Today I want to address something I hear on the internet all the time.
Why are vegans so mean?
For the last year, I have seen countless people say that there are certain vegans who make veganism itself intolerable and unapproachable. People out there really hate vegans, and it might be because of those who are more aggressive towards non-vegans. I think that a lot of non-vegans feel personally attacked when a vegan confronts them. I have many thoughts about this entire issue, and I feel obligated to talk about this since many non-vegans visit Simply Overjoyed, and I always want to portray veganism in a positive light.
I think that some vegans are “mean” because they’re passionate. Yeah, I think that’s really it. That, and maybe some vegans weren’t nice to begin with, I don’t think a diet change made a difference. Back to the first part…when you go vegan, you learn so much about animals, the environment, world hunger, health, the list goes on and on. It is so easy to be angry and desperate to make a change in the world. However, most people aren’t willing to make the connection that vegans have made, and trust me, it’s very frustrating. I think that’s where the anger comes from. Vegans care so much about what they are fighting for that they can be overly frustrated and forceful on non-vegans which is definitely difficult for people to take. Some people respond well to it, most don’t. That’s why I have always tried to present veganism in an open way where nobody feels forced into changing their lifestyle. I try be understanding of the fact that many people are just not ready to make the connections that vegans have made. It is scary to change your lifestyle. I’ve been there and I get it. I think all vegans understand that, but that doesn’t stop some from getting a bit angry when so many people make excuses and just aren’t willing to open up their mind.
Ok, I talked about why vegans can be mean and that I don’t always condone it, but now I need to address the non-vegans:
Why do you feel so bothered by vegans? Why do they make you feel uncomfortable?
Is it possible that what they say makes you feel uncomfortable because you know, deep down, that it’s all true? Are you content with your lifestyle and can’t bear the thought that maybe there is some ethical, health, and environmental issues that you are contributing to?
Think about it: something will only affect you if you let it. If you are truly confident and comfortable with your life decisions, vegans shouldn’t even have any impact on you. If they do, well…..maybe it is a good time to think about your decisions and whether or not they are in line with your ethics and morals. I find that many people who argue with vegans are actually arguing with themselves. Still, vegans get the blame as being aggressive and awful people.
My main purpose of addressing vegans and how people view them is that I do feel that some forms of activism are better than others. Some people do make vegans look bad, that’s definitely true. I think most vegans are excellent at portraying the lifestyle in a positive light. However, even with all the great activism out there, there will always be those who hate vegans for whatever reason. You just can’t win ’em all I guess.
Most of the time, the people who passionately hate vegans tend to have issues with themselves and their own decisions, so I can’t really take what they say personally. Especially since every vegan has been at a place where they don’t want to accept the truth, and virtually every future vegan will go through it as well. I think a little bit of understanding towards non-vegans is very important. We shouldn’t be so hard on people, especially those who are trying.
The world is changing, more and more vegan product and vegan activism are appearing every day. Vegans are making a positive impact overall, and I think it is because our message is so strong. More and more people will be open to the vegan lifestyle, but it unfortunately can’t all happen overnight. Until then, I think that vegans should keep spreading the message. I don’t love all forms of activism out there, but even the most aggressive vegans are making a difference and are influencing people.
If you have a good message, it will make an impact. One day at a time.