Am I the only vegan….

…that is against DxE?

All over the internet, and all over the world, Direct Action Everywhere groups are popping up, walking into restaurants/stores that make a profit from the suffering of animals, and shout about speciesism. I don’t even know where to start – there are some positive aspects of this. These people are raising awareness of the connection between what is on our plates and the being it came from – and what that being went through before becoming someone’s meal. As a person that is vegan for ethical reasons, I can get behind that. They’re making sure their voices, and the voices of those animals, are heard.

So you might be wondering why I have such a problem with DxE? Their website claims that they’re out to target any place that makes a profit from suffering – but 9/10 (actually, almost every video I’ve seen) has been held in a Chipotle. They say that Chipotle glorifies the happy and humane way of killing and that basically makes it an easy target to make sure they’re heard. And they’re right, Chipotle does market their meat as coming from happy animals before they’re killed, which basically makes people feel less guilty eating them. But instead of looking like an action campaign, it starts to look exactly like a Chipotle smear campaign.

I live in a city with very few vegan options. Chipotle is one of those options. The other place I’ve seen an action in was Whole Foods, which is one of the only other vegan options I have in my city. I guess in a world where every corner has an establish making money off of the suffering of animals – why target places that are offering vegan friendly options?

I am in no way trying to justify cruelty to animals. I don’t want this to be confused. But that brings me to the action itself – I know that rushing into the establishment with signs, shouting “it’s not food – it’s violence” and playing the sounds of animals being slaughtered is meant to cause shock value and make people listen. But I could not agree with this tactic more. Let me compare it to a couple of things:

Let’s say you walked into a department store and you were set on buying a pair of Levi jeans. There you are, standing in the Levis section, when a group of people come up behind you and start shouting “Guess jeans are the best! Buy no other brand!” Undoubtedly, you would be annoyed and unwilling to listen. In some cases, you might even buy the Levis just to spite the people protesting.

Or a more extreme example: Let’s say you’re a devout Christian and you’re in your church, practicing your worship. During your service, a group of Muslims (let’s not get offended here, people) walk in and start shouting about how Allah is the only true god. Offense and anger to be had by all.

In short – I agree with the message of the Direct Action Group, but I do not agree with the methods. Every response I see (from fellow vegans) is gushing over how amazing these activists are. Am I the only one that thinks differently?

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