Friday, November 21, 2008 - Contributing to the BS

One of the most unfortunate incidents to befall veganism is that the domain name '' is run by Erik Marcus. The irony is that in his logo, he claims to be "Cutting Through the BS":

Yet he doesn't even seem to know what he's talking about. Check out the FAQ on his website. Under "What is a vegan?" he has written:
A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat animal products: meat, fish, milk products, eggs, or honey. Many vegans also avoid fur, leather, and wool as these products generally result in the confinement, abuse, or slaughter of animals.
Once more, veganism is dumbed down. And to the lowest common denominator: it's a diet.

Almost as an afterthought, he mentions "many" vegans also avoid wearing the skins and fibers from animals.

I'm sorry, but ALL vegans refuse to wear fur, leather, wool, silk and whatnot. And no, these products don't "generally" result in "confinement, abuse or slaughter of animals" -- they inevitably do. On top of it all, this apologist bonehead makes it sound as if confinement, abuse or slaughter are the problem. What is the 'line' here? Two out of three? If i don't abuse or slaughter the animal, is it okay to abuse them?

More-over, this all reduces the meaning of veganism. Like most 'authorities' on veganism, Marcus doesn't describe where veganism came from, or what it was originally intended to be about (as is no surprise, since it conflicts with what Marcus purports veganism to be.)

But, to top it off, there's this article (even highlighted on his blog) where Marcus, a supposed vegan, exclaims that he is "thrilled" about a place that exploits hens and sells their eggs.

I'm sorry, but no vegan should ever be "thrilled" about a place that sells eggs. But Marcus is "relieved beyond belief" that there are some cage-free eggs being made available. (Why don't advocates of cage-free eggs and other 'free-range' animals ever address the issue that in order to be cage-free, these farms must spread out immensely - thus eliminating significant amounts of habitat from free-living animals? Do chickens need to be cage-free more than other animals need space to LIVE?? You call yourself an animal advocate???)

In his vision, this "is only 5 percent of what needs to happen", followed by "We’d like them to be exclusive as soon as possible."

So 100% of what needs to happen, according to this vegan, is 100% cage-free eggs.

No, veganism isn't the goal. Cage-free eggs are.

What a disaster. With vegans like this, who needs omnivores? It's becoming really difficult to tell the difference.

Cutting through the BS, Erik? Not even close. You're at the forefront of the BS.


beforewisdom said...

I do not agree.

Dave Shishkoff said...

Wow - thanks for that insightful remark, Steve.

I'm curious - how would one distinguish your remark from that of any non-vegan?

PW said...

Hi Dave.

It not that I disagree (or agree) with you per se, it's just that got a few questions...

What is the purpose of this blog? Who do you want your audience to be? Who do you think your audience is right now?

What are your goals for this blog? Do you think your goals for this blog are being met? Is the FOA paying you to write this? Do they have any goals for you and this blog? Or are you writing without goals?

Have you ever taken any communications/writing classes beyond high school?

How do you want the general public to perceive vegans? How does the FOA want the general public to perceive vegans? How do you think this blog makes the general public perceive vegans?

A lot of what you write on your blog troubles me, not so much of what you have to say, but how you say it, especially because it makes you, a representative vegan look angry. Hence the name of your blog. Would you want to adopt a new lifestyle if you perceived people with that lifestyle as angry? Because potential vegans are reading this blog. Your blog comes up on a google search, your blog has vegan in the title.

It's okay to be angry once in a while, that's part of being human. But do you think it's okay to be THIS angry? Do you want to live an ANGRY life? Do you want potential vegans to perceive vegans as having angry lives, isolating themselves from other people and other vegans?

Are you more concerned with being "right" or making a difference? Do you think you're making a difference? Has anyone ever convinced you that you were wrong about something? Just as there can be many "wrong" viewpoints on an issue, don't you agree that there can be many "right" viewpoints too?

I know a truly caustic person. I don't want to even be around her or be open to anything she says even if she is right. I'll find my own "right" rather than interact with her. Do you think others might have a similar opinion of you? Do you want others to have a similar opinion of you?

The blog you're writing right now is pretty much a public space. Anyone can view it, and misinterpret it. Especially venting. Your blog contains a lot of venting at its core. Venting is a very vulnerable form of communication. Regardless of the subject matter, venting is predisposed to misinterpretation. So it should be left to the eyes of friends who know you, and can support you.

Do you have friends you trust that you can vent this shit to so when you write in a public space you're perceived as halfway normal? Or at least reasonable?

Ever thought of creating a private journal? It's easy to set up on LJ.

PonderingWillow from VP

Dave Shishkoff said...

Hey PW - is this some kind of VP reunion? haha..

To answer some of your questions, the purpose is stated up front:

"A vegan and animal rights activist willing to yell at all the frauds out there who claim to be such."

No idea who the audience actually is, though my goal is *anyone* interested in learning more about veganism. I've not told anyone about this tho, allowing people to stumble on it on their own accord.

This is obviously not an FoA project, i don't reference FoA anywhere; this is my own personal project.

I want people to perceive vegans as thoughtful, serious and consistent with the vegan message...which is rarely achieved, as is (i hope) evident in the posts i've been making.

I've no reason to make this 'private'...and wonder why you would suggest this?

Yes, this is a vent. What's wrong with that? Am i not clear that this is part of the purpose? Am i unique in creating a blog to vent through?

Are you uncomfortable with dissent, PW?

Do you realize that veganism came about, quite intentionally as a form of dissent -- dissent against 'vegetarians', because they were not speaking or acting on behalf of exploited animals..?

Is this not being mirrored by the likes of Erik Marcus, with his being 'thrilled' about how another animal is being exploited in a particular way??

If there is any truth to this, where is the harm in stating this publicly? Is it wrong to promote a consistent message if it conflicts with what the 'popular' groups advertise, despite it being irrefutably in contempt of veganism???

I admit i'm probably a terrible writer, but i do consider deeply where i'm coming from, and the message i'm trying to convey (though perhaps mistakenly, i don't know. Seems clear as day to me for what that's worth.)

Hope that answers some of your questions PW. I'm happy to continue this conversation, however i must ask you to limit your respond fully to your post would take days, and dozens of pages....and most of it is totally irrelevant to this blog.

Also, thanks to my 'One Star' fan, who has been coming on and rating each of my postings with one star. Hilarious!! It really cracks me up that someone who can so thoroughly disagree with something keeps returning. I wonder if they expect me to write something they'll be interested in, or if they just like to go around voting on things they don't like..? Either way...c R a Z y..