Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Connecting with bad press as a vegan

Whether you're going vegan, like me or already there, chances are that you've been impacted by the bad press surrounding the vegan lifestyle. It's pretty hard to take sometimes right? Heck, sometimes I even get grief from vegans who feel that I'm not trying hard enough. Let's face it, veganism is not exactly mainstream. And even your fellow vegans can take it too far, hurting your feelings and making you feel isolated.

Your fellow vegans can turn on you.

We are passionately compassionate, aren't we? And like it or not, there are those of us who are critical of those who have not yet reached their goals. To which I sarcastically say, I am so sorry for being human. I'll try harder to be infallible in the future. I bow to your greatness. LOL

All vegans get a bad rap due to bad apples.

Unfortunately, those same overly critical vegans are often the very people non-vegans look to as an example of what a vegan is. They ironically spread the word about how wonderful it is to be compassionate, save the earth and prevent resource depletion/starvation by being.... ahem.... somewhat less than compassionate. What a shame.

People are very critical of things they don't understand.

Many people believe veganism is some kind of cult. It's not. It's just a bunch of people who have done the research and found veganism to be the most sustainable and compassionate lifestyle choice one can make and decided that's the path they'd like to take in life. And yes, of course we talk about it a lot. It's important to us, just as other people's passions are important to them, right?

Laughing it off is no joke.

How often, as a vegan or potential vegan, have you been greatly hurt by the “jokes” of your non-vegan friends and acquaintances? Personally, I can't even count the number of times I've just been minding my own business, not saying a word about veganism and been attacked with non-vegan “humor.” And no offense intended, but honestly, I have literally heard every joke, pun quip or argument against veganism in existence. I just don't even respond any more. It's not worth the aggravation.

Tradition is easier to comprehend than fact, especially when....

Tradition is on your side if you're a non-vegan. We get it, right? People have supposedly been eating meat, dairy and eggs since the very beginning. But hey, who said cavemen were smart? Just because something has always been done doesn't mean it's the best thing to do or the best way to live, does it? Of course not.

But again, I get it. It's hard to accept certain facts, when you've been told otherwise your entire life. So, I try to be patient, understanding and above all, compassionate, because that's the whole idea of being vegan, isn't it? Connecting with bad press as a vegan happens often and mostly without provocation. But if you try hard enough, you can emit the compassion you preach and squelch it.

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