Somebody posted this line on my Facebook page:
Building up a credible following of people honestly interested in vegan food and news, then using them as a marketing tool ( like many other blogger) : not cool.
This is my response:
I understand that you see it that way but my take on the situation is very different. I have spent countless hours (and still do) promoting veganism, community events and big/small businesses for free.
I have built up two events (Potluck and Vegan Drinks) into some of the biggest monthly vegan events on the planet. I give exposure to campaign groups working to improve outcomes for animals. I also run a business that is connected with veganism. I try to be as transparent as possible about where I make money ie a supper club costs money to attend means I probably make money.
But I also advertise events for other vegan or vegan-friendly people to make money where I don’t see a penny. Your post above seems to question my honesty around my endeavours and I take great insult at that. People are not being hoodwinked by my master plan to work away at my blog for over 2 years and then start sneakily making money off them. I gave up a secure teaching job because my vegan blog and associated activities became too much work. I can’t live on nothing and I don’t think it is unreasonable or devious to try and make money.
I continue to do a lot for the vegan community for nothing and try my best to get free or discounted items for individuals whenever I can. My potluck is a good example. Many of the events feature free vegan food items for attendees to take home and I don’t get paid to organise, collect and distribute these goods. I do not get paid to promote them.
I have spent countless hours organising community socials via meetup (including the LGBT vegan meetup group I met with on the weekend) and go out of my way to make every single person at an event feel included. I don’t get paid for these things. I do this to build social capital and to help people feel secure in their veganism. Your attempt to question my integrity is annoying and upsetting. The money I make from running a vegan PR company is my livelihood and not an exercise in exploiting the goodwill of loyal readers. I don’t think I should do everything related to veganism in my life for no money.
That is my take on the situation.