To most vegans, veganism goes beyond merely shifting to a plant-based eating habit. It is about shifting to a lifestyle that helps bring awareness to others about the benefits of going vegan. It is also about connecting with those who share the same belief. This is where the community becomes an integral part of veganism.
A vegan community is more than just a group of people who share the same eating habits. It is actually a crowd that cares about what happens around it. It is a community that helps to improve the life of its members as well as the lives of those associated with them. It is also a group of people who want to raise awareness of the many causes that are connected with the movement.
Vegan communities come together to celebrate the movement and the lifestyle in events like Vegfest Portland and the Phoenix Vegan Food Festival. Members talk about breakthroughs and advocacies at these events. People from this community also enjoy great food and interact with each other in fun activities like contests and concerts. This is an integral part of the positive side of living a vegan lifestyle.
What is Tribalism?
Tribalism is defined as the state of being organized in a tribal group or subscribing to a tribal lifestyle. Those who are members of the tribe are loyal to what the group believes in. In a way, those who are part of a vegan community are part of a tribe and it is, therefore, an example of tribalism.
Tribalism can be both good and bad. The good thing is that members of the tribe are loyal to their cause and what they advocate. The bad thing is that this loyalty can turn into bigotry and toxicity. This can also turn into unconscious negative behavior that impacts not only the group but also those that interact with it.
To combat the possibility of turning negative, the tribe needs to be conscious of everything that its members are doing. They need to focus on what makes their bonds strong and the shared values of the collective. A tribe is, after all, a community that cares for one another and looks out for each other. Focusing on the good instead of the bad will help a tribe steer clear of becoming toxic.
Why is Tribalism significant?
These days, being part of a tribe is becoming a social norm. This is due to the fact that people need to interact with those that have the same beliefs and lifestyles as they do. Being able to attend events like Vegfest Portland and other similar vegan-centered events help members of the vegan tribe feel accepted. Feeling that you are part of a group that has something in common helps you feel you belong and that there are people who care about you.
Tribalism is just as significant today as it was in the past because it helps people connect with one another. It also helps people create stronger groups that can combat certain injustices in the world. In a way, tribes are the checks and balances of the world. Without tribalism, there will be no organizations with very strong beliefs and the drive to correct the injustices that abound in the world today.
How Tribalism affects us as individuals
The need to belong and to be accepted is human nature. This is why being part of a tribe is something people enjoy. Being accepted as part of the group, as one of the tribes, is fundamental to humans. It has even been noted that tribalism has actually helped humans survive the harsh conditions of ancient times.
As an individual, apart from the feeling of belonging, being part of a tribe has a lot of benefits. Feeling safe and being accepted are just two of the benefits you get from it. It has even been noted that social acceptance is central to the lives of each person.
Tribalism and being accepted have positive psychological and physical effects on a person. The same goes for being excluded from a tribe. While acceptance helps a person feel protected and safe, being excluded can make a person sick. In a paper published by the Association for Psychological Science, it is pointed out that rejection can result in poor mental health and physical manifestations.
Tribalism and its vital role in social justice movements
Tribalism is viewed by many as a negative thing due to the fact that many people become overzealous about what the group believes in. This is when the “us against them” mentality takes over and the tribe starts to view those who don’t share the same beliefs as enemies. This can be detrimental not only to the tribe but to those who associate with its members as well.
Tribalism does not need to be negative. Modern tribes, like those who belong to environmental advocacy groups and vegan communities, have the same structure as ancient tribes in that the members subscribe to the same beliefs and lifestyle. The members try to encourage others to join their tribe by trying out the lifestyle and sharing in the same advocacies. This does not mean however that they will deem as enemies those who don’t believe in what they believe or live the way they live. They simply try to show others the benefits of what the tribe believes in, with the hope that they will become part of the movement working towards a better world for everyone.
One example of this is a movement to save the environment. Groups like Greenpeace are essentially tribes that try to find ways to save the planet with the help of like-minded individuals around the world. Without these tribes and tribalism, imagine the harm the world will be in these days.
Tribes push people to see the wrongs that need to be corrected and the good that can be found in many beliefs. This is done with the help of events like Vegfest Portland, protests supporting the release of the film Dominion, and other similar peaceful activities that bring to light causes worth fighting for, without resorting to violence.