What I’ve been watching: Neoreligious purity spiraling edition

I’m loving youtube as one of the few places where you can still find weird stuff and quickly find about sub-cultures and below-the-radar movements. I’m not sure how I started watching vegan videos, but I did and they’re the weirdest thing ever.

Jordan Peterson has said that veganism, a symptom of how people who are cut off from their culture’s traditional religion still crave religious meaning and the more of these I watch the more that seems true. Not only is there a core set of shared beliefs (that cannot be questioned or challenged) but many different sub-doctrines and often vicious interdenominational fighting and crises of faith that must be overcome (and attempt to lure the prodigals back into the fold).

There’s no danger of me converting though – just as I’m devoid of the capacity for religious faith I’m unable to accept enough core vegan beliefs (the moral equivalence of humans and other animals, the sentience of chickens or bees) to take it seriously.

So, I’m uninterested in a vegan diet or vegan meals but the philosophy and the attempts to proselytize are among the more interesting phenomena I’ve come across in recent years. Expect more posts examining it…

Still, anyone who thinks that religious behavior or religious belief is dying is wrong: traditional religions may well be dying but most people’s need or desire for religious.. thinking and ceremony and symbolic communication (and communion – that is a very big thing for vegan youtubers) is still as strong as ever, merely diverted into new and odd directions.


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