Though she was vegan far longer than most make-believe herbivores last, Lierre Keith is now public enemy number one in the vegan world because of her anti-veganism book, The Vegetarian Myth. She is higher on the vegan shitlist than seal clubbers, higher than whale hunters, and maybe even higher than Anthony Bourdain.

This must be one evil, hateful, destructive screed she’s written. It must be full of pictures of sickly vegans and contain pages and pages of out-of-context quotes from vegan message boards, right? To inspire that kind of anger, she must spend her free time at factory farms torturing animals for the hell of it. And when she’s not abusing innocent sentient beings (which she now certainly claims are nothing more than robot-like objects to be thoughtlessly used and disposed of), she must sit at home, imagining foolish people who care, and just laugh and laugh and laugh at their weak, pathetic compassion.

Well if you think that, you haven’t read the book. Lierre Keith is still as passionate about the goals of veganism as she ever was. She just no longer believes that veganism is the right tool for achieving those goals.

Holy shit, is this woman the second coming of Satan or what?

Her heresy, it seems, makes Lierre Keith the worst person vegans can possibly imagine. Why do vegans hate Lierre so much if she still tries to help animals and the environment in a non-vegan way? Because veganism isn’t about the animals or the environment — it’s about the vegan. Why else would vegans so religiously avoid even the smallest traces of animal products in foods when doing so clearly has no benefit for animals or the environment? Vegans aren’t saving animals. They’re saving themselves.

Veganism becomes such a vital part of the identities of its adherents because it is reinforced at every single meal. At any social gathering or any event involving food, you are the vegan. Vegans don’t ever forget their veganism. Most vegans are even vegan in their dreams (and if they’re not, they feel guilty). When an ideology percolates to the core of your being like that, you feel like you must clasp to it even as it’s destroying you — your whole identity might collapse without it.

Vegans perceive Lierre Keith as an even greater threat than factory farmers and animal abusers, because at least those sadistic assholes only threaten the animals. Lierre Keith’s crime is much worse: she threatens the vegan identity. 

So vegans threw a pie covered in hot sauce in Lierre Keith’s face. “That’s what you get for being vegan longer than all of us combined and then trying to warn people away from an ideology that you think doesn’t work and almost killed you!” I’m not sure if they really said anything when they pied her, but if they did, it was probably something like that.

An anonymous poster wrote on indybay.org to praise the attack: “Today, anonymous masked peoples stood up and refused to allow PM Press and Bound Together to yet again try to cram Lierre Keith down our throats. They stood up for many who have suffered silently, without a voice, since the publication of her book.”

Those who suffer silently, without a voice? Isn’t that how vegans used to refer to nonhuman animals, before they started applying it to themselves?  

Vegans should be careful about hating on ex-vegans too adamantly, because pretty much all of them are going to be ex-vegans within their lifetimes (and even if you die a vegan, you can’t stay a vegan if you don’t exist).

One day these compassionate pie-throwers are going to be reading Lierre Keith’s book to help themselves out of the self-destructive, absurd ideology that she tried to warn them against. They’ll be the ones eating pie then. Humble pie. And if you’ve ever seen the recipe for humble pie, then you know… it ain’t vegan. (It contains milk, eggs, honey and gelatin.)