Hi. The Planet Is On Fire. Are Vegans Still Too Pushy?
You don’t have to like us but let’s be honest about the consequences of eating animals
One of the common criticisms lobbed against vegans is that we’re pushy. Of course, you’ve heard the old chestnut: “Q: How can you tell if someone is vegan? A: Don’t worry. They’ll tell you.” Get it? Because, like, we’re are all up in your business and blasting our irksome vegan vibes all over the place, perpetually dialed to 11 like the amps in Spinal Tap.
I have been told vegans are annoying, nosy and intrusive since I first went vegan in 1995 and after 25 years, it’s crystal clear to me that the mere presence of a vegan, physically or virtually, provides all that is needed for a defensive reaction. A friend, who is a meat-eater, remarked on his Facebook recently that all he did was post favorably about a brand of vegan sausages and he faced all kinds of heckling. He is an omnivore and that one little post was triggering enough for haters to come out of the woodwork. If there’s one thing people can bond on across political and social divides, it’s that vegans are pushy and aggressive, even when they’re not actually vegan.
This pervasive cultural notion of The Pushy Vegan is worth examining and having an honest, humble reckoning with as we enter a new season with a highly transmissible and deadly pandemic breathing down our collective necks. Who is being pushy, the person who shares vegan recipes and fundraises for animal rescues or the ones who insist on their “right” to eat animals despite how much it endangers all of us as well as future generations ? The person who reminds you, accidentally or even on purpose, that you are eating beings who wanted to live, or the one whose habits are quite literally inflicting the consequences of their choices on everyone else?
I know what’s coming next so I will get it out of the way.
• I am sanctimonious.
• I am self-righteous.
• I am shaming.
• I am the stereotypical judgmental vegan.
Honestly, I can live with that. After all, is there a way to have a non-defensive conversation about how personal choices are no longer personal when they have wide-ranging and disastrous consequences for others? How do we sugarcoat the facts to get a foot in the door but still have an…