“How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry. They’ll tell you”
Sometimes its hard to be a vegan. Giving all your love to just one topic… Veganism seems to be a conversation that gets hackles up but is it something we should avoid talking about?
Sometimes it is unavoidable. If you are offered a piece of dead animal or a slice of cake containing cow juice, what do you say? Say no and people will only ask ‘why’ anyway. Quicker and easier to give your reason and wait for the barrage of questions. This tends to be the only time I mention my dietary choices and yet it still comes up a lot and leaves me wondering how to approach the situation.
It could be that I spend too much time on internet forums but when the topic of veganism comes up the first thing to be mentioned is ‘sanctimonious and preachy vegans’ – now that is not good and does nothing for the cause. However; surely some things need ‘preaching‘ about? If people hadn’t been sanctimonious about slavery would anything have changed? If someone tries to support the abuse of children shouldn’t we preach then? Of course likening the immoral treatment of humans to that of animals will often provoke a new hysterical reaction so I revert to ‘It is wrong to cause suffering for pleasure‘ which you would think would be pretty uncontroversial.
The bottom line is that people can’t stand the idea of being judged. One of the worst crimes we can commit is that of being ‘judgemental’. Everything is a personal decision and no one has the right to challenge it. This is so much bullsh*t. Somethings are wrong. These things need to be stopped. If we don’t hold that as true then we may as well give up, go back to dragging people off as slaves, removing votes from the poor and the weak and just embrace a nihilistic world view. There is so much misinformation out there about veganism and farming that it needs to be challenged. If the topic comes up then I don’t see why I need to stay silent. Not because I think I can ‘convert’ the person I am talking to but in the hope that it will change the consensus view that veganism is somehow difficult, unhealthy or expensive.
If people are allowed to hold views unchallenged then these views spread. If someone says that veganism is unhealthy then they need to be told why it isn’t. Not because they will drop the burger but because it might stop them saying it to someone else who is interested in trying veganism. If someone says that veganism is ‘unnatural’ then they need to be told why this doesn’t matter so they stop spreading this as though it is some kind of argument destroying nuke.
Actions speak louder than words and perhaps the best thing we can do is show just how good veganism can be. Cook delicious food and share it with our friends. Post interesting recipes and run, swim, bike, climb or engage in the sport of your choice to show just how healthy a diet it can be. We can act in compassion in all that we do and show that caring for animals doesn’t mean not caring about people. We can educate ourselves in nutrition and food politics and make sure we can talk with authority.
Veganism is too important to be a taboo topic. We may not be able to convert the world but we can at least show what is possible to those that are interested and refuse to be shouted down.
See you on the barricades.
- Hello Vegan World! (theveganhippy.wordpress.com)
- The 12 Types Of Vegans (buzzfeed.com)
- Cooking a year of vegan (herbifit.wordpress.com)
- Why Become A Vegan: It’s Good For The Environment (themindfulvegan.wordpress.com)
- The “V WORDS” – Vegetarian and Vegan (molliesong.wordpress.com)
- Veganism (vegandmean.wordpress.com)
- Making the Connection – The Vegan Society (northernvegan.wordpress.com)