I read quite a few libertarian blogs, not that I necessarily agree with everything in them, but I do feel that the state should exist to serve the people, not the other way round (one reason among several why I loathe the EU). The most common feature of libertarianism is that people should be free to choose how to live their lives, as long as their lifestyle doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. Libertarians rarely extend this principal to include animals, which is why a lot of the gun lobby consider themselves to be ‘libertarians’; they must also believe that retaining the ‘right’ to shoot other people to pieces does not infringe on the rights of those other people.
Rarely do any libertarian bloggers make any reference to vegans or veganism because to them, it is just another lifestyle, which they could if they choose, wish to adopt. OK, fair enough, genuine libertarians are open-minded and intelligent people, so they may be receptive to discussion on vegan ethics as long as we are willing to listen to their side of the debate. They could share Richard Dawkins’ views that veganism is something to aspire to, that humans should try to move towards, without taking an absolutist position of screaming murder at all those who have been brought up to eat meat. Unfortunately, some vegans do like to scream murder at other people and in doing so, become perfect fodder for the fake libertarians, the anti-vegans.
The two internet personae who have become the most well-known in this regard are Paul Joseph Watson and Lauren Southern. With his tousled hair and designer stubble, which went out of fashion with Miami Vice, PJW has become a northern, ‘conservative’ version of Russell Brand, making a media career out of ranting at ‘SJW’s’ (an ‘SJW’ apparently being anyone who disagrees with PJW). Some of his videos are entertaining, though he has become a cheerleader for the American Establishment stooge who pretends not to be, whom he once labelled as a ‘Hillary Plant’. Think of Rush Limbaugh with a South Yorkshire accent removed of any of the ‘ey up cocker’ charm and you get the idea. PJW never rants about the taxpayer subsidies that go to the meat, dairy and poultry industries, because opposing those taxpayer subsidies would be too libertarian for him.
Southern initially made a name for herself by challenging some ‘slut-walkers’ in her home town of Vancouver with the obvious, that in a genuine rape culture a ‘slut-walk’ would be impossible. Feminists are not all ‘slut-walkers’, many must view such things as ridiculous, products of the politically confused millennial generation. Southern however falls into the same trap as Watson, as viewing everyone who disagrees with her as falling into a one-dimensional stereotype with certain ‘SJW’ tastes. So because some ‘SJW’s’ are – or claim to be – vegan then, in the Watson/Southern world-view, all vegans are Millie Tant style screaming harpies. Except that the vast majority of us aren’t, nor are most of us politically aligned. Most vegans I know or have met in the past are open-minded intelligent people, which is precisely whey they have adopted vegan ethics in the first place.
Fitting in with the libertarian outlook, most libertarians want to reduce to role of the state. Many oppose publicly-funded health care. I don’t share these views as I support us having a taxpayer-funded National Health Service, from the cradle to the grave. I do however believe that people should take some responsibility for their health and in that, those who adopt a vegan diet are considerably less likely to be obese, to suffer from coronary heart disease and illnesses of affluence, such as gout, which is making a comeback in developed countries. A healthy vegan diet is also dirt cheap, so doesn’t require any amount of elitism to follow. Genuine libertarians would recognise this, even if they choose not to adopt it. From a purely health perspective therefore, ranting about vegans is pathetic. It is ironic that these supposed ‘libertarians’ feel threatened by some of the people who are least likely to require the taxpayer-funded health care, the provision of which they disagree with in the first place.