The Rational Vegan exists to counter-balance misinformation about the vegan ideology, both in mainstream culture and especially within the vegan community itself . The goals are to expose the inherent connection between choosing to live vegan and the principles of rational thought, to encourage discussions about issues pertaining to the vegan worldview, to counter confirmation bias encountered in the vegan community, and to start discussions revolving around some of the hard questions that tend to get ignored.

The Rational Vegan Podcast

Kurt Austin

A prominent member of the Indianapolis hardcore scene since it’s inception, Kurt is the founder of Catalyst Records (a DIY label involved in promoting social justice issues), and was the lead vocalist for well-known vegan hardcore bands Birthright and Risen. As a two-decade plus vegan, he has participated in various forms of animal activism over the years, and has been most influential in spreading veganism through his record label and bands, which have released and toured across the world extensively. The Rational Vegan is his most recent project and has evolved from a blog to a consistent podcast.

Kurt was a religious studies major (and graduate of Indiana University), is a serial entrepreneur, and is currently employed as a freelance web developer along with renovating a 125 year old house. He is also a proud cat dad, an avid traveler, a Morrissey fan, has an odd love affair with fruity synth pop, and loves cooking a good vegan meal.

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Scott Spitz

Scott Spitz cut his teeth on animal activism through the punk/hardcore music scene of the 90’s where Do It Yourself ideals enabled young idealists to create animal rights groups, hold public protests, educate themselves through piles of literature, and engage in underground direct action. A 21 year vegan, he has navigated the many facets of the activist scene, from reformism and total liberation to shared struggles and the anarchist cultures that helped define the era of trade summits. Spitz has retained his focus on total liberation for non-human animals, while refining and expanding his strategy to enable the same for human animals, while at the same time rejecting the confines of identity politics and sub-cultural restrictions.

In his personal life, he is the founder and coach of White Pine Distance Training and an accomplished competitive distance runner. He is employed as a freelance graphic designer, helps raise his 9 year old son, and has been managing the treatment of a rare cancer since being diagnosed in April of 2013.

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Blog Contributors

Samuel Hartman

Samuel has been vegan for nearly a decade and after learning about the health effects of the standard American meat-and-dairy diet. He became interested in animal rights and environmental ethics shortly thereafter and is passionate about fighting speciesism on many levels. He currently lives in Ohio and enjoys weightlifting, cooking, philosophy, black metal, and discovering every vegan restaurant in the world.


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A few of the terms that may or may not come into discussions, click the "+" for more and for a link to the Wikipedia page.

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Rationalism

Rationalism is the view that “regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge” or “any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification”. More formally, rationalism is defined as a methodology or a theory “in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive”. Rationalists believe reality has an intrinsically logical structure. Because...

Reformism

Reformism is the belief that gradual changes through and within existing institutions can ultimately change a society’s fundamental economic system and political structures. This hypothesis of social change grew out of opposition to revolutionary socialism, which contends that some form of revolution is necessary for fundamental structural changes to occur.

Reformism is to be distinguished from pragmatic reforms: reformism is the...

Anti-authoritarianism

Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as <em>”a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority”</em>, <em>”favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom”</em> and to authoritarian government. Anti-authoritarians usually believe in full equality before the law and strong civil liberties. Sometimes the term...

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