Self-conception: VORM – Vegan Outreach Rhein-Main VORM
Vegan Outreach Rhein-Main is an animal rights collective which considers itself to be a directly democratic and emancipatory network of activists.
“The animal”, a social construct, has evolved within Western tradition contrary to humanity’s self-image. It thus plays a central role in hierarchical constructions of reality and the classification of non-human and human animals as either inferior or superior. Adherence to this categorisation legitimises all forms of exclusion, oppression and violence. Therefore, the fact that all animals are individuals who have the capacity to suffer and an interest in their lives and bodily autonomy is overlooked and strongly contradicted by our use of non-human animals for, among others, food, clothing, medical purposes and in the entertainment industry. Our goal is the deconstruction of the binary human-animal relationship and liberation from the resulting speciesist status quo in which human animals are at the top of the evolutionary chain while non-human individuals are deemed inferior.
A consistent anti-speciesist stance, which implies a vegan lifestyle, forms the basis of our activism and constitutes the fundamental prerequisite for achieving our goal.
Through informative discussions and providing informational material, we aim to facilitate critical reflection upon the consumption and so-called use of non-human animals, while ingraining a vegan lifestyle as the alternative in the collective consciousness. In doing so, it is important for us to not disregard the life circumstances of the people we talk to. We refer here to the definition of veganism by the Vegan Society:
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of animal exploitation. This is not only limited to the field of nutrition, but also rejects all forms of use of, and cruelty to, animals, which includes the destruction of their natural habitats. [analogous translation]
We also aim to encourage people who are already vegan to consider activism and to pass on their knowledge and personal experience of their vegan lifestyle to others.
We act without exception with an abolitionist stance, thus striving for the abolishment of all remaining forms of the so-called use of non-human animals. Non-human animals should be able to live independently of human needs.
We also consider our activism to be intersectional, meaning that we reject and actively fight all forms of discrimination against human and non-human animals. This also involves us showing solidarity with other emancipatory movements and being open to learning from one another. VORM is part of a larger movement which is centred around animal liberation. Since human and non-human animal oppression are closely interconnected (Unity of Oppression), the two cannot be regarded independently. We aspire to eliminate discrimination in our own actions, while also avoiding reproducing mechanisms of oppression through the group’s activism, in order to create a safe and inclusive movement. We therefore do not cooperate with anti-emancipatory groups or individuals, and act independent of any political party. When communicating within the group and with bystanders, we do not tolerate violence – neither in word, tone nor action.
We can no longer remain silent about the violence prevalent in our society. Every animal, whether hedgehog or human, has the right to be respected. We are fighting for the moral consideration and freedom of all – with love and empathy. Fur farms and slaughterhouses will be remnants of cruel times. Let us pursue the path of mutual respect – because “no one is free until we are all free” (Erich Mühsam).
Everyone who identifies with our mission is welcome to join us!