Monday, June 20, 2016

Vegan is not a dirty word

Vegans aren't that bad. They even give out free cookies sometimes!
 Gee whiz, Wally. The way some people talk about vegans, you would think they were the most hateful people in the universe. Always pushing their lifestyle on you, right? Always pointing out issues you may not be aware of to give you a heads up? Damn them for being so kind and considerate of other animals. Such horrible people!

But did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, vegans care just as much about humans as they do about other animals? Well, most other people anyway. All except the ones that treat them like rogue parasites And you know what? Most vegans are even pretty nice to those people too, despite the blatant discrimination.

Folks, seriously, we're not all that bad. But I will tell you this. I'm only at the stage of transitioning to vegan life and I have been the target of hundreds of subtle and not so subtle put downs. I've been un-friended and openly mocked by several people that are close to me simply for speaking my mind and spreading awareness. I have been witness to or been the victim of thousands upon thousands of vegan slurs, put-downs and “jokes.”

It hurts, you guys. It hurts more than you can imagine, especially when it comes from friends and family. And frankly, when you're the target, it just isn't all that funny. So, if you're wondering why some vegans are so defensive, look no further than the way they're treated and the fact that most people think it's OK to make vegans feel like crap.

Yup, that's the biggest insult of all. The fact that vegan bashing, unlike other forms of prejudice is completely acceptable in our society. I've even had good friends make vegan jokes with me sitting at the dinner table and actually expect me to laugh along with them, because, although they don't respect my lifestyle, I'm supposed to respect theirs, as well as their “right” to make me the butt of their jokes.

If I were a religious person, people would be defending my right to speak about my religion. In fact, if I fit into any category, other than vegan, people would have my back on being able to freely express myself in the land of the free.

What the heck is it about being or going vegan that makes people think it's OK to emit such blatant hatred?

And it has to be said that vegans aren't anywhere near as pushy as omnivores. Every day, I live in a world where I am a minority. True, other minorities suffer greatly and vegans are not the most discriminated against in comparison. But our entire society is based on omnivorism. Think about it. Everywhere we go, we are inundated with it.

From the advertising on our favorite shows, to the exclusively omnivorous menus at 99% of restaurants, to the Facebook posts of our friend's picnics, recipes, barbecues and more, we cannot escape omnivorism. It's ever-present. We stare it smack in the face every second of our lives. Plus, every time we simply mention that we're vegan or going vegan, we have to go through an interrogation or be accused of forcefulness. But do we accuse omnivores of shoving their lifestyle down our throats? Nope.

And yes, there are a few vegans who make the rest of us look bad. There are rude and obnoxious people in every crowd, vegan or not. But folks, most of us are just excited about the information we've found that indicates being vegan is healthier, better for the planet and could quite possibly solve a few of the world's biggest problems, like starvation and water shortages. That's why we're vegan.

We want to share that information because we care about you, about other animals and about the future of the planet that we all depend upon for survival. We're not trying to force anything on anyone. We're just the messengers. You don't have to believe the message or even listen to it if you're not interested. And you don't normally shoot the messenger because the message is not to your liking, right? Nah, unless the messenger is vegan. Because then, It's ON!

You know, I've even seen people discount highly accurate information because it came to them via a vegan. A vegan didn't write it. A vegan didn't do the research. The evidence was airtight. But since a vegan told them about it or promoted it, they automatically called bullshit. Pardon my French. LOL

Now, how ridiculous is that? How do people come to hate an entire group of people with beliefs that differ from their own that much? I just don't get it. Folks, vegans are not the enemy. Vegan is not a dirty word. It's simply a term used to describe people who are trying to live a more peaceful, kinder and more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

And of course, we want to share that with other people. Because it's an awesome way to live. But mostly, because we don't just care about other animals. We care about human animals too. We want to see every animal, human or otherwise on this planet be as happy as we are. That's it. That's our big ulterior motive.

Now tell me, is that so horrible?

Folks, don't let society turn you into a hater, no matter who that hate is directed at. Bigotry is ugly in any form. Ya, even when it's directed at those “awful” vegans.

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