How do you know if someone’s vegan? Don’t worry, their daughter will write a blog post about it!
A new twist on an all-too-popular joke these days. I do amuse myself.
People say that being vegan – or even knowing someone who is – is an eye opener to some of the things that happen in the world. Very often, they mean the level of animal cruelty that so often comes with food production. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, a whole new way of cooking and eating.
For me, being a vegetarian with a vegan family definitely does all that. But there is one thing that makes me wary of trying it myself, and no, it’s not my love of cheese. I’m very fond of cheese, don’t get me wrong, but I used to feel the same about bacon and I honestly don’t miss that as much as I once thought I would.
My real reason is just as cowardly: the hatred and prejudice towards vegans that is spreading at least as quickly as the cause itself. The internet practically exploded when Greggs started making vegan sausage rolls. So did Piers Morgan when he tried a gelatin free Percy Pig. You see it in day-to-day life as well. People often don’t object to food that doesn’t contain animal products, or is bacon or cheese flavoured but has no traces of the real thing. Until you put the word “vegan” in front of it. Then they can’t get away fast enough.
Plus, any article on the subject will inevitably be followed with comments like “why not just eat an ACTUAL sausage roll?” Or “vegans should go stuff themselves with kale and leave our sweets alone”. Or “vegans are some of the preachiest hypocrites I have ever met, they should all just shut up and stop shoving their views in my face…”
So here’s what I have to say to those comments:
- Vegans – and vegetarians – rarely give up meat because they hate the taste. They simply do not want to eat something that an animal had to die for. Some love meat/dairy/egg substitutes. What’s wrong with that? Others see no need for them and can still have as wide a cooking repertoire as anyone.
- Having a veggie version of a popular chewy sweet in no way interferes with your right to keep eating the regular ones. Being a vegan doesn’t make you want variety and indulgence any less. Why does it bother so many meat eaters when vegans try to achieve that?
- Many of the most preachy, hypocritical articles and comments I have read have come from meat eaters who complain about vegans shoving their opinions down people’s throats but have no issue in doing the same. Then maybe for good measure, they’ll throw in a quip about how veganism is a lie because it’s impossible to go through life without causing harm. As someone from a family who feeds their cats meat, I KNOW. That’s not the point. The idea of veganism is to simply reduce your part in cruelty as much as possible.
I may not be a vegan myself, but prejudice in any form gets my blood boiling, and I’m glad to have got that out of my system. Being a vegetarian can be enough hassle, and I’m still working on dealing with the minority categories I’m already in before I choose to put myself in another. Through years of meat eating, vegetarianism, and veganism between us, my family and I have always been firm about not forcing our own ways on other people. Yet once people get it in their heads that this should go one way, they forget it actually applies to everyone. Couldn’t we all benefit from remembering that?