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Vegan Valentine Vanity

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Whether you love or hate Saint Valentine’s day, there’s certainly a lot of pressure to open your wallet. Whether it’s the plethora of teddy bears holding hearts, or cards and flowers strategically placed at supermarket tills, it’s the time of year that corporations like to put a price on love.

If you’re alone you’re made to feel more alone, and if you’re not… well, you pay the price. I’ve certainly been there.

What Valentine’s day isn’t, however, is an excuse to promote veganism as something other than a recognition of animal moral value. It doesn’t mean that we can make veganism about ourselves, and take the emphasis away from veganism as a matter of what we owe other sentient beings.

PETA published a piece called Want More Right Swipes? Go Vegan in reference to the popular dating app, Tinder. The article talks about how some guy made two Tinder profiles, one as a non-vegan and another as a vegan, and experienced almost double the amount of female attention from the vegan profile. PETA concluded that “women looking for men on Tinder can’t seem to resist tapping on the heart when a guy clearly has one.”

But veganism isn’t about dating, it’s not about whether or not you’re going to get any action on Valentine’s day. In fact, it has nothing to do with any human desires at all. It’s about recognising fundamental rights. Every time we portray it as anything else, we do a monumental disservice to the animals relying on us to advocate unequivocally on their behalf.

Veganism has an endless list of benefits, of course. But we err in believing that those human benefits are what we should base our advocacy efforts on. Nobody will ever recognise the implications of animal moral value by swiping right on a dating app. If you truly want to celebrate love this Valentine’s day, make the effort to learn about abolitionism and how we can collectively continue to build a movement demanding an end to unjust exploitation. A movement that necessarily has veganism at its core.

These sorts of apps are what contribute to our societal saturation of narcissism, where being cruelly shallow is just an expected part of the game. Go ahead and enjoy your app, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that your decision to swipe left or right has anything to do with animal ethics.

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