The vegan protest in Melbourne that caused so much outrage today marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the film Dominion, which documents factory farming in Australia.
In Melbourne, protesters parked several vans in the middle of the busy junction about 7am, with some chaining themselves to the vehicles.
It caused a whole lot of traffic jams in peak hour and resulted in a whole lot of outrage.
However, regardless of where you stand on vegans, meat-free diets or animal rights, you need to consider what a protest actually is before you get super offended.
I’m not a vegan, however here are some things to consider;
1) Inconvenience and disruption is the nature of a peaceful protest
If you would not apply your anti-vegan protest arguments to the million man march, the Arab spring or to any other peaceful protest where people were inconvenienced and traffic was shut down, then your argument here is mute.
Blocking roads, chaining to objects, all of these things are 101 for protests.
2) Saying they’re ‘shoving views down people’s throats’ is stupid
Again, like any form of protest throughout history. That’s what protest is, it’s looking at a broken system and confronting people about it.
If you hate what the protestors are protesting then fine, but don’t hate the way they’re protesting. It’s peaceful and disruptive, it’s exactly how it should be done.
3) “Confronting people doesn’t work” is also a stupid thing to say
Confronting people perpetrating a broken system is the only thing that works. This stretches back to the first slave revolts in the Roman Empire, this is how a protest works.
4) Stop saying it’s ‘inconveniencing innocent people’
The people being inconvenienced, by and large, are the oppressors. Most people eat meat, that is the behaviour they were protesting!
The Arab spring probably pissed off a few people in those countries too.
Revolution = an inconvenience to people doing the oppressing. (In this case, as vegans see it, most of the population who eat meat).
5) Check your double standards
Regardless of where you stand on veganism, this protest was just like any other protest and any disproportionate opposition you feel is because YOU are being protested against.
Welcome to cognitive dissonance.