Stop Hating On Vegans
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
Here we go again, another angry vegan…
I was, and still am, extremely hesitant to have my first proper blog post be on the topic of veganism because as we all know, everyone hates vegans. I have only properly been vegan about a month, but I’ve found that aside for the crippling lack of cheese in my life, one of the hardest things about it has been the way people react. I’ve got a lot of “what’s the point”, “oh my god why” and “you’re so difficult” comments, and I am rapidly losing my patience. This time last year I still ate meat, fish and dairy, but since then I have done a lot of research to educate myself on these industries and their effect on the planet, and what I have learnt has made it pretty easy for me to change my diet. I want to feel better about the way I live my life and reduce my negative impact on the planet, and so I simply cannot continue to consume animal products guilt free.
I haven’t forced anyone else into this with me, nor have I bullied anyone into feeling guilty for not making the same choices that I have, yet I have received a lot of negativity from those around me. I am in no way demanding that everyone become vegan. I understand that it is a commitment, and I believe that anyone attempting to live more sustainably by reducing their consumption of meat and dairy is already doing so much more than most people. I am just failing to understand why those who are putting in a real effort to reduce negative impacts on our planet are being made to feel bad by people who frankly couldn’t give a shit what happens to us, the planet, or the animals in it.
I won’t go into how animals in the meat and dairy industries are treated (though that post may come one day soon), because in all honesty that was not what first changed my mindset. Don’t get me wrong, it is horrendous, and I could never go back to eating meat again knowing what I know now, but that is not initially what caused me to make the change in my diet. Humans have always been quite a selfish, destructive race, but we have reached a point where ‘I don’t care about what happens to animals’ simply isn’t an excuse to consume the amount of meat and dairy that we do. It isn’t just about the animals anymore, it’s about the planet we live on – the one we are rapidly destroying.
Animal agriculture is the number one contributor to global warming, and it is now well known that largely reducing meat and dairy intake is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact. I won’t bombard you with statistics, but just consider that a vegan produces around 50% less CO2, uses 1/13th of water and 1/18th of land compared to the average meat eater. That’s a pretty big difference!
I’m not gonna tell anyone how to live their life, but I do think that continuing to live in denial is a mistake. Being vegan is a massive change and I wouldn’t dare demand it from anyone, (especially having been a meat eater for 20 years) but reducing the consumption of these products can make such a positive impact, and I don’t understand why any sensible person wouldn’t want to try and make a difference before it is too late.