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Vegan Scanners will keep non-vegans out of vegan restaurants

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Ever since Beyoncé dipped her baby toe into the shallow end of veganism, non-vegans have dared to buy our almond milk and wear our faux leather jackets. And it’s cool, we’ll share our Kat Von D eyeliner with the enemy. We will even stand idly by as animals are exploited for flimsy excuses, nodding in approval while people describe their baby steps to cut back on meat. But we simply cannot stand for non-vegans who don’t consider the real victims of their non-veganism – vegans.

I’m referring to every vegan’s worse nightmare—sitting adjacent to someone wearing a Canada Goose jacket while tucking into a plate of tempeh wings. How dare they flaunt a dead animal in our faces, sully the good polyester of our booths, and enjoy the best parts of veganism without the fear of our shame for their misguided choices.

Those who dare patronize vegan restaurants without being vegan; the curious, sometimes transitioning, and generally average moms, dads, friends, and colleagues who want to see what the buzz is all about. You wicked reminders of all the heartbreak in the world, heed this warning. Fur-free bans are simply not enough, since fur is no different than any other animal product. We started by harassing fur wearers as they dined, but it’s time to get serious. Each and every vegan establishment should hereby erect a vegan scanner that will keep non-vegans out. If you hurt animals it’s gonna be access denied, buddy.

It’ll scan socks. It’ll scan underpants. It’ll scan souls. It will borrow all the least comfortable aspects of airport security, basically. And it’ll be our first line of defence against having to – yuck – let others use animals near us at vegan places like they do at offices, on buses, at home, in theatres…everywhere basically.

Because we can see the coyote on the rim of your coat, but the down is hidden. We can see the leather patch on your jeans but we can’t get close enough to smell if it’s real. And we have considered that you’re likely wearing 4% alpaca on at least one of your unmentionables.

It’ll catch body lotions tested on bunnies, lip balms made with beeswax, and the leftovers from last night’s roast chicken dinner that you didn’t quite floss from your back teeth. Jigs up, juries out, say goodnight. How can we have a safe haven for us, the all important vegans, if we let those who aren’t vegan yet in? How can we enjoy being vegan if there’s non-vegans around to rain on our parade? 

We’ll protest in their restaurants and at their stores, but no chance we’ll show them ours until the vegan oath is taken, the ceremonial nutritional yeast is snorted, and you’re deemed one of us. This is being inclusive, this will definitely create new vegans, and this is how you advocate for animals the best.

But maybe, just maybe, we’ll remember that there is no safe haven for animals. That our discomfort comes in behind the exploitation of other living beings. Maybe we’ll let the occasional vegan sneak past the scanners to see what we’re all about. There’s a good chance that a great vegan restaurant experience removes the veil (or used napkin) of difficulty and self-righteousness veganism can’t escape being draped in.

And maybe those non-vegan patrons who get a pass will invite some others in, ensuring the restaurant can afford the heavy-bills of the vegan scanners and will keep them open to serve their tempeh wings another month longer. That ripple effect may just covert another few to leave their jackets at home or replace them with vegan ones altogether.

It’s a crazy idea, but maybe we put aside our anger, our speciesism, and our impulse to ruin veganism for others just long enough to consider that vegan businesses are enacting their own advocacy towards each and every tempeh wing enjoyer. That means serving the non-vegan who isn’t sure what vegan means and the vegan who isn’t sure what vegan means (cuz it sure as shoot isn’t a free pass to interrogate others).

Yes, this parody is meant to illustrate how incredibly absurd I think it is that some vegans actually believe it’s a good idea to shame, harass, or propose banning people in fur-trimmed coats from entering vegan establishments. Besides being completely speciesist in not minding all the other animal product that a person can consume, it’s incredibly detrimental to our efforts to make the world more vegan, it’s detrimental to the perception of vegans, and it’s detrimental to vegan businesses that cannot thrive with vegan patronage alone.

If all vegan restaurants promoted veganism, and not incremental change like removing the fur trim from a jacket, more non-vegans would understand veganism. Education is still king, and sometimes that education starts with a plate of tempeh wings.

Photo from Huffington Post

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