There is no room for racism within veganism

Earlier this year, one of the vegan activists for whom I had most respect, resigned from animal advocacy. A woman of colour, she had been subjected to (and witnessed) an intolerable amount of racism within the vegan movement.

It is vital that vegans reject racism. Not only is it abhorrent, and inconsistent with the anti-oppression rationale of our movement, but it's also counter-productive. While some perversely claim that we need to tolerate fascists within our movement to help its growth(!), this clearly does more harm than good - alienating members of marginalised groups before we even have the opportunity to present the merits of our cause.

So it is not enough that we reject racism in ourselves, we must also avoid giving a platform to racists, raise our objections with those that do, and withhold our support if they continue. Whether we are organising, attending, sponsoring, promoting, or otherwise participating in events, we need to ensure that we are not empowering racists, and lending them our credibility.

Obviously, we need to do likewise for xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, cissexism (transphobia), sexualism (homophobia), ableism, classism, ageism, and speciesism. (And we need to act similarly before we lend our support to individuals and organisations.)

We all need to take responsibility for checking that those we support do not hold (or provide a platform for) toxic views that undermine the ethics of our movement, and inhibit its growth. And for holding them to account when they do.

Only then, can we drive fascism out of veganism, refute the common perception that veganism is "a middle-class white thing", reclaim our movement as a just and ethical one, and grow it well beyond its current, self-imposed boundaries.

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