Okay, this is going to be a bit of a rant that might be scattered and confusing!
I personally do not identify as vegan because I have not yet accepted the lifestyle fully. I do consume a 99% plant based diet and I do not support animal cruelty in terms of vanity. Since beginning the transition process, I have taken notice of all the stereotypes there are surrounding the vegan community. I have also noticed the ignorant statements that people who consume a non-vegan diet say about vegans and their way of life, and I have something to say about it.
In no way am I insulting those who eat a non-vegan diet, also known as a standard American diet or omnivorous diet. I personally don’t care what you choose to put into your body. I really don’t. What bothers me is when those of you who do choose to eat an omnivorous diet think you know what veganism actually is simply because you’ve heard a stereotype. What bothers me is when people hear that someone is a vegan and they roll their eyes or snicker under their breath. It’s incredibly rude and disheartening. There is no need for it.
Something that truly bothers me is when I hear statements like, “vegans think they’re all high and mighty just because they didn’t order a burger that the person one table over is going to order anyway! They’re not even making a difference! Just eat the burger”. That is an incredibly ignorant statement. The process of supply and demand is effected by the purchase of products by consumers. By choosing not to engage in the purchasing of animal products, the demand is decreased, resulting in a lower supply need, which ultimately results in less torture and slaughter of animals.
The majority of people follow that up by laughing and saying “but one person isn’t going to change the supply and demand of a product”. That is basically true, one person won’t make any kind of a dent, but I am not the only person choosing to eat a plant based diet. There are thousands of people engaging in that lifestyle. Thousands of people choosing to not purchase animal products, that’s going to begin to make a dent in company supply/demand. Dairy, for example, has seen a drastic drop in sales over the past couple of years due to the production of a wide variety of plant-based milks such as soy, cashew, almond, etc. Many people are no longer purchasing dairy milk, or are at least decreasing the amount that they purchase, which results in the company not needing to supply as much of that product, which then results in less artificial insemination of cows for their milk.
People who consume an omnivorous diet don’t want to be told that what they have been taught is wrong. The majority feel attacked when a vegan steps up and tries to educate them on what they’re eating and why it is bad for their health. Vegans are not trying to attack you. They are not even trying to sway you one way or another. They are trying to educate you because most vegans have done their own research and have realized that what human beings have been taught is both lie and tradition.
Instead of basing every vegan you meet on a stereotype and rolling your eyes at them, how about you ask them why they chose to go that route? How about you ask questions and receive answers. Enlighten yourself. Learn something. Nobody is asking you to agree. Nobody is pressuring you or trying to make you feel guilty. That’s on you. If you feel guilty when you’re informed about veganism and what it entails, that’s not the fault of the person informing you, that’s on you.
I am asking non-vegans to drop this damn stereotype you have over vegans and even vegetarians. We chose to live our lives differently than you. We did our homework and made a decision based on health and personal morals. Why does that make us bad people? Why does that make vegans the enemy?