Talking Vegan

“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.

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6 thoughts on “Talking Vegan

  1. Hey, thanks for your post, and for linking back to MollieSong. It is good to stand up for what we believe; it’s one of the greatest things about our country (the right to do that). I’m all for ethical treatment, good treatment in fact, of animals, and wise agricultural practices, and we are not so close to ideal in these areas right now. But educating folks and sharing our good foods is beginning to have a pretty big impact. As I’ve stated, I am not vegan. But I use a very small amount of animal products, always responsibly produced. Keep up the good work!

  2. Really excellent reflection! Thanks!
    In Australia, these ads have started airing on tv: http://www.makeitpossible.com it’s a brilliant project that lots of people are uncomfortable about! But I’m really proud of our celebs for getting behind it and creating the waves for change.

    • I saw your blog on that issue – really good to see. An end to Factory Farming would be a great start and at least make people confront their attitudes towards food.

  3. I couldn’t agree more, I actually just posted something similar. The thing that irks me the most is how people tend to use expense as an excuse to not be vegan. I’ve taken it upon myself to show people that not only is eating plant-based affordable, but it can even be cheaper than buying a bunch of “convenient” processed foods.

    Very nice post.

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