Note: Peter Young emailed me to correct a couple of my points. I added his corrections at the end.
The main page of the hot new website that dedicates itself to listing the names and locations of ex-vegans — along with chiding, snarky commentaries on why they stopped being vegan — now redirects to the Alec Baldwin-narrated PETA video “Meet Your Meat.” This happened the day after I emailed animal liberator Peter Young to ask if he created the site.
A couple of days ago, Nathan Porter and Melissa McEwen tweeted at each other about how Peter Young was probably behind Exvegans.com:
Peter Young doesn’t have the patience to wait for a vegan world. He is a vegan who advocates liberating animals now, through direct action. He spent two years in prison for the crime of freeing minks from fur farms. One of the sad realities of devoting your life to animal liberation is that animals do not have the ability to return the favor; it would have been awesome if some of those freed minks had come together to bust Young out of prison.
Young is still involved with the vegan straight-edge scene. If he’s the person behind Exvegans.com, that might explain why there are so many ex-vegan straight-edgers named and shamed on the site.
Young has excoriated ex-vegans in the past, although only once that I know of. He was working for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office when he quoted himself bashing Vegetarian Myth author Lierre Keith in their press release confusingly titled, “Animal Holocaust Denier, Author Lierre Keith Pied at Conference Speech of anti-vegan antagonist shut down by masked pie throwers in San Francisco”:
Peter Young, a NAALPO press advisor wrote immediately after the attack: “Predictably, the choir of opposition to this action so far is a collection of vegan regressors, ‘rewild’ fetishists / weekend-warrior primitivists, and those who hide behind an ‘anything goes’ nouveau-anarchist critique – all of which breed the culture of degeneracy and hedonistic caveman role-playing that give Lierre Keith her only audience. A disrupted speech is trivial in comparison to the billions of deaths this woman promotes, but yesterday’s resistance to this death-merchant will undoubtedly give Keith some (vegan) ‘food for thought’ while she travels the country, promoting the consumption of animals.”
I emailed Peter Young yesterday. It was short:
The response I was hoping for was something like this: “Yes, Rhys, and I’m more than happy to answer any additional questions you have about it.” Instead, not long after I emailed him, Exvegans.com became password protected. Today I looked at it again and saw that it was no longer password protected, and instead redirects to “Meet Your Meat.” However, that’s only if you go to the main page. The individual pages still work if you visit them separately. Here, for instance, is the entry with my name on it, which erroneously puts me in Washington, DC and confuses me for ex-vegan butcher Andrew Plotsky:
Exvegans.com sure hates fake me! Nice hair, though.
To be honest, I kind of enjoyed the site. I didn’t like that it was mean, sloppy and threatening, but it could have functioned (however inadvertently) as an ex-vegan networking tool. If Peter Young is indeed the creator of Exvegans.com, I can only hope that he’ll become an ex-vegan one day and will resurrect Exvegans.com as the ex-vegan fun zone it was always meant to be.
Update — Peter Young emailed me to correct a couple of points:
There is no relationship between your email (which I just received) and the URL redirect. The article I posted covers the motive behind this.
It’s not accurate to say that I created or launched the site (the article also covers this). My role was mostly a conceptual and strategic one. Content was not my doing.
Although we disagree on some fundamental things, I’ll say your coverage was by far less hostile and tantrum-ish than any coverage the site received in the vegan sphere during its brief existence.