There are so many labels being used these days that it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t identify with a certain group of the society, whether that is in the form of political or social beliefs or even a dietary choice.
Vegans are one of the most ridiculed groups of people and we seem to have such a bad rap for one reason or the other. For those who don’t know, a vegan is someone who chooses to abstain from consuming animal products and by-products for ethical, environmental, and/or health reasons. You’d think that people would be happy someone is taking the initiative to ensure animals are treated humanely and responsibly, but apparently not.
So, why do most people find us vegans annoying? The truth is the vegan name has been stained by a few individuals who have been accused of being pushy, snobby, judgemental, rude, and having a holier-than-thou attitude. This would be annoying to anyone, but I must say that it’s not a statement that describes all vegans.
Veganism has gained so much popularity in recent times but so has a tide of vitriol towards it. While it’s natural for people to disagree, what veganism stirs up seems to defy rational sense. What is it about someone who’s trying to save the lives of animals, save the planet, and improve their health while at it that causes such a negative reaction? M
y vegan journey has mostly been incredible but not without having a hard time from non-vegans. In this article, I will take you through the reasons I think people might have for disliking vegans and whether or not they are justified, or just common misconceptions.
Why Are Vegans So Annoying
As I mentioned earlier, vegans are one of the most disliked groups of people, even ranking top with people’s negative comments towards immigrants, atheists, and homosexuals. Obviously, we aren’t similarly persecuted since being homosexual could get you killed in some countries. What I’m saying is that if you are a minority, you will be seen as a deviant for being different. Of course, you will come across people who think being vegan is cool and fantastic but a surprisingly huge amount of people’s reaction is negative and sometimes downright aggressive.
Most people who express dislike or even hatred for vegans give reasons that are essentially based on untrue stereotypes like:
Vegans Are Self-Righteous
Vegans care about the cause and often feel like they are doing the right thing. As such, they are likely to advocate the vegan lifestyle to others, which can come across as sanctimonious and virtue-signalling. When you tell people you are vegan, they feel like you consider them a supporter of animal cruelty. But that’s just because they are particularly sensitive about their moral identity as they feel your vegan choices are a bad reflection on their dietary choices and it’s somehow a condemnation of their behaviour.
I do not dispute that there are plenty of sanctimonious vegans out there who are always trying to make others feel bad about their dietary choices, but that’s not exclusively a vegan trait. Haven’t you met people who brag about how they give to charity, have eradicated plastic from their households, the list could go on.
Vegans Are Angry
Some vegans are indeed angry. But in a world where animals are treated inhumanely and exploited for human consumption, there’s bound to be an emotional response. Someone who has had a run-in with an angry vegan is likely to have a negative impression of all vegans, hence the dislike.
Vegans Are Dangerous
Linked to the point above, anger can oftentimes boil over to become unconstructive. Some people dislike vegans because they are often associated with extreme animal rights activists. Some of them intimidate/threaten people who work with “exploit” animals or go as far as damaging property. While all vegans are against the idea of using animals, not all of them advocate for such extreme courses of action. I believe being vegan is a choice and we should accord the same choice to non-vegans.
Could Be Guilt
Maybe the dislike towards vegans is more about one’s own guilt than it is towards the vegans themselves. People tend to get annoyed rather than be inspired by people who are doing good. Majority of the people know that veganism is a good thing so when faced with their contribution towards animal suffering by consuming animal products, they struggle with their own moral dilemma and conscience.
The Hatred Also Comes From Us VS Them Mentality
In today’s society, everyone sort of has their identity tied up with a certain group, which gives us a sense of belonging. This means that if you become vegan you have to switch from the omnivore community and reinforce your identity as a member of the vegan community.
Such negative portrayals of vegans are, thankfully, being challenged regularly by excellent vegan documentaries. There has also been a growing number of vegan celebrities who are effective advocates and representatives of a vegan lifestyle.
Why Are Vegans Always Announcing Their Lifestyle?
You’ve probably heard the joke that goes along the lines of, “How do you know if someone is vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” This is perhaps the biggest reason why people consider vegans to be annoying. Even so, this doesn’t really explain the ridicule and hostility we vegans often encounter. While it’s true that some vegans are quite loud about their lifestyle, thus grabbing a disproportionately huge public attention, the vast majority simply have their meals in private.
Most vegans will tell you about their vegan diet when they have to. Say you invite me to your house and try to serve meat: if I don’t tell you that I’m vegan, you’ll probably think I’m being rude or insulting your cooking when I end up not eating it. This leaves me no choice but to tell you in advance about my food preferences.
People choose to go vegan to save animals, the environment, and health purposes. Whatever your reason, I’d like to say that it’s good to open up the conversation and have discussions about veganism. This will normalize veganism and reduce prejudice, help other vegans feel less alone in their journey, and let people know so they don’t offer you non-vegan products.
Annoying Things That Some Vegans Do
From the text above, it’s clear that the reasons people give for disliking vegans are based on the one or two vegans they have met and not a general description of all vegans. With that being said, I must say that I’ve noticed a few annoying things that vegans do. These aren’t obnoxious enough to turn someone off or warrant such hatred towards vegans but are annoying to even other vegans. This includes:
- Announcing that you are vegan for no reason: Please stop doing this; it doesn’t make you look cool just braggy.
- Calling out non-vegans: The best way to convert people to veganism is to try leading by example and not condemning meat-eaters.
- I only eat salad: While this may be your preference, I highly doubt you can survive solely off leaves. Veganism is about saving animals and the planet and not a purity competition, so please show your non-vegan friends and family members how much incredible food there is to eat in the vegan world that’s not just salad.
- Everything vegan is healthy: The idea that a food product is healthy just because its vegan is totally wrong. There’s a rising wave of vegan junk food, including vegan candy, cake, cookies, potato crisps, and so on. These are nowhere near being healthy as they contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, all of which are associated with serious diseases.
Conclusion: Are Vegans So Annoying?
Vegans are not annoying. In fact, we are very nice people; we love animals and care for their overall well-being.
Most vegans are very considerate and will bring their food to parties just so you don’t go through the hassle of making a vegan dish. This is also an opportunity for us to get people to taste our foods and feel what the vegan buzz is all about. I mean, free food is not annoying now, is it?
Most vegans were once non-vegan. This means that they respect everyone’s food choices. And if you think I don’t know how amazing meat tastes like, I do but don’t miss it even for a second. While I wish that everyone was vegan, I get that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Traffic jams, chatty Cathys when you’re trying to have a relaxing day at the spa, and a sudden rain shower when you’re just from the salon and forgot to carry an umbrella are what should be considered annoying. Not saving the animals and the planet while having yummy, healthy food.
The bottom line is there are annoying people out there but it’s not their vegan lifestyle that’s annoying, rather the people part of them.