I love being vegan.
Yeah, it started out as something I did for health reasons- I wanted to change the way I ate. But then I found… I just liked it. It’s not that I don’t like the taste of meat or dairy, and it’s not that I have an allergy or anything… I just enjoy being vegan.
And it also happens that it’s a kinder way to live, for animals, for the environment, and other people.
That being said, I don’t think consuming animal products is inherently wrong. There are people in the world who don’t have the means to live the lifestyle that I (and so many others) have chosen to live.
I think it’s wrong to partake in the current state of the meat & dairy industry (yes, you are contributing when you choose to buy it– sorry, supply and demand, there’s no way around it), but I don’t think you’re an asshole just because you eat meat.
Why Did I Go Vegan?
Well, I initially went vegan for the same reason that a lot of people go vegan: I thought it’d be healthier. There’s a misconception out there that being vegan automatically means you’re a health nut…
Hello… you know you can make cake without eggs, right? You can be vegan and still be a total fatass. But I was under the same impression before going totally vegan myself.
Then I found out it’s still work to be healthy on a vegan diet, and eating an omni-diet doesn’t automatically mean “unhealthy”.
Now, is it healthier to eat less meat? Yep.
Animal products are dense with sat fats (see my post on healthy vs. unhealthy fats [and other stuff]). They’re fine in small amounts, but we overdo it.
And as a result of our need for so much meat & dairy (which health-wise, we don’t need), you get the current state of the meat & dairy industry: cheap products that are created by overworked-underpaid employees who then abuse the shit out of the animals.
It’s our fault.
All that being said… I’m not going to force anyone to go vegan. Here’s why:
Why I’m Not Pushing My Veganism on Anyone Else
#1: You Get More Flies with (Ethically Sourced) Honey Than Vinegar
Nobody likes an asshole. I’m not a fan of doing “the wrong things for the right reasons”.
Honestly, some of you vegans out there? I dislike you and I fucking agree with you (on a basic level). Because you’re behaving like a fucking heathen and expecting to awaken other people’s compassion with it. What planet are you on? That shit doesn’t work.
People are more likely to see your side if you’re nice to them. If Daryl Davis can convert KKK members with thoughtful conversation, you can bring yourself down a level to talk to a non-vegan.
Get off your high-horse, you’re not that special. You’re still an asshole, you’re just an asshole that eats lettuce.
#2: Trying To Control Other People Ruins YOUR Life
All these other vegans who shout about non-vegans and how they deserve to be killed or whatever… how fucking miserable must you be? Like, are you thinking about this stuff 24/7? Jesus.
Other than thinking you’re superior because you don’t kill animals, you don’t seem to have anything to be happy about. Shit… you’ve built a platform (or a lifestyle) off of hating people who don’t think like you do…
… and that’s just sad.
It’s alienating and it’s bad for veganism. Don’t be like that.
#3: If You’re Trying to Change The World, You Need To Be Open and Accessible
The best way to get people to understand where you’re coming from is to make yourself accessible to them. That’s how you change the world.
I know a lot of people who are already vegetarian or trying to eat less meat who might try vegan foods if they’re allowed to ask the right questions.
That’s why I won’t ever push my veganism on anyone. I want them to know that they can come talk to me and ask me questions, and not be afraid that they’re opening the floodgates to some evangelist sermon about why the entire world needs to go vegan.
I want to be approachable so that people aren’t scared to ask me about going vegan without being judged.
#4: ANY Reduction of Exploitation is Good For Veganism
This all or nothing mindset is bad for veganism.
It creates a clique that makes it hard for people to fathom going (and staying) vegan… even other vegans.
As someone who’s grown to care about where my food and self-care products come from, I’m good with anyone who starts trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
#5: Veganism Isn’t Hard… But The Only Way To Prove That Is to Be Normal About It
Other than the fact that I’m vegan, I’m just like everyone else.
I have likes, dislikes, still love a good glass of wine and a night with the girls… a lot of what makes a person a person.
I just happen to eat plants instead of stuff that comes from animals.
Vegans Are People, Too… And We Need To Act Like It
Vegans are not perfect in any sense of the word. We do not have “the secret to the best way to live”… we’re just making a choice that we feel benefits other sentient beings (as well as other human beings).
We’re not gods.
That being said, don’t use a few assholes as an excuse not to do better.
Just because some vegans are fanatics doesn’t mean that we as a society shouldn’t strive to be better.
There is reason to believe that if we all try to reduce the amount of animal products we consume (including products tested on animals), it’s more sustainable. The negative impact on the environment is reduced, fewer sentient beings suffer and/or die, and we might even start to get healthier as a people.
If you’re vegan and reading this, I challenge you to change your perspective on people who aren’t.
If you’re NOT vegan and reading this, I challenge you to change your perspective on veganism.
What have you really got to lose by giving someone the benefit of the doubt?
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