On a recent post I made for this site, I received a comment about how a lot of vegans have this tendency to be preachy and make meat-eaters feel bad about their dietary choices. I don’t know how much backlash I am going to get about this post, but VEGANS, STOP.
In my mind, everyone has their own right to make their personal dietary choices. There is a huge difference between informing others that you may think a certain diet is beneficial and making others feel bad about their choices. The comment I received on my post pointed out that the poster, as a carnivore, had no problem with the food choices vegans made, but (s)he did not appreciate how the vegan companions (s)he knew did not respect non-vegan decisions, and they only saw one absolute truth in food consumption. This is not okay. VEGANS, STOP.
If you want to be a carnivore, that is fine with me, and if you want to be a vegan, that is fine as well, just as long as you respect my choices. It is too bad that there exist vegans who only see their way as the right way, and it’s too bad there are carnivores who feel the same way about their choices. There will always be people like this, but you can’t fight fire with fire, so VEGANS, STOP.
You are better than this. You chose a vegan diet because it makes you happy, and while you should definitely promote your beliefs, be friendly about it. Don’t make others feel uncomfortable about their personal decisions. Carnivores, this message goes out to you too. If both sides actually listened to the others’ points, and ignored the preachers on both sides, maybe we could work something out. EVERYONE, STOP.
STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. There are so many carnivores who have an open mind about food choices, even if they are not open to becoming a vegan. There are obviously extremes on both sides (carnivores and vegans), but most people are reasonable human beings. There does actually exist a middle ground where we can work together to make the world a better place (for lack of a better cliché). If vegans can inform the moderate carnivores about humane, locally-sourced alternatives, maybe there is hope. You don’t have to convert anyone to veganism, just share your knowledge. Instead of making people feel bad about their choices to change their opinions, try having an open conversation about better food choices. Anti-meat is not always sustainable for everyone, but humane practices and lower meat consumption are much easier for most people to stomach.
Meat is such a large part of many cultures, and so many people’s lives in general, that the best way to spark social change is to take things slowly. Personally, I don’t see many large scale practices changing any time soon, so I just choose my own eating preferences and stick to them. But if a plan to reinvent the food mindset were to be initiated, making people feel bad about their choices is not the way (vegans, stop). There are so many people who cannot imagine a life without meat, and they really should not have to. Vast improvements can be made by simply educating others where their food is coming from. It has become clear that neither vegans nor carnivores can have everyone conform to their lifestyles, so why not try to meet others halfway there?