Propaganda comes before the siege. Before any massive attack, travesty or victory, the language of the people becomes part of the conflict of change. Along with any form of conflict comes a new pedigree of “-isms” to call the enemy. Rather, this new lexicon is constructed by the perpetrators of the cause in order to get the population on the “correct” side of the cause.
Before the Holocaust, antisemitic language and signage was used to not only disparage the hated, but also to convert the outside bystander into an active perpetrator, or more often, to cultivate apathy so the oppressing body may act unhindered. Same with the “Slap a Jap” campaign that circulated the United States during WWII, the willful misunderstanding of Muslim faith perpetrated by right-leaning news organizations is constructed in order to lull the general populous into a luke-warm insensitivity.
The question every vegan should ask themselves is: How much of vegan information is merely propaganda?
It’s possible. It could be that, we vegans, in an attempt to save animals from suffering–that we know to be ethically indefensible–could smudge the facts a bit. In the name of animal rights, some of us wouldn’t mind lying about the facts a little to turn our carnivorous compatriots into compassionate comrades.
Recently, I stumbled across one such group that advocates meat in order to trample the vegan propaganda that is keeping the animal flesh from their plates. “A page dedicated to promoting logical sustainability and debunking vegan propaganda,” this “Don’t Go Vegan” Facebook community boasts on its ‘about’ page.
It’s worth a little self-checking. In order to help suffering animals, do we vegans fudge the facts a bit in order to save even a single pig from becoming tomorrow’s breakfast? It would be easy enough to do. Especially considering one of the more convincing branches of advocating a plant-based diet boasts the health benefits, it’s all too simple to say it’s better for you. This is the aforementioned Facebook page’s main beef with vegans.
However, what I did notice, while perusing the memes frequented on the page was a sincere lack of ethical concern. While I am woefully undereducated in the realm of nutrition, certainly the logical merits of an ethical diet is not lost on these advocates. Instead, “not going vegan” is a choice, for them, to stay healthier, rather than to have a morally defendable diet.
Vegan propaganda does exist. Certainly, in our zealous pursuit of true animal rights, we can do whatever is necessary to keep just one more chicken, pig or cow off the plate of these flesh-mongers. It is simply too tempting when considering the greater good of animal lives.
However, the continuing ingestion of animal flesh and the epicycles of flawed reasoning behind them, are merely attempts to continue the fetish that is eating meat, for such groups.
Besides, the meat industry and its advocates have already cornered the market of mass, dietary propaganda–far more staggeringly so than any vegan could hope to achieve. Consider how many people do not consciously equate “pork” and “pig flesh” or “beef” to “ground-up cow”. Propaganda on this scale is certainly more rampant than any vegan grassroots program could ever hope to achieve. The meat industry has done such a good job with their language cultivation that generations of people have never considered that maybe their food didn’t want to be eaten.
To call the advocation for animal rights through a vegan diet propaganda is merely propaganda in itself. It is also the worse kind because through its absorption into societal norms, millions of animals suffer without ever being mourned or even considered as a sentient, pain-feeling being.
Vegan propaganda certainly exists, but it’s aim is to stop suffering, while meat-eaters’ propaganda is simply asinine, mass psychopathy. One kills, one saves.