- Owen Gunden
On terminology: liberationism
Updated: Aug 4, 2022
As activists, we often debate whether veganism is a good term or concept to be promoting. The critique says that by centering ourselves and in particular, the consumer choices we're making, we are taking the focus away from the animals where it belongs.
I want to sidestep that debate, because while I understand the above argument, I also understand that people who actively take the step to become vegan out of humility and respect for animals are making a huge shift and a powerful statement, and I don't want to take anything away from that statement.
But what I would like to do is tease out a specific kind of person, who exists at the intersection of veganism and concern for justice towards animals. In other words, those who are vegan, yes but more importantly, they are vegan for the animals and not just for their health, a fad, or even the environment. I'm calling people who fit this description liberationists.
Most liberationists want to do more than just make vegan choices. They also want to help bring about justice and mercy for animals. Some of them already do more.
Why is this a useful distinction to make? Well, once you've read this post and you understand what I mean, it gives me a concise term to use that doesn't risk being mixed up with a consumer choice or dietary orientation, especially when communicated outside of our movement.