Becoming And Creating Allies: Ways To Transform And Talk About Privilege

So far, this series of essays has covered the basics of what privilege is, how it can affect ourselves and others and weaken the vegan movement, and how we can become privilege-literate, so that we can more effectively work to create a better world for all beings. This final installment discusses some practical steps we can take to change the dynamics of privilege and oppression in the vegan movement, whether we're in the position of being privileged or of challenging privilege.

This essay is divided into two parts. The first is about what we can do to become a part of the solution when we're members of a privileged group. The second is about how we can invite others to become a part of the solution when we're members of, or are speaking out about, an oppressed group – how we can communicate in a way that increases the chances that our message will be heard and heeded.

Part 1: Becoming an Ally When We're Privileged

We don't have control over whether we're privileged or not,...

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Why Being Inclusive Helps Advance The Vegan Movement

Many vegans believe that outreach that's inclusive, meaning that it reflects privilege-literacy and sensitivity to forms of oppression other than animal oppression, is unstrategic because it would cause them to sell the animals short. Most, if not all, vegans who feel this way are those whose privilege-literacy is limited. The assumption that we must be strategic or inclusive – that we can't be strategic and inclusive – is a false dichotomy. In fact, the very opposite is true: our unexamined privilege prevents us from recognizing the strategic importance of inclusiveness, causing us to act unstrategically as well as unethically, so that we end up with a lose-lose model.

#ARmetoo: An Example of How Being Non-Inclusive Damages the Vegan Movement

#ARmetoo is a good example of the damage a lack of inclusiveness can do to the vegan movement. Unexamined male privilege, and the insensitivity to the oppression of women it causes, has created a climate where...

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