Social Issues and the Ineffectuality of Words, &c

I’m concerned about a number of so-called social issues, which are referred to by distinct, not-always-accurate, but sufficient labels like veganism, black solidarity, trans rights, prisoner solidarity, so on and so on. It’s useful to group these things into labels but I think everyone should recognize that I am not concerned with veganism because I think veganism is a useful philosophy. I am concerned with what is called veganism for my own reasons, which coincide more with the label veganism than anything else. I would love to say that I am concerned with Christianity and be done with it, but that label has been so soured in the minds of many that to say that as a blanket statement will turn a great number of people off. That beside, using only that label attracts criticism of the form which says if I am not naming those causes (mass incarceration, animal murder, homophobia, racism) which concern me, I cannot really be considered concerned with them at all, or at least being of no benefit.

There is another criticism which takes many forms but always along the lines of “what you’re doing won’t make a difference.” For instance just read an article that claimed veganism does not actually contribute to an environmental benefit because by killing domesticated animals for food you are reducing their population while increasing the demand for agriculture causes more natural lands to be destroyed and native species to be eradicated. While that argument is weak it is not entirely vapid. It holds some validity and demands that it be considered on the basis of that validity. There are a million articles like these making the case simultaneously for and against any and more of the aforementioned causes.

I am overwhelmed with these arguments and they fill me with despair. It seems that no action I can take will have a measurable effect on the tragedies which I witness. I’m sure that to a certain extent this is calculated by the enemies of those cases but I find it plausible that the arguments are penned by those of pure intention.

Subjects