Contrary to popular belief, being a vegan doesn’t mean that you try to get everyone around you to follow your lifestyle. It also doesn’t mean you’re going to throw paint at fur-wearers (even though you really, really want to) or slam someone for biting into a steak. But sometimes people’s fur prickles when they are in the company of a vegan and if this is occurring online in social media or forums, then such anti-vegans often have more courage to attack vegans because they're hidden behind a screen. If you’re the victim of this, here is how to deal with it.
- 1. When choosing a pro-vegan post on your social media, you might have to deal with the anti-vegans in the comments box. The best thing to do is not to engage with their comments as often people are just looking for a fight online. Just ignore it or delete it - it’s your page or profile, after all.
- 2. Focus on facts. The word ‘hater’ in itself shows how it is loaded with emotion, so the best way to deal with one is to focus on the facts. If someone challenges you, saying that your diet is unhealthy because you’re vegan, for instance, you can reply by stating research that states the opposite without airing an emotional opinion. By doing this, you diffuse an online rant or argument, because seriously who needs that?
- 3. Realize that it’s not really about you. Just because you’re vegan it doesn’t mean that this hater is attacking you. Okay, it sure feels like it but there are other things going on within them. Perhaps their thinking about what it means to be vegan is off, or they’re just one of those people who will ridicule anything that they don’t choose for their own lives, etc. Basically, don’t take it personally and if it becomes an attack on your character then the 'report abuse' or 'block' option is always the perfect conversation ender.
- 4. Don’t stop your pro-vegan posting, but do be mindful of how you’re coming across. As with any lifestyle choice, you want to focus on being positive online without turning your posts into trying to get others to join you. Yes, motivate them with the facts and emotional posts and definitely share your stories, but don’t clog up the newsfeed with long lectures about how non-vegans are bad people. Respect is a two-way street.
*Image courtesy retrostar / Dollar Photo Club