Unimaginative and misinformed folks alike are frighteningly prone to regurgitating the same old words when they hear you’ve gone vegan. You may hear that vegans are all self-righteous, militant, angry, preachy, hippy, zealots and sandal-wearers.
Are we? Well, some of us might be I guess. I mean, I’ve been known to wear sandals 🙂
A new vegan unwittingly yet inevitably holds up a mirror to those that still participate in animal consumption (and thus cruelty), and this can provoke a guilt that often expresses as derision and mockery.
For example: I feel that people use the word ‘militant’ when really the vegan they’re referring to is ‘passionate’, but they would rather say ‘militant’ because it’s easier to be reductive and dismissive about something they couldn’t do themselves but know they perhaps should.
But what does it actually say about you if you go vegan?
If you’ve become vegan, or are thinking of doing so, you’ve already proved your self-assuredness and don’t need mine or anybody’s validation, but there are some facts that it’s safe to say are really true about you:
1. You are a discerning individual with massive capacity for critical thinking. You’ve taken a look at the status quo and asked questions. You haven’t believed the ‘well that’s just the way it is’ shtick. You KNOW it’s not the way it has to be, and you’ve taken action to change that, starting with what you consume three times a day.
2. You have proved you are a free-thinker. With all the meat and dairy ‘noise’ going on around you – all the folks whining about how they couldn’t live without bayyyyykun; all the ads for Sunday roasts; for yoghurts; for ice-cream; all the trendy single concept joints (usually burgers or chicken!) trying to seduce you – you have gone and bloody well risen above this shizzle and chosen for yourself what you will and won’t consume.
Many ‘liberal’ folks feel they are independent free-thinkers, but they really are not.
Most university professors, doctors and philosophers, etc aren’t as free-thinking as you.
If only they were!
3. You’re a leader not a follower. Even if someone you consider a leader initially inspired you to go vegan, many in your social circles (who are not acquainted with your original source of inspiration) will see you as a radical pioneer, which you totally are. Everyone learns from someone. Now go be someone else’s inspiration!
4. You may disagree, but I think you are pretty damn fearless. You have dared to make changes because of what you’ve learned, despite the fact that this is not yet (YET!) the popular thing to do. You have dared to be a vegan in a non-vegan world. Do you even realise how huge a deal this is? Do you even realise how many people are too frightened to do this?
5. Assuming you are going vegan for ethical reasons (though I’m convinced you will make the connection even if you initially go vegan for other reasons) you are able to say you are truly living in alignment with your values. Everyone gushes about how they looooove animals, when they really just mean they love their pets or exotic animals, not the ones that are available for them to eat.
YOU are walking the proverbial, er, walk.
6. You have the ability to see the bigger picture. You have connected the slab of flesh that comes shrink-wrapped in supermarkets to cruelty and unnecessary slaughter.
Maybe you’ve made the connection and realised that animal products and the saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones, anti-biotics and chemicals they contain are the primary cause of most chronic diseases.
You could have also realised that animal agriculture is the primary cause of all forms of environmental degradation. You’ve made the link between eating animal products and your children’s or grandchildren’s future on this planet.
And just for shits and giggles:-
What the words used to describe vegans really mean:
Militant = passionate about a lifestyle that can save the planet, our health, billions of animals lives and potentially end world hunger.
Preachy = wanting to spread the message about this lifestyle, because duh, why wouldn’t you?
Angry = frustrated when you explain the above and get the response ‘but… BAYYYYKUUUN!’
Self-righteous = when you explain how good you feel living this way
Zealot = see ‘militant’
Hippy = you dare to live counter to the status quo
Sandal-wearer = um, someone who wears skimpy footwear