Disclaimer: I am a vegan.

Not that I expect that to quiet any of the hate-filled messages I expect to be blessed with as a result of writing this piece. Just sayin’.

Just sayin’ that’s the whole problem, actually.

I was a vegetarian for a few years. I’ve been a vegan for about a year now.

Since we can lead healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives without harming those who share this world with us, why on Earth wouldn’t we?

- Lyn White, Animals Australia.

That’s my reason, in case you were curious. Just sayin’.

Anyway.

The several years I’ve spent in and around the vegan and vegetarian communities, mainly online, have led me to believe that veganism is irreparably broken, and if the world is going to change the way it conducts its business it will be despite vegans, not because of them.

I have never seen a group with as much infighting.

I have never seen a group so hostile to prospective members.

I have never seen a group so quick to turn on and attack each other.

The only groups that even come close are assorted hate groups, but at least those guys are kind to each other. Or so I would think. Can’t say I have any firsthand experience there, but the very fact that those people are able to have rallies that don’t devolve into screaming matches and fistfights seems to indicate that vegans could learn a thing or two from them.

Think about that. How screwed up does your group have to be that you’d do well to take some conduct tips from the K K K?

When I came across this old British study that found the average IQ of vegetarians to be higher than the general population, but the average IQ of vegans to be lower than gen-pop, I thought, Huh. Of course. That explains a lot.  

Social change movements are always pioneered by zealots. Being a zealot isn’t a bad thing, not at all–make no mistake, the world needs zealots.  But zealots are necessarily high on passion and permissibly low on a variety of other attributes. The people who start a movement are rarely the same people qualified to shepherd that movement to fruition.

It is not-by-accident that the fabulous Hampton Creek company doesn’t slap the word “vegan” on its many vegan offerings. The word “vegan” has been sullied and embarrassed to what I do honestly believe is the point of no return. Right now, vegans are the very people holding veganism back.

It’s time for a whole new group not burdened by the sins past bad actors.  It’s time for a whole new name.  It’s time for a whole new movement.