Monday, February 9, 2015

Is DXE a Vegan Abolitionist Group?

The short answer is no.

The following meme is being shared on social media networks by a DXE leader:

Meme of Batman smacking Robin. Robin asks, "But you'll never get people to go vegan if you go into restaurants and yell at them." Batman says: "We're not a vegan outreach group."

In my opinion, DXE is not a vegan abolitionist group because they utilize welfarist tactics (open rescues, single-issue campaigning, branded campaigning, and a general mirroring of large non-profits like Mercy for Animals, Animal Equality, and Compassion Over Killing, etc.). Of course, all of these characteristics are up for debate. I suppose it may be possible to make a good argument for the utility in open rescues as an abolitionist endeavor (not that I would agree with such an argument, but I concede that there is room for debate).  However, when a Nonhuman Animal rights organization explicitly rejects veganism, this is a clear indication that this is not an abolitionist organization. I suspect that, based on my earlier observations, DXE is on the path to professionalization. The utilization of tactics intended to grab media attention and the rejection of veganism are two unspoken requirements to achieve bureaucratic growth and access to grants and donations.

Vegan Outreach and other large non-profits also make the convoluted claim that abolition is possible without advocating veganism. DXE is unique in this respect only because they choose to yell at people instead of hand out leaflets or hire Playboy models to strip for billboard ads. If yelling at people won't get them to go vegan, then what exactly is the point of yelling at people at all?  What's liberation without veganism? My guess is that yelling at people gets media attention, and media attention increases access to resources. Unfortunately, non-profit growth and Nonhuman Animal liberation are mutually exclusive. Institutionalization and capitalist success is the cause of speciesist oppression, not the solution.

You can read DXE's statement on direct action here.