The Vegan Militia

... because we are all made out of meat!

Clickbait and Gandhicon


I’ve seen an increasing number of articles which make a point to put “vegan” in the headline even when the article is only peripherally related to veganism, or not at all. But regardless, the headline always points out how wrong vegans are. It seems to me that this is a clickbait strategy. The word “vegan” has become clickbait, luring both vegans and anti vegans to click the link. But I am confused, where does that place us on the GandhiCon scale? Are they laughing at us or fighting us?

Case in point, I just ran into this article Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?. This sad piece of “journalism” goes off the rails very quickly. This could have been an enlightening article about how globalism, and its father colonialism, destroys poor countries by making them produce cash crops for export. Perhaps the author’s next article will be about how vegetarians caused the Irish Potato Famine. One wonders why the author didn’t also point to people following a gluten-free diet as culprits as well. Oh, that’s right, gluten free is trendy right now, and many more people are doing that than going vegan. It’s easier to attack the little guy.

If one carefully reads around the irrelevant vegan bashing, there is an important point being made: we need to be careful to avoid buying products that resulted from exploitive or destructive practices. Unfortunately, this is rather difficult, both because such practices are the basis of global capitalism and attempts to fight that often get co-opted, as can be seen in the case of fair trade or organic food.

The article makes a single reference to a single failed attempt to grow quinoa in the UK, a useless bit of anecdotal evidence to show that the crop is incapable of cultivation anywhere else. This is simply laughable and an insult to clever farmers around the world. It can be cultivated in many places (including the UK) and further breeding can produce varieties which can further expand its range of cultivation as has been done with several other Andean crops. I will be doing my part by growing some myself.

Anyway, I suspect that this is GandhiCon 2, as vegans were pretty much ignored up until recently. I’m looking forward to GandhiCon 4.

Tags: vegan clickbait gandicon quinoa vegan