Veganism is often defined as the conscious decision to not consume products containing animals (meat, dairy, eggs etc.) or refusing to purchase products produced through animal exploitation (fur, leather, animal tested cosmetics etc.). Veganism is viewed as a lifestyle choice made by individuals intended to benefit the animals, their wallets or their health. When veganism is discussed it is often through purely economic terms with what we do or do not purchase often being the definition of whether or not somebody is considered “vegan”.
This narrow view of veganism as purely a consumer lifestyle choice has created a large demand for “vegan” products. Whole industries have built up around the need for “cruelty-free” goods as capitalists, who would of once been hostile towards the idea of veganism, noticed a gap in the market and sought to make money out of these caring, compassionate individuals.
We are taught to believe that we can end animal suffering if we just stop buying animal products and buy vegan, cruelty-free instead. Veganism has become the be-all and end-all of the animal rights movement and the promotion of this vegan lifestyle is paramount to our struggle’s success.
This bright green future promised to us by the vegan capitalists is a lie, however, for by it’s very nature capitalism is inherently oppressive and exploits animals (both human and non-human). If we are to ever achieve total liberation it will be necessary to abolish capitalism along with all other forms of oppression and hierarchy.
Radical Veganism believes that there is more to being vegan that what you consume. It states that veganism should be a radical shift in the way we view and treat animals in our society, and that humans’ perceived dominance over all other animals and the Earth (anthropcentrism) is what allows animals to be exploited.
Radical Veganism recognises the links between capitalism and animal exploitation; as well as the link between capitalism and human exploitation. It understands that in order to do away with animal abuse we must change the way humans view animals within our society which would require a social revolution to abolish capitalism and all other systems which perpetuate human supremacy.