I know being vegan is supposed to be something that makes you feel like you are taking care of the planet and yourself, but I don't always feel that way. Sometimes I really dislike being vegan. Vegans now have the same attitude of some Prius owners. It's not that people don't like the idea behind saving money or being environmentally friendly, but some Prius owners present themselves in a better than thou attitude. Vegans are starting to follow this pattern.
People are ruining the experience of being vegan and becoming vegan. When I decided to become vegan I felt concerned about how difficult it would be, and how friends and family would think of me. I wasn't worried they would look down on me; I thought they would assume I was becoming pretentious about my diet. There is a common thought about vegans- that they will put you down if you aren't vegan, and that they are more enlightened because they are choosing not to eat animals.
I have seen too many people posting comments and memes on social media putting down those who eat differently. They are being told they are murderers and that they don't care about the environment. I don't know about any of you, but I never decided to make a large life change because I was put down.
I don't like that being vegan can feel like a cult or religious experience. When I go to a restaurant I feel horrible when I tell people that I'm vegan. I always say, "I'm annoyingly vegan, I know that is a hassle". I feel this way because I don't want someone to assume I'm pretentious or that I think I am morally better. But, those are the two things that people think when they hear someone is vegan. They don't want to somehow get caught up in a conversation that will make them feel bad about what they are eating.
I would like to set the record straight for current vegans who are a little too preachy- you are turning people away from being vegan with your moral high ground. You are also ruining the vegan name. Veganism is about being healthy and loving towards everyone. I genuinely believe that vegans who are too preachy are like bible thumping christians. People don't want to be told they are going to hell, and they definitely don't want to start a conversation about it. So, why would vegans take the same mentality when talking about veganism?
If you are vegan and you find yourself constantly telling people that 'if they truly cared about the environment then they wouldn't eat animals', or 'dogs and animals are all equal and you wouldn't eat a dog' then please rethink your approach. Being vegan is about giving your body the best and healthiest nutrients. It's also caring for the earth. If you take the love and understanding out of veganism then your just making it another diet. Not everyone becomes vegan for the same reasons, and are most likely offended by the constant put down.
Let's change the way that people look at veganism because everyone deserves to be healthy. I want everyone to remove the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. I care about animals and the earth as well, but I believe that once people start taking care of themselves then they will take care of the planet. Change your voice before you turn someone away from saving their own health.