By Published On: 7 August 2013724 words3.7 min read

Quiet

There have been times, over the past 5 years that I’ve been running YDV, that I’ve taken a sabbatical from it.  Sometimes it was because of stupidity, sometimes it was tragedy, and sometimes- like this time, it’s because of my mother.  She told me long ago, “If you have nothing nice to say don’t open your big mouth.”

My mom probably said it nicer than that but the message is the same.  I have had nothing nice to say, so I haven’t said anything at all.  But I’m feeling better about things and so- sit down vegans, I want to talk.

For the past few weeks my inbox has been filled with hate-filled, rage-y type emails.  Lots and lots of them.

As a vegan with a vegan website, I’m used to a certain level of hate mail.  People who are non-vegan will, on occasion, send me an email filled with rage against veganism- or worse, an email filled with religious arguments against veganism.

But these rage-y emails are from my own community.  They are from vegans.  They are filled with anger, which I could handle, but they are also filled with personal attacks- which I won’t tolerate.  You might be wondering what I did to piss off so many people.  Did I write an offensive article?  Did I act like the vegan police?  Put down other people?  Was I really loud and brazenly disrespectful to a non-vegan?  No.  I did none of those things.

So what did I do?  I started a vegan education series on YDV- the webinar series.  No, really.  That’s what I did.  I did it using my own time and money and it has pissed off people everywhere.  Apparently people are angry that I have the audacity to charge for these webinars.

Now, listen, if you have read anything I’ve ever written before today you know that I don’t mind anger.  I do, in fact, encourage people to use anger for good.  So, while I never mean to anger anyone, I don’t mind hearing about it when I do.  However, personal attacks? For a vegan education series?  Really?

Like this one.  This was from Matt, after finding out that the Will Potter webinar was not free (I left in the spelling errors for fun.):

your no better than a fucking omnivore!  you are blocking vegans from getting information that they need to make decisions. your making a profit off of animal suffering by charging for this information.  scum posing as a vegan!

Part of me wants to respond like:

  1. Owning your own domain costs money.
  2. Hosting your own website costs money.
  3. Plug-ins for creating a webinar series costs money.
  4. Hosting webinars costs money.
  5. Hiring awesome speakers costs money.

The other part doesn’t want to respond at all.  Generally speaking, I don’t think it’s worth my time to respond to each and every anti-vegan email I get- it’s the internet– you know, where people feel free hiding behind a screen so they can be someone they’d never be in real life.  But Matt had gotten under my skin.  I am, after all, a human.  And so, instead of responding to the negativity with negativity, I stepped away from my computer.  I asked the YDV writers to do the same.

I’ve thought a lot about this incident over the past few weeks.  It has made me think about the role that YDV should play in the vegan blog community- if any at all.

Close some doors.  Not because of pride, incapacity, or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere. – Paulo Coelho

Is it time to close the door on YDV?

While I don’t believe in responding to negativity with negativity, I do believe in staying strong in one’s convictions and speaking out when necessary.  So, here’s my response to the hate mail:

  1. I wish I didn’t have to charge for webinars, but I do (see: monetary requirements noted above).
  2. I am “no better” than anyone- vegan or not.  I am a work in progress.
  3. What I stand for is evident in every page, post, image, and graphic on this website. If you think I am not a good enough vegan- well, that would be your problem, not mine.

Really, that’s all I can say.

Except this- the team is on break and the fate of YDV will be shared soon.

By Published On: 7 August 2013724 words3.7 min read

Quiet

There have been times, over the past 5 years that I’ve been running YDV, that I’ve taken a sabbatical from it.  Sometimes it was because of stupidity, sometimes it was tragedy, and sometimes- like this time, it’s because of my mother.  She told me long ago, “If you have nothing nice to say don’t open your big mouth.”

My mom probably said it nicer than that but the message is the same.  I have had nothing nice to say, so I haven’t said anything at all.  But I’m feeling better about things and so- sit down vegans, I want to talk.

For the past few weeks my inbox has been filled with hate-filled, rage-y type emails.  Lots and lots of them.

As a vegan with a vegan website, I’m used to a certain level of hate mail.  People who are non-vegan will, on occasion, send me an email filled with rage against veganism- or worse, an email filled with religious arguments against veganism.

But these rage-y emails are from my own community.  They are from vegans.  They are filled with anger, which I could handle, but they are also filled with personal attacks- which I won’t tolerate.  You might be wondering what I did to piss off so many people.  Did I write an offensive article?  Did I act like the vegan police?  Put down other people?  Was I really loud and brazenly disrespectful to a non-vegan?  No.  I did none of those things.

So what did I do?  I started a vegan education series on YDV- the webinar series.  No, really.  That’s what I did.  I did it using my own time and money and it has pissed off people everywhere.  Apparently people are angry that I have the audacity to charge for these webinars.

Now, listen, if you have read anything I’ve ever written before today you know that I don’t mind anger.  I do, in fact, encourage people to use anger for good.  So, while I never mean to anger anyone, I don’t mind hearing about it when I do.  However, personal attacks? For a vegan education series?  Really?

Like this one.  This was from Matt, after finding out that the Will Potter webinar was not free (I left in the spelling errors for fun.):

your no better than a fucking omnivore!  you are blocking vegans from getting information that they need to make decisions. your making a profit off of animal suffering by charging for this information.  scum posing as a vegan!

Part of me wants to respond like:

  1. Owning your own domain costs money.
  2. Hosting your own website costs money.
  3. Plug-ins for creating a webinar series costs money.
  4. Hosting webinars costs money.
  5. Hiring awesome speakers costs money.

The other part doesn’t want to respond at all.  Generally speaking, I don’t think it’s worth my time to respond to each and every anti-vegan email I get- it’s the internet– you know, where people feel free hiding behind a screen so they can be someone they’d never be in real life.  But Matt had gotten under my skin.  I am, after all, a human.  And so, instead of responding to the negativity with negativity, I stepped away from my computer.  I asked the YDV writers to do the same.

I’ve thought a lot about this incident over the past few weeks.  It has made me think about the role that YDV should play in the vegan blog community- if any at all.

Close some doors.  Not because of pride, incapacity, or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere. – Paulo Coelho

Is it time to close the door on YDV?

While I don’t believe in responding to negativity with negativity, I do believe in staying strong in one’s convictions and speaking out when necessary.  So, here’s my response to the hate mail:

  1. I wish I didn’t have to charge for webinars, but I do (see: monetary requirements noted above).
  2. I am “no better” than anyone- vegan or not.  I am a work in progress.
  3. What I stand for is evident in every page, post, image, and graphic on this website. If you think I am not a good enough vegan- well, that would be your problem, not mine.

Really, that’s all I can say.

Except this- the team is on break and the fate of YDV will be shared soon.

Leave a Comment

What do you think? Tell me in the comments.
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  1. Patricia McDonald May 27, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Just thinking about our recent vegan history and how it relates to your experiences. I wonder if we have different types of people along the way: the Groundbreaker are radical and introduce important social change. These people are often visible, noteworthy but not always comfy to be around, and aren’t patent with slow social development. The Builders come along to make a strong foundation which gives strength to new beliefs, and the Practicals show the wider population how to bring it into their lives. If someone feels all vegans should be Groundbreakers, and not be in the mainstream of society then they’ll naturally feel shortchanged by a Practical vegan. Perhaps they just don’t understand how lasting widespread change is made in the world.

    On another branch of your topic, money could be the next thing to go, and I’m wondering if some vegans sense this. Money is at the base of much animal industry corruption, as you know, and in that sense doesn’t fit into a vegan paradigm which is much more globally equitable. However, there’s no need to be rude is there, compassion to you, and blessings on your vegan life.

  2. Josh September 17, 2013 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Rise above the haters

  3. Laurie September 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    I can see how some people would be concerned about charging money. So many people have pretended to be vegan, wrote a book or something similar, made a lot of money, and then announced they were no longer vegan due to health reasons despite claiming to be an ethical vegan. Something like that really knocks us down because the truth is the healthy vegan diet is always healthier than the healthy omnivore diet but their withdrawal distorts this truth and causes significant harm to the movement. These people who make money off of animal abuse are scammers. And it makes m sick.

    If that’s not what you are going to do then you have every right to do your thing in your way. Be vegan, be proud, and go forth and do whatever you need to in order to spread your knowledge and message. Peace :-)

  4. Kaycee August 9, 2013 at 11:30 am - Reply

    It is ridiculous that people would expect you to do everything you do for free. It is not your job to provide everything there is to know about being vegan for free. I would like to know what they are doing (for free) for the vegan community. Also, you have been providing info, contact, support, news, recipes, etc for free for a long time. I know first hand that it is time consuming and can cost money. You have every right to charge for your services. No one is being forced to purchase.

    Do they question vegan cookbook, or vegan book authors? Do they think that once someone has a recipe, they should be forced to put it online for them for free, and that they should receive free copies of their books? I doubt it.

    This is one of the main reasons I quit doing my Vegan Pen Pal Project last year. I had to pay postage for over 100 letters a month because my participants thought it was stupid they had to pay for their letter to get to their pen pal. I even received death threats from a few people who did not like who I matched them up with.

    I am shocked at the lack of support from people in our own community… and shocked at how ungrateful people can be when you offer a service or information for any price. It’s your decision.

    Do not close the doors on your site. Haters can hate. Honestly, they need to grow up, open their eyes to the reality of life, and realize that not everything is free. You are not a slave to them, you do not have to do anything… and they do not have to purchase your services.

  5. Pookito August 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    I am really sorry to hear about those unwelcome emails. It is true that people may take this to the edge, but this only means one thing. That is, you are doing a fantastic job. Like Charging for webminar. I don’t see it, as a bad thing but as a good things. You see, there are people in our society which believes that if they don’t pay for something, it is not worth it. I do things like that some times, I like to pay for things.
    Well, this made me feel that I was Ranting. Any how,

    Good Job.

    Pookito

  6. Karen O August 8, 2013 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I have been reading your blog for a while and appreciate all you do. It seems that the negative voices are always the loudest. Just want you to know that you are doing a great service for people, the planet, and for animals.

  7. Corey Lee Wrenn August 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Hi, I don’t know you and I’m certainly no fan of Will Potter, but I’m sorry you were the victim of maliciousness. I know another female webinar host was attacked similarly for charging. In this deeply sexist movement, a lot of folks (male, but also female) think it’s okay to attack and use hurtful language like this to silence women. Take a break, but really, once a blogger always a blogger. Don’t let it get you down. I hope one day we can really work to create a community of accountability where inner-movement violence is frowned upon, regardless of our tactical and political differences.

  8. Dan August 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    There are too many socialists in the vegan movement. Everything should not be free. We have to pay for things. Don’t let a few idiots push you out. The silent majority of us are much smarter than that. Keep up the good work.

  9. Deb Hanrahan August 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry to hear of your decision but understand. The internet is a rough place, and sometimes it is healthy to just walk away. As a new vegan (6 months,) you helped me quite a bit with my transition from vegetarianism. I now feel strong in my convictions, and I’d like to thank you for helping me with that. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

    Good Luck

  10. Michele August 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I don’t think you’re fishing for support, but you’ve got my support anyway. You’ve had it for a long time. Why? It’s your approach to living vegan. Your emphasis on critical thinking, on questioning the social norms and values of our world, is both rare and precious. I worked for years as an underpaid adjunct college professor so that the university administrators could have six-figure salaries and otherwise benefit from corporate funding of buildings, textbooks and publicity. I still had students and their parents complaining that the faculty was overpaid, and they demanded pay cuts. Never mind that we didn’t get any benefits whatsoever because we were part-time. Never mind that there was/is no job security in teaching at the college level. Never mind that we went into great debt to get our advanced degrees so we could teach at the college level. I am vegan. I wrote my dissertation on the humane movement and how it relates to living vegan. I brought my research into nonviolence into the classroom, but I was continually met with violence and hate. I walked away from teaching and fully understand your need to walk away from vegan blogging. I’ll be sad if it’s a permanent departure, but you have my support. Above all else, I hope you’ll keep writing!

  11. Transition August 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    As someone who has been researching the benefits of this way of eating I’m appalled. It’s exactly this type of hate mongering by vegans that turns me off to completing the transition. Loving animals doesn’t mean hatred towards humans. I’m sorry you have endured this.

  12. Sheryl August 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    I get it, I really do. I had a blog once and I kept it up on an almost daily basis. Then I got my first death threat from an IP address not far from where I live. Then the vegans started in on me-over vegan cheese. What is it about cheese that sets people to verbal violence? I stopped blogging because it seemed I wasn’t doing any good. I started volunteering at the sanctuary and that fills my need to do more.

    Take some time off but please consider keeping the site open. I enjoy your posts and I’m sure lots of people enjoy them. You do real good here and that’s hard to measure with analytics.

    Block those IP addresses from Matt and his ilk and keep on keepin’ on, woman.

  13. Gwendolyn August 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    It really sucks how horrible people can be. I know where you’re coming from. I’ll often work as a food vender at AR events, openings or lectures and host vegan cooking classes– every single event I get at least 3 people complaining to or berating me for charging for food or a class. This is my job, my living, and all of these products cost me. I feel like a lot of people in the vegan community think if they ever have to pay for something, 100% of it should go to charity and forget that there is more holding our movement and community together than just organizations. I’m trying to do what I love and continue helping animals and educate others, but get treated like I’m trying to take advantage of people. *sigh*

  14. Katie August 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    That email you got is pretty common thinking for people who think they shouldn’t have to pay for anything so they pirate every movie, tv show, and album they can and complain when shows aren’t free because people should be giving their art – writing, music, painting, whatever – away for free. A lot of vegans host domains and blog for free, if someone doesn’t want to pay you for your product that’s their prerogative but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong for putting it out there for people to buy.