Well, I have my own thoughts on this (which I'll likely share in part 2), but the reaction from the vegan community at large* certainly seems to have answered some of the questions I posed in my previous temptation with eggs post. Interesting timing, huh?
Q: Would I have been stripped of my vegan title? A: Absolutely. I may also have been tarred and feathered -- wait, feathers aren't vegan, but tar still is, I think.
Q: And by whom? A: Anyone and everyone. Being vegan isn't a matter of self-definition apparently, and anyone who deems you unfit can declare you non-vegan, and even claim that you weren't vegan to begin with. Vegans who are thought to be "welfarist" by others shouldn't be calling themselves vegan either, I learned.
Q: Would posting about it have been folly? A: Yes.
Q: Is posting about even being tempted foolish? A: Probably.
Q: What would have happened had I given in to temptation? Would that have undone everything I have tried to do these last four years? A: Likely.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we shouldn't be disappointed that Ellen is possibly eating eggs again, but I do think we should be equally disappointed with how vegans as a whole have reacted. First, talk about being quick to pounce and denounce! Could we at least get more clarification and feedback from Ellen before vilifying? Could we be a bit less vulture-like? No offense to vultures intended of course.
Could we stop reserving our compassion (supposedly the cornerstone of veganism) for non-human animals only and have some left over for human animals as well? And other vegans especially? Could we try not to perpetuate the stereotype that vegans are angry, judgmental and self-righteous assholes? That one is hard, I know, because I'm angry, judgmental and self-righteous a lot of the time too. And an asshole on occasion.
Could we remember that only about 1% of us are vegan? That even with 19 million booklets handed out by Vegan Outreach over the last decade or so that that percentage hasn't changed much? If any? (Why is that, by the way?) That veganism isn't the end, but the means?
I dunno. I'm still glad I didn't partake of my uncle's eggs (well, not HIS eggs, but you know what I mean), and luckily I'm not famous so don't have my mistakes/choices witnessed by gazillions, but this whole Ellen episode (and the reaction especially) has left me feeling disheartened, sad, annoyed, angry and questioning. While I will always be vegan (self-defined at least), do I really want to call myself that now? Because at the moment the word is calling to mind all kinds of other negative V words like vicious, vilification, vitriol, vengeful, and vindictive -- not what I thought I signed up for.
* from what I've read anyway
Okay, because I'm still in a pissy mood right now but would rather not be, and before I continue my thoughts in part 2, I'm going to insert this video parodying another hugely famous (except that I haven't seen it yet) video, and see if it cheers me up a bit. Watch with me if you like! :)