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This article in no way attacks or doubts the idea of Veganism. Every movement has its problematic elements and the article presents the danger in order to keep the vegan movement safe for everyone and clear of hateful ideologies.
To many people, it seems completely weird that neo-nazi vegans exist but it is a reality. (It is also weird that there are immigrant neo-nazis but that’s a different story.) The far-right has ideological connections and a dark history with veganism and this is a danger for our movement. I’ll begin with a personal story.
A protest against fur
Many years ago I had no connection to the vegan movement. I had though a general concern about the environment and the world around me. One day I found somewhere on the web a call for a fur protest. I didn’t know anyone close to the cause so I decided to go by myself. When I arrived I found that there were 2 people I knew (they were anarchists if I remember well) and along with them and the rest of the gathered people we marched towards the fur shops. This kind of protest is something I would not do today as it was excessively aggressive. But this is irrelevant to this story.
After we “visited” many fur shops, more people joined us. When we stopped in front of a shop, these new people came in front of everybody, unfolded a very long placard against fur and started taking photos. It was an awkward, weird situation.
What I had not noticed (but my 2 friends had) was that next to the anti-fur message of the placard there was also drawn a Celtic Cross. For those who don’t know, this is one of the most-used symbols of the far-right. Here is a guide to recognize such symbols. I do not remember who was organizing the protest, I do know how the neo-nazis discovered it, I did not know anybody else expect my 2 acquaintances.
We left almost instantly. I do remember though that the protest resumed with those who stayed.
Some more examples
Some days ago Morissey appeared on TV with wearing a pin of the far-right party of Britain. It was not the first time that he openly supported it. Another example is Brigitte Bardot who supports the far-right party of France and it is several that she’s been accused of racist remarks.
Both of these people are considered heroes for the animals by a large part of the vegan community. The hero worhipping is something that we’ve already discussed on ‘Burn your Vegan Bible’. But people who celebrate and support the death of other people should not have any room at all inside the vegan community, a community that stands for life and justice.
Rare incidents then (?)
Unfortunately not. However weird you may find it, veganism is not a new concept for the far-right. It is obviously another way for expand to a new audience but truth is that nazis have a vegan history. There have been and still exist nazis who are vegan for ideological reasons, they are ethical vegans.
Some historical facts:
Savitri Devi was an active nazi during World War II and stayed active even after the fall of nazism. She believed that humans are not above animals, that we should respect all forms of life (oh the irony), she rescued lab animals and believed that the death penalty should be applied to anyone disrespectful to nature or animals. Does this rhetoric remind you of anything?
Moreover, neo-nazi sites claim that Hitler was a vegetarian. Yes, there are several sources that claim the opposite but this is not important here. What matters is that the modern far-right propaganda presents quotes of his and uses them to connect with veganism. An example is a question that Magda Goebbels once asked him “I thought you ate fish, my Fuehrer? Fish isn’t meat, you know” to which Hitler replied “I suppose then, that fist, in your opinion, dear lady, is a plant!”
There are many more theories that present veganism from a far-right perspective. There are interpretations on the vegan Cain and non-vegan Abel, on the farming ancestry of White people, the classic “blood and soil”, the physical purity of a White warrior and so on.
It is also important to note here that the Nazi party had its own Green Wing. There have been nazis that were advocating for environmental reform, organic farms, reforestations and the protection of plants and animals. This theory is also known as ecofascism.
OK but I am not a Neo-Nazi
I know. But it must become common knowledge that veganism without a solid ideological background can easily slide towards fascism. The logic that “I don’t mind what they believe in, it’s enough that they help the animals” is naive.
The vegan far-right has common rhetoric with the mainstream veganism and common goals with the environmental movement. As long as the vegan movement remains apolitical, the far-right is expanding and recruiting.
This is the reason we should always remain alert. Not all people that stand for the animals are well-meant and kind-hearted. The fascist incidents inside our community have to be addressed and we are ALL responsible for this.
Unfortunately, Anonymous for the Voiceless is one of the organizations that gives a platform to neo-nazis and misanthropes.