If you’re vegan and on Facebook, it’s almost impossible to avoid seeing racist and disgusting statements such as these. These ones were picked from merely a handful of posts in a matter of minutes. They’re almost always related to photographs of dogs being slaughtered for meat somewhere in Southeast Asia. Mostly, this hatred is directed at China and interestingly, most of the above comments came from photos that were taken in countries other than China.
Perhaps what’s most troubling about these comments are that the people posting them claim to be “vegan.” Quite frankly, people like this are anything but. As part of a commitment to nonviolence and eschewing oppression in all forms, racism can play no role in the vegan movement, nor should it be tolerated. Sadly, it’s very rare that anyone on the comment threads calls these bigots out on their hatred and honestly, their ignorant and highly inconsistent viewpoints.
Surely, we expect Western people to be startled by images of “pets” being slaughtered for food, but as vegans, we should be the first to understand that these heinous acts are certainly no different from the ways in which we exploit and kill animals in this hemisphere. Having the understanding that all animals deserve the same compassion and respect as animals we view as pets is a core philosophy among vegans, so the fact that these people don’t understand that is yet another indicator that these people aren’t actually vegan, beyond their blatant racism and violent ideologies.
Truthfully, these people tend to lack any general understanding regarding the real issues that need to be addressed surrounding animal exploitation. They clearly are incapable, or unwilling, to understand that there are vegans in China, just as in every other country, and that consuming dogs and cats in nations beyond the one you’ve been socially conditioned to is a completely normal part of their culture. It seems as though these people just use their “compassion for animals” as a front to espouse their racism.
As a community, we need to begin exposing these people and their statements for what they are and explain to them that we will not tolerate this type of behavior as a movement based on the principles of nonviolence and compassion. It’s certainly plausible that some of these people are just ignorant and need some education, but it appears that most of them are just hellbent on arousing emotions by posting violent images and using that as a platform to promote hate.