Roughly 24 hours from now. It’s Saturday afternoon, you have fuck all to do. If you’re me, you won’t even go out in the evening. Regardless, you’re spending some time flicking through your Facebook feed and I’m almost certain you’ll come across one of those viral videos criticising veganism.
The premise is usually as follows: a vegan likes to tell people their vegan, they like to judge people for not being vegan and they are obliged to not even be in the same room as meat eaters. On most of these videos, there is a meat eater taking the piss out of them, mocking them etc. To be honest, they are usually quite funny.
But it does help illustrate a bigger, wider point. Vegans are usually seen as weird, and are easy targets for Internet trolls and those seeking cheap laughs and small fame.
Now, I’m no vegan. But I see the benefits of it. From a vegetarian perspective, the dairy industry is unquestionably awful to the animals involved and actively boycotting it is far from being a mock-able stance.
Veganism isn’t a miracle diet. It won’t help you lose weight, live longer or other things people claim unless you plan properly, eat well and regulate portion control. Sound familiar?
But people choose to go vegan for many reasons, not all of them health related. The main one, ethical reasons, are certainly nothing to sniff at. Isn’t that exactly what we want? A society where people make rational decisions about stuff they feel strongly about. Isn’t that better than blindly following what is written in the papers?
There are some fucking annoying vegans. The viral videos aren’t based upon lies, or even misinterpretations. There are vegans who preach about the diet, but then there are a lot who don’t. Like most things, the vocal minority ruin it for the silent majority.
And so that is why we should stop giving the diet a hard time, and its followers abuse. People are allowed to make their own decisions about lifestyle, food and such like. And that has led to a place where veganism is a serious diet, considered and regulated by law, encouraged by many and rebuked by the same amount. A rebuke is different to ridicule, and we should encourage stopping the latter.
By all means, lay out all the facts, and call out those who put people off turning vegan. But look at the diet as a serious chance to help improve the lives of people who want to eat more plant-based dishes, and maybe try and cook a few to see how you find it? After all, we can only rebuke from a position of knowledge.