use rarely.

And not only that, but cooking requires time and energy and I try to keep that in mind here. There are days when I look forward to cooking but I still find myself in a rut where I loathe having to make dinner again. We don’t have the option of take-out or going out to eat or even many of the convenience foods. Add in food allergies and it’s definitely a challenge. Not impossible, but I realize that I have the privilege of having a well-stocked pantry, a lot of kitchen tools, knowledge and cookbooks, and time. I don’t have the time or energy to take a lot of pinterest-worthy photos but in general, I have time to make dinner because I am home.

I try to seek out Black and POC vegans on twitter and YouTube and take what they say to heart. Some of what they are saying isn’t easy to hear. A lot of Black vegans want white vegans to shut it and you know what? I agree. White people are ruining veganism. Every time I see someone policing veganism or labeling vegan “apologists”, it never fails to be a white person. I don’t know how many people you are going to reach by yelling at everyone who is trying to be vegan that they are failing. And the people that aren’t trying either can’t for whatever reason or they just don’t want to and you aren’t going to reach the latter group because they just aren’t going to right now or maybe ever. I know it’s cool these days and makes you feel awesome to tear people down, but how much good is it doing? I realize there are entire vegan youtube accounts that have made names for themselves by tearing down other vegans.

Anyway, I guess we need to spend more time listening and learning and less time trying to be Karens and policing the vegan community.