On Being a Minority Within a Minority
I've been tweeting (http://www.twitter.com/mary_martin) for a short time and I have more than anything else the overwhelming feeling that I am part of a minuscule minority within an already small segment of the population. I'm a vegan who thinks we shouldn't be using animals even if we change the conditions of their use. And I'm experiencing the rarity of my beliefs.
Of course there are oodles of vegetarians who mention veganism and how difficult and restricting it is, and overall I'm having a fairly disheartening experience. I broadened my groups to runners, writers, environmentalists and atheists thinking perhaps I should try to find more like-minded people in a more holistic kind of way. After all, who I am doesn't stop at vegan.
That's been fun as there are a lot of vegan runners and a couple of atheist vegans. But even among them what I've discovered is that for the most part they support PeTA, love Singer and think Mark Bittman's Vegan Before 6 (VB6), which I like to call Conscience Before 6, is a fantastic notion. And though using fewer animals is a fine idea, isn't it strange to only live by it for half of the day? Jekyll and Hyde anyone?
When you search for the word vegan on Twitter and have that as a constantly-scrolling column on your screen, you see what people are saying and much of it isn't good, both about veganism itself and vegans. And yet if I try to do something about that I could very well become one of the annoying, self-righteous vegans they balk at.
Twitter might be the most important website since Google, and that means I should learn how to use it. Clearly, I'm still at the beginning stages of that one. What I have found above all is that treading lightly is the best course of action. Twitter is a microcosm and I think vegans are probably represented proportionately to how they are outside the Internet. In other words, vegans who don't support PeTA and don't campaign for larger cages are alien to most of the non-vegan world and even much of the vegan world.
But I think we have to change that by showing all of the ways we are like the rest of the world rather than all of the ways we are set apart from it.