Sarah Doyel reports in Mondoweiss:
Gleaming produce spills out of market baskets. An outstretched palm offers fresh herbs, an organic farm in the background. A table overflowing with a rainbow of dishes cuts away to a morsel of hot bread diving into a bowl of tahini and olive oil. Young, attractive faces smile at the camera while baby animals frolic in the background. If you’re vegan, Israel looks like paradise. At least, that’s what Vibe Israel and its partners at the Israel Brand Alliance want you to think. Their Vibe Vegan tour for food bloggers is just one small element of Israel’s government-sponsored veganwashing campaign, which aims to replace reports of its vicious human rights abuses with the peace-loving compassion usually associated with veganism and thereby repair its image on the global stage. Make no mistake: Israel is using veganism as a calculated facade to justify its military’s program of terror, gloss over its occupation of Palestine, and appropriate regional culture and traditions that predate Israel by hundreds if not thousands of years.
Far from being a politically neutral “lifestyle,” true veganism is a radical anti-oppression philosophy, and yet one of the most oppressive governments in the world is co-opting veganism for its own gains.
Veganism is at its core a political position, despite the fact that many people who identify as vegan see it as a set of consumer choices. My favorite definition of veganism is “an ideological framework that seeks to abolish the commodity status of animals and that advocates for animal liberation.” Regardless of one’s individual motivations for adopting veganism, the choice is inextricable from a commitment to minimize harm to living beings. You would be forgiven for thinking, then, that all people who claim to be vegans are staunch supporters of human rights. After all, a person who is committed to animal liberation would also be committed to human liberation. Right?