I got banned from an atheist group a few years ago because I’m vegan. It wasn’t against the rules or at least their stated rules. The mocking started out slowly, a few jokes about vegans… a few comments about how sanctimonious we are. Then it grew to the point where it seemed like the group talked more about vegans than atheism. And one person asked an honest, simple question. Where do vegans get their protein? And I answered.
Within seconds I was facing a barrage of questions? Why didn’t I care about the poor little mice being killed by threshers? Why didn’t I care about the children being worked like slaves to make my phone? I asked that person, the moderator, what phone she used because if she have a fair trade phone, I’d love to know the brand. She had no idea. She didn’t care about the kids, she informed me. She just didn’t like me because I was vegan. And then I was blocked.
When asked, people will claim they don’t dislike vegans per se, they’re just against the militant ones… the sanctimonious ones. You know those vegans. Except that’s not true. Know who else is sanctimonious? Mothers. You go onto a parenting forum and, faster than a toddler can drop a pacifier, there’s going to be a battle (especially about a toddler dropping a pacifier). And, sure, there’s groups devoted to laughing at sanctimommies but it isn’t the widespread hatred veganism receives. Hatred. For trying to do as little harm as possible. All you need to do in order to be “sanctimonious” is to have people find out you don’t eat meat. I think that a lot of people need to look through their dictionary for the real definition.
SciBabe complained today that vegetarians are petitioning In N Out burger (a U.S. burger chain) for a veggie burger to be added to their menu and, of course, vitriol followed. You’d think from the comments that the head of PeTA was holding a gun to the owner of In N Out’s head, demanding kale and nutritional yeast get added to every product on their menu. Nope, they simply asked for an additional item to be placed onto there, something that’s available at almost every burger chain in Canada. I looked at the hatred and decided it wasn’t worth my time. I vented on my page instead and got this…
“I’m talking about the vegans who go into a fast food place and bitch because there aren’t any healthy options like there are absolutely no other places to go but of course since they’re vegan everyone on the planet has to accommodate them.”
“Like, I know there are vegetarian and vegan restaurants here. I’m not of either persuasion. I don’t like tofu or many other veget./veg. dishes, so I don’t go to those restaurants. I wouldn’t go there and ask that they add a hamburger to their menu.”
Do people not realize that vegans and vegetarians have family and friends who eat meat? We aren’t hatched somewhere then come winging in, fully grown, cawing “Meat is Murder”. We have friends who want to eat out with us, family who want to go for a group dinner, and sometimes those friends and family want to eat somewhere more meat based. That’s how I ended up sitting at Red Lobster a few years ago. I ended up at Swiss Chalet the same way. It’s also how I learned that Swiss Chalet has a vegan burger and that their dipping sauce is vegan too. I used to drink that sauce as a kid, that was an amazing find.
Plus vegan isn’t a type of restaurant, it’s a philosophy of doing as little harm as possible. My current favourite restaurant is mostly vegan. They also have grass fed, pasture raised beef; it would be no problem getting a burger there. That being said, it’s vegan and has vegenaise on top but most people wouldn’t realize it wasn’t meat and mayo.
Know why I think people bash vegans? Because we’re a minority and one of the last groups that are socially acceptable to hate. And that’s simply not cool.
Vegan Mom of a proudly militant vegan offspring
p.s. I only barely tolerate tofu