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Mayim Bialik Confronts Anti-Vegans
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Mayim Bialik Confronts Anti-Vegans

Finally, someone in the limelight has taken a stand against vegan haters. 'The Big Bang Theory' actress Mayim Bialik recently stated that she doesn’t understand why people would be anti-vegan. As the vegan star wrote in her blog, some people tend to see vegans as being obnoxious and confessed she has met some vegans who are like this in her own life, but adds that it’s shocking the way some non-vegans see vegans as a threat to their consumption of meat.  Yeah, exactly! What is up with that? There are a few things about anti-vegans that really make me shake my head in disbelief. They are:

  • 1. The idea that if I choose to be vegan I am preventing you from not being vegan. Last I checked, it was a lifestyle choice not something anyone was forced to do. If people are at a restaurant and one person wants to order fish and the other wants a vegan meal, what’s the big deal?  
  • 2. Related to the above point is how warped society is that some people will get flustered at the thought of someone being vegan, as though they’re committing a crime or killing animals by eating meat. Isn’t the latter the real crime here? (Not that I’m saying we need to go out and shout at meat eaters or anything.) As Mayim stated, some meat-eaters feel that vegans are somehow a threat to them, which is ridiculous.  
  • 3.  Yes, the self-righteous vegans are annoying but self-righteous people in general are, too. Why put self-righteousness and vegans in the same group, though? They don’t always go together. It’s a stereotype that must go. 
  • 4. When I was eating meat, I had a vegetarian friend who used to send me long texts telling me how bad it was what I was doing. Years later, we strangely switched places: I had become vegetarian and he was eating meat again. I never shamed him, though. He told me, 'Why don’t you eat meat again?' a few times. I’d just laugh him off but it made me think how often people just want everyone to be like them, no matter what side of the issue they’re on.   
  • 5. Anything different from the norm can become a problem. Don’t take it personally, though: making a decision that differs from that of the crowd is sure to ruffle some feathers. It doesn’t only have to be veganism: it can be that you don’t want kids or to get married; it could be that you want to pursue an artistic career instead of a conventional one; and so on. You’d think that vegans were the self-righteous ones but it seems that many people in general are, about a lot of things.

So what do we do? We have to respect the opinions of non-vegans in the hope that they will respect us, and stay away from the unreal, hurtful ones as much as we can. I’m glad Mayim has taken a stand to show that she’s proud to be vegan and that she, too, doesn’t understand the anger directed towards vegans. We need more celebrities like this and maybe we’ll start to get more positive feedback or just be left alone so we can eat our quinoa in peace.

*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. lancomex
    I really agree with her comments. I once had a roommate that said I made him uncomfortable because I didn't eat meat. Not once did I ever make him feel guilty or preach to him about being a vegan. I chalked it up to that he didn't have me to be his cheerleader when he bbq steak etc. To be fair he did an excellent job bbqing veggies.
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  2. beachgurl
    Really thoughtful post! I agree, self righteous people can be both vegan and non-vegan, and both can be annoying. We all have to walk our own path.
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  3. Marvin Double
    Marvin Double
    There is a powerful human need to bond with other humans. This is not simply a desire to be accepted, but an actual part of our neurological wiring. We very much need to be able to rely on the people around us to be supportive and helpful. This is why we organize into tribes, groups, villages, towns, cities and societies. A part of this bonding comes from being able to accurately predict and understand others. This tends to manifest in a set of widely accepted patterns of behaviour, or beliefs. These behaviours and beliefs form an unspoken covenant which is both familiar and comforting. Those who break away from this covenant are seen as violating the set of rules which defines what it means to be normal. This is true of all cultures and becomes most visible in things like religions. We are taught from a young age to accept that which is normal and reject anything outside how normal is defined. We vegans, are a small but growing segment of the population. As such we represent a group which challenges behaviours and ideas which have long been accepted as normal. These ideas are so deeply ingrained in behaviour as to be difficult to separate from the individual identity of each person. For most, not eating meat is simply unthinkable. The consumption and use of animals is so much a part of most cultures, and has become so normal it is accepted without thought. It is one of those unspoken things which bonds us together and has done so for eons. Telling someone you are vegan challenges all that and can elicit a virtually primal reaction. In some, the need to maintain normal, is so powerful it simply overrides their capacity to be rational or reasonable. Their reaction to vegans is not only a rejection of the vegan lifestyle, it is a visceral need to be normal and push aside anything which might threaten what normal means to them.
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