1. They shove their views down people’s throats
By now, you’ve probably gotten comfortably used to being constantly told you should eat, wear and use any form
of animal products; whether by advertisements on tv, radio, billboards, restaurants, cafes, popup/sponsored ads, grocery stores, celebrities, fashion brands, cooking shows, cosmetic companies, store displays, schools, public transport… basically anywhere you can slap an advert (which is pretty much everywhere). I can tell you now with complete certainty, the majority of the hundreds of adverts you see on a daily basis are not vegan, so when you do see an image or post suggesting not using animal products, it’s gonna stand out. So the next time you think a vegan is forcing their views on you, maybe compare it to the amount of times companies force their non-vegan views on you and have a think as to whether vegans really deserve to be singled out for advertising and sharing their message, just like everyone else.
2. They’re self-righteous & think they’re better than everyone else
I think this perception comes down to the vegan message being misconstrued as something that is related to how people feel about themselves. Being vegan isn’t about being better than anyone; it’s about not contributing to the suffering or exploitation of animals. If someone explains their reasoning behind veganism and your immediate reaction is to focus only on how that vegan regards themselves, rather than acknowledging the actual reasons (aka. the animals) that isn’t down to the vegan; that’s down to you.
3. They judge people who eat meat
Most vegans weren’t born vegan and so aren’t really in a position to judge meat eaters but it can be difficult to understand how someone can continue to consume animal products, after they become aware of the torture animals endure in these industries. So whilst vegans might have no right to judge others, it can be hard to ignore the links between compassion and lifestyle.
4. They’re hypocrites. They kill animals too
Can we live our entire life without ever harming or killing anything? No. I probably kill ants when I walk around outside but by no means, does that make me think I should start knowingly contributing to the horrors of animal agriculture, animal testing or any of the other ways humans exploit animals. Pointing out unavoidable animal products or deaths isn’t an argument against veganism, it just brings to light how much humans take from animals. Veganism is about causing as little harm as possible.
5. They talk about being vegan all the time
In a world so dedicated to using and abusing animals, it is the ones who are against it that need to speak up. Vegans are trying to give animals a voice and they wouldn’t be very good at that if they did it silently… No major changes ever came from people silently disagreeing.
It’s also actually quite difficult not to mention being vegan when you live in a society that is so unbelievably non-vegan. You might be surprised by how much of your life is spent consuming or talking about animal products, animal based events or products tested on animals, so bear that in mind before claiming it’s vegans who talk about it all the time. They’re usually just counteracting a specifically non vegan topic, on which they have as much right to have an opinion as a non vegan.
6. They’re so aggressive
It’s easy to get heated when you’re passionate about something and it’s even easier when that passion has everyone around you thinking you’re crazy. Many people have a preconceived image of what they think vegans are like and therefore, anything you say regarding veganism is met with somewhat preconceived reactions. This can often lead down a rather predictable path and it can be fairly obvious the person involved isn’t interested in what the vegan is saying but rather, ‘proving’ them wrong by bringing up that one article they read some time about the vegan who died or explaining how they base their dietary choices on the likes of cavemen and lions… This can be frustrating at times. Most vegans would be down for a discussion as long as you put forward your own genuine, relevant thoughts and not just what you think you should say to a vegan because it’s what you’ve seen or heard other people say.
7. They don’t leave non vegans alone
The priorities of vegans are the millions of animals killed needlessly, every day. Whether or not that hurts your feelings or is nothing but an annoyance to you doesn’t matter because it’s not about you. That may sound harsh but it’s nothing personal; veganism isn’t about any one individual. It’s about the animals, and so the day vegans leave non vegans alone will be the day animals stop being abused and killed. Simple.
8. They’ve been brainwashed
In school, we’re all taught milk is necessary for calcium and meat is necessary for protein but what I don’t remember, is being taught the horrendous, standard practices that take it from a living, breathing animal to my dinner plate.
Now I think about it, I don’t remember being taught how animals are tortured to ‘test’ cosmetic or cleaning products; I don’t remember being taught animals in the zoo would rather be wild; I don’t remember being taught leather is a skinned cow… I don’t remember being taught how many million animals die each day at the hands of humans and I don’t remember ever being taught that animal lives could matter in any way, other than to benefit humans.
So now I’m an adult who has questioned and researched these industries, as well as many more, and decided I no longer want to contribute to such exploitation and destruction. I took it upon myself to not just believe what I had always been taught and made up my own mind whether I was ok with how animals are treated and even though I didn’t even know one other vegan, I reached the conclusion that I was not ok with it.
No one ‘brainwashed’ me apart from the animal abusing industries who tried to condition me, as a child, to think the way we treat animals is in any way acceptable.
9. I respect their choice to be vegan. They should respect my choice not to be
You’re choosing to abuse and kill animals and that isn’t an easy choice to respect to be honest. I can understand it’s not necessarily the fault of the individual (see point 8) but once you know what happens, how can you ignore it?
10. They’re not even making a difference
Don’t underestimate the power of a small group of like minded people, they have been responsible for many changes over the years. There’s no denying veganism is on the rise and even large, conglomerate companies are taking notice. New vegan products are being introduced all the time and many businesses are moving towards animal free, cruelty free products; Hellman’s vegan mayo, almond milk Bailey’s, dairy free Ben & Jerry’s are all examples from the last year and there’s just too many exclusively vegan companies to name! So if that’s not considered making a difference, I don’t know what is!
So in conclusion, being vegan is awesome and you have nothing to lose by looking into it. It’s now easier than ever and it’s only going to get easier, so be a part of the change towards compassion and let’s evolve to be peaceful
All photos are from Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in New York.