Are Vegans Ready?

As the man handed me the Uzi, I slid the magazine into the well, charged the handle, raised the weapon and took it off safe.  I aimed at the target and slowly pulled the trigger. I fired.  Again.  And again. And again.

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Me firing said Uzi. Photo (c) Zachary Hill.

To my rear stood a group of fellow vegans that got together for a day of shooting.  We didn’t really talk too much about veganism, though we all had our reasons.  We were simply brought together with a common interest.

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Let’s see: An AK magazine, Winchester ammunition, and Miyoko’s and Heidi Ho vegan cheeses.

Under the easy up tent, the grill sizzled with the sound of Tofurky dogs, vegan sausages, and beer brats.

As I handed the Uzi back to it’s owner, I realized at this very moment, this is the future of veganism.

But I don’t think vegans are ready.

You see, on the surface, vegans are a tight-knit group of people that are brought together for a common moral purpose. And, whether for animal rights, personal health, the environment, or other reasons, in the end we are all still vegans.

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The most badass group of vegans.  Photo (c) Zachary Hill.

But veganism as a movement – not just a common moral purpose – is founded on a very strict code of belief.  And, lest you fit, very specifically that mold, prepare to be ostracized. This “deeper” form of vegan resists any view that falls outside the movement.  This is also where society’s stereotypes of vegans originates.

For our vegan shooting day, I thought it would be a good idea to have a raffle and provide the proceeds to a local farm animal sanctuary. In the end, they asked that I not mention we were giving them the money, as they did not want to be “attacked by the vegan community.”  That’s right – a vegan shooting club cannot give free money to a vegan organization, because they are afraid of the vegan community.

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And for me, this is where the biggest opportunity for the future of veganism lays.  The goal of every vegan should be to promote the lifestyle and approach to as many people as possible.  I mean, it’s better for their health, other humans’ health, the animals’ health, the planet’s health, so why not?  Who wouldn’t want to reach the farthest corner of  society?

And yet, sometimes when I drive my Jeep around Portland I get called an “Earth Raper.”  When discussing shooting sports in vegan Facebook groups I have been literally told to ‘GTFO (Get The F&%K Out).’  Because I enjoy shooting.  Steel.  And paper.

I still wonder if vegans are really ready for veganism to go mainstream.

It feels like the really cool neighborhood band that is super cool to see, but they then sign with a major record label, and all the original fans consider them a sell out, and the band loses the cool factor.

That’s what may happen with veganism – it may be mainstream.  Boring.  A sell-out.

And all those original fans will need to find another movement to be all SJW-ey about.

There are Jeeps to drive and Uzis to shoot.

8 thoughts on “Are Vegans Ready?”

  1. I’m a retired Vietnam Era Marine Officer. I started shooting when I was 12 when my dad enrolled me in the Jr. NRA program. I shot competition in high school. I still love to shoot. I am also a long time vegan and have operated a pig sanctuary for around 27 years now. I am bast shit passionate about animal rights. Our sanctuary is 100 acres of rural TN mountain land and I have a small shooting area I use regularly to practice shooting. I fail to see why shooting and veganism/animal rights are considered mutually exclusive. Obviously, I do not hunt nor fish…nor do we allow either on our property. I am afraid that if the “vegan nazis” do not learn to be more all-inclusive and accepting of a variety of lifestyles that the movement will find itself stagnating in a self limiting pool of people.

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  2. Yes, we all have our vices, and likely all of them together don’t even outweigh the good (to the planet, to the animals, to society) of being vegan.

    That said, we have to be careful as to what sorts of organizations our hobbies end up supporting (whether inadvertently or purposefully). For instance, the NRA. This is NOT an organization that aligns with vegan values (I’m happy to expound upon that if needed, but hopefully it’s obvious). I enjoy shooting, but I’ll never support the NRA and their nonsensical agenda. I worry about the slippery-slope of any vegan that does.

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    1. Thanks Justin. While I don’t consider a recreational sport a ‘vice’ (I’ll save that term for my IPAs and coffee addiction), we do all have things in our day to day lives that impact the planet. The plastic in bikes, the metal in cars (and the oil), the harvesting of our [vegan] foods, etc.

      As far as the NRA is concerned, they are the only game in town when it comes to protecting something I care about. Just like PETA. They are a bunch of nut jobs too, but I still support their mission because when it comes to AR, they are the only group with really big pockets and still do some good.

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