[Image: Section from a panel of a Robot Hugs comic. Words at the top read “No one benefits from being told that their pain is unimportant, or non existant [sic]!” Below the words is a scale with a lighter weight reading “Not Harm” and a heavier weight reading “Harm.”]
This post is addressed to vegans who are marginalized due to their race, gender, class, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities, or other factors. This post primarily concerns vegans currently living in the USA.
In light of certain animal rights disruptions in the news, you might be feeling pressured to “do something” for the animals. You might be reading that having vegan potlucks and the like without committing to activism is being selfish and ineffective. You might be reading that our fellow animals suffer more than any humans do, so whatever your personal situation, you have a responsibility to fight for animal rights.
You might be hearing this from any or all of the following:
- White vegans who do not understand or fully appreciate the impact of racism, especially when it comes to the police.
- White-passing and non-black vegans of color who do not understand or fully appreciate the unique history and impact of anti-black racism in the USA.
- Cisgender vegans who do not face life-threatening situations when using gendered facilities or risking possible arrest and imprisonment with people of a different sex.
- Vegan men who encourage women to use sex appeal “for the animals” under the rationale of “empowerment.”
- Able-bodied vegans who face no obstacles walking at a “normal” pace and standing for long periods of time.
- Neurotypical vegans who do not understand or appreciate the devastating impact of depression.
The list goes on and on, but you get the picture.
As a queer black trans vegan who suffers from significant depression and dysphoria, I am here to tell you this:
You are enough.
You are enough if all you can do is have a vegan potluck.
You are enough if all you can do is buy prepared vegan meals from a non-vegan restaurant or supermarket.
You are enough if all you can do is share photos of farmed animals on social media.
You are enough if all you can do is cuddle with your companion animals.
You are enough if all you can do is get out of bed in the morning.
If you can do more than this, great. But the fact that some marginalized vegans are able to be activists for the animals does not obligate you to do so.
It’s a violent world out there. Let’s take care of each other.