I feel like this is a post that I need to get out of the way. While veganism is and will be a large part of Simply Overjoyed, it is not the only focus. For that reason, I am sure that many non-vegans will visit my page, and I would like to avoid any assumptions that people may make about me and my opinions of people who are not vegan. I understand that there are a lot of people who make it seem like veganism is a cult and that we hate everyone who isn’t exactly like us. While I cannot speak for everyone, I can say personally that: 1. veganism is not a cult (I wish it was…maybe I’d meet more vegans in my area!) and 2. I do not hate anyone for any reason.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into how I really feel about people who aren’t vegan.
Well, first of all, let me just say that one year ago, I was not vegan. I was eating animal products and was pretty mindless about it. We have been conditioned to eating meat, dairy, and eggs and many people do not think twice about it. For that reason, I could never judge anyone for doing something that we have been told is important and safe and that it is essential for our health. People are also so used to their current lifestyle, and making changes isn’t easy. My first few weeks were pretty difficult. Learning what I can and can’t eat is a whole new experience that many do not want to go through. Also, making the connection is difficult. When everything is so conveniently packaged, we do not think about the cruelty and environmental destruction that we are supporting.
For this reason, I would never judge the vast majority of non-vegans. We are all just trying to get by and we do not usually question what goes into our way of life. I am sure that there are many things that I am uneducated on that contributes to my life. I am sure that I have things to work on as well. It is a common misconception that vegans feel that they are superior, but it is quite the contrary. I am just as open to learning and growing. I am willing to acknowledge the faults in my life. I would never think that I am above anyone.
Now, just a quick note on the belief that vegans think they’re superior. Maybe some do, but again, I can’t speak for anyone. To me, I believe that I am vegan because I feel that I am not superior to anyone or anything. That is why I make the commitment to veganism. I feel that animals, the environment, and other people are more important than my cravings and conveniences. People fail to see the other side of this: If a meat-eater says they would never cut meat because they like it too much, to vegans, they may come off as feeling that their taste buds are superior to animals and the planet. See how it can easily go both ways? Now, I am not saying that I actually feel this way about people. I just think that it is important for people to acknowledge both sides of their argument.
Now, what about the people who have been educated? What about those who know the ethics and environmental benefits of going vegan, but still choose not to? Do I have a problem with this? Well, no….I will say that it can be frustrating at times when people know what they are contributing to (especially when they seem to be against what they are supporting), but I have learned that not everyone is ready to make big changes in their life. Not everyone is ready to embrace a vegan lifestyle, and I have learned that this can be ok. Changing your mindset and taking responsibility is not always easy, and some people do not have the resources or dedication to make the change for good. I can relate to this since I have been vegetarian before, and did not stick with it. We vegans need to be more understanding of those who are in the position that most of us have been in as well. Even some of the most well-known vegans were once in a state of denial and failed to take action. Sometimes people need time, and if someone is ready to be vegan, they can make that decision for themselves.
Something that is important to add is that vegans are often labeled as “preachy” and I do not know if I always agree with this. Some can be, but others are just trying to educate. People like to talk about things that they are passionate about, and if something works well for you, wouldn’t you want to share it? We all want what is best for the people around us, so we preach about what we believe in. It is completely normal and not just a ‘vegan thing’. I personally only really talk about it to people who are interested, and while most everyone close to me knows about my lifestyle, it is not the first thing I tell people (no, I don’t tell people I’m vegan when I introduce myself…shocking, right?). It comes up often because vegans are limited in restaurant options and materials. That may be another reason why it comes up all the time. There have been times when I have had to explain why I wouldn’t eat something at a restaurant or why I won’t try something. I don’t want it to come up, but it happens.
Something that I think that all vegans should keep in mind of is how they represent their lifestyle. Do you think that people are more likely to be open to vegansim if every vegan activist is negative, overly preachy, and confrontational? Probably not. Are personal attacks ever effective? Naw. People are more likely to be open-minded when information is given to them in a more approachable and laid back way. That is why I choose to talk about veganism in a more positive light instead of attacking every non-vegan out there.
The last thing I want to say is that everyone is welcome here on my blog. Vegans, people who are looking into veganism, non-vegans who would like to stay that way, anyone! As long as everyone is respectful to each other, I happily allow anyone to browse and leave a comment! I want Simply Overjoyed to be a positive place. I would love to help get more people into veganism, but I would never pressure or force my beliefs on anyone. I will be spreading awareness on veganism, but if you do not think you would be interested, feel free to skip past the post!
I hope that Simply Overjoyed can be a place where everyone feels welcome and anyone can enjoy the content that suits their interests. I am very welcoming of any respectful person who has questions or concerns about veganism. I do not welcome those who are disrespectful. Fair enough, right?
I think it’s time to wrap this up, but I hope that you have a good understanding of how I perceive non-vegans, and that I am not judging or looking down on anyone regardless of where they are in their life. I respect all of you, remember that!