Why is it hard to be a vegan without pissing people off?
Just so we understand each other, I’m aware that this gripe can appear to people with real problems as pretty minor, even self-indulgent. Fair enough. In the grand scheme of things, being a sometimes-reviled vegan really aint so bad. But, that being said, it can suck.
When you’re a vegan, you stand a strong chance of being considered smug. When you’re a vegan, your mere presence at a dinner can be a source of tension. When you’re a vegan, you can offend people simply by telling them that you’re vegan. When you’re a vegan, people try to hold you to a level of consistency that is at times damn close to unmanageable.
I once had a friend tell me that I was a hypocrite because I was drinking a Mountain Dew. What? Why? Her reasoning? She had known some vegans before and they would never drink soda, especially not from a can. So, I guess that makes me a hypocrite. Since I do something that other vegans don’t do, I’m being inconsistent. I guess I’ll have to push back my move into the wilderness (where I will live in a tree and eat sticks), because I’m not yet ready to try to achieve the level of hippyish asceticism that some people expect of vegans.
It’s really odd that non-vegans often detect a level of inconsistency between two things that they have no moral qualms with. They’re not on board with what you do and don’t eat and your reasoning behind it all, but goddammit, they’re gonna tell you when they sense some inconsistency. And isn’t that only fair? I mean, don’t I often go around telling people that they’re not living up to their ideals? Ohhh… no, wait, actually I rarely do that.
For all the bad press vegans get as being “preachy,” I find it odd that the majority of the commentary tends to come at me, not from me. And that’s not to say that all non-vegans are preachy and judgmental about me being vegan. I get along with most non-vegans just fine and it’s really not an issue for the majority of people I know (as far as I know). But when it does become an issue, it’s rarely because of anything that I did. But I guess maybe it’s hard to blame them. NOT eating something is pretty damn extreme. Just like NOT punching people and whatnot is also pretty extreme. But that’s just me. I’m a crazyass extreme vegan that goes around NOT eating certain things and NOT punching people in the face. It’s fuckin’ crazy. It’s XXXtreme.
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