Black Mirror

It’s been a week since Miley Cyrus announced that she is no longer vegan because she felt her health was being compromised, and many vegans are still sharing their disappointment and surprise on social networks.
But there should be nothing surprising about a celebrity ditching the animals or any other moral cause.

As genuine spotlight-seekers, many celebrities use the ‘social justice’ trend and choose an issue for self-promotion and for a tinge of image make-up. Good publicity is good for business. But many animal activists forget that every trend has an expiration date.

Celebrities are celebrities, not animal rights activists. Even the ones who are currently on the right track, might change their minds at any given moment. We can’t count on celebrities to promote anything other than themselves. If they cared that much about animal rights they would have become full time activists, and would invest as much as we do in the issue. Obviously, some genuinely and wholeheartedly do, but the whole idea of making people who all they have to give is their fame – the veganism’s frontpeople, says something about the belief of many animal activists in themselves and in their message. None of the self-promoting, attention addicts celebrities, have something smarter to say about the subject than any unfamiliar activist. Usually it is the other way around. So the only reason for the mass celebrity use is the acknowledgment that no one would listen to a “nobody” animal rights activist.

The very fact that so many animals’ fates are decided according to some famous and influential humans’ arbitrary decision, is enough to prove once again how fucked up everything in this world is.

After years of efforts by animal activists a celeb like Miley Cyrus can swiftly and easily put so much of it in vain.
There are many good reasons to fight the celebrity culture we live in, and that is one of them.

The expectation that the same principle of action only using the “good” celebrities in a smart and sexy way will change the world – is false and ridiculous. The same things that are responsible for so much of what is wrong with the world can’t be the solution too.

But in spite of the current issue of Miley Cyrus, activists would still rely on celebrities and on trends to carry out moral and social justice campaigns.
Animal activists should know how provisional and arbitrary trends are. They should know that the celebrity use is a two-edged sword. But disappointment after disappointment, and the activists never learn. The desire for a short term goal is just too strong.

When so much of the focus among so many animal activists is on issues which are not animals’ suffering, such as humans’ health, or ecological damages, or a few famous humans’ lifestyle choices, then there should be no wonder that backlashes such as this would come around.

Instead of looking for the current trends and how to use them for their goals, instead of dividing the world to good and bad celebrities, animal activists should ask themselves what are the chances for a vegan non-speciesist world when the moral message becomes a minor by product of the current trend and the mega celebrities’ reputation improvement efforts.

When a movement aspiring to end animal suffering is turned into a veganism movement, and veganism is turned into a health and lifestyle issue, there should be no wonder that celebrities’ health and lifestyle is in the center of an ethical movement.
But on the other hand, when animal suffering is the central focus of veganism there should be no wonder that only relatively few humans turn it into their lifestyle because most don’t care that much about the animals.


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