Over the last few weeks, a conversation about whether it is appropriate for animal advocates to use highly loaded terms, specifically “Holocaust” and “slavery” in their activism has reached a boiling point. While these particular issue has been debated for decades, it seems to take the spotlight of intra-movement conversation every few years. Most recently, this fans have been flamed by several high level “celebrity” vegan activists who insist on using these terms regardless of the consequences. What we wanted to discuss today is not whether or not these terms should be used (we believe firmly in not using them, links that have informed our position below), but rather how these influencers have responded (or not) to valid critique. 

For this episode we joined forces with the incomparable Iye Bako AKA IyeLovesLife on Instagram to come up with a list of seven red flags to look out for when engaging with your favorite celebrity vegan influencer.  Ultimately we’ve noticed these red flags that paint a picture of activists who feel above reproach, who have nothing left to learn, and are more interested in maintaining their personal brand than examining the efficacy of their activism and the harm it may be causing.

We’ll go over the list together, and then discuss when to call in/out versus unfollow, whether or not influencer culture can be salvaged, and ask if we should even collectively be devoting so much time to these influencers. 

Be sure to follow @iyeloveslife on Instagram.

You can always reach The Bearded Vegans by emailing TheBeardedVegans@gmail.com or visiting TheBeardedVegans.com 

Find the full transcript here.

Resources:

Antisemitism, AV is Trash, and Holocaust Comparisonsw/ Jenna Hirth and Tyra The Taurus (Kombucha Hour Podcast)

Antisemitism & Animal Rights by Joshua Katcher (TheDiscerningBrute Instagram)

Why Animal Advocates Should Not Invoke the Holocaust [And it’s Not Why You Think] – (Marla Rose on Medium)

Listen Up, Problematic White Vegans, Stop Comparing Black Oppression To Meat Eating (By Robust Health On Afropunk)

The Instagram Conundrum: Why did a photo of James Aspey spark outrage and split opinions? (Christopher Sebastian) 

James Aspey and His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week(The Cranky Vegan)

Activists to follow on Instagram:

@TyraTheTaurus

@JennaEarth

@RollercoasterVegan

@vegan_abolitionniste

and @iyeloveslife (obviously)

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