“What is the word for these burgers which aren’t actually burgers at all but rather they are made up of tiny bits of chopped up crap? Oh yeah… “Plant based”, that it. Really I shouldn’t have forgotten it considering how we hear and see so much about it these days! A few years ago I would have asked who on earth eats this stuff anyway but there seems to be an ever growing number of them, as if they are kind of taking over from those who eat real grub. Well I still don’t know how anyone could eat it anyway, I mean where is their source of fundamental micro and macro nutrients? Like protein, iron and calcium? I mean it can’t be healthy…
Worse though they are replacing what we have always loved with this strange stuff, as apparently they are more likely to sell these days. Lets hope on day they will regain their sense of the world and realise that everyone needs MEAT. Meat, meat, meat!”
I rest my case, and I am not even vegan, but you hear enough of this just being veggie. But why is there so much hostility about us quietly go about dabbling at our veggie burgers while we watch them wolf down their steak pie in peace? I suppose a few of them are slightly annoying, but really it is only because we are doing this out of a moral concern. So what can it be that makes people hate vegans so much?
Before we delve into the reasons as to why vegans get so much shade, let’s take a look at the extent of hostility toward them. For a start if you are due to attend a family friendly vegan festival, then you might want to rethink whether you really want to bring your little ones there. As many of these have had anti vegan protesters turning up, even eating raw animal meat in front of the audiences perplexed faces. This included at Brighton vegan festival, where anti vegan conspiracy theorist Latis Lagzdins, claiming that children are dying from veganism, turned up only to eat a dead pigs head. And it is not only little festivals which face so much backlash, and it’s not only those on the “extreme” who throw it their way. But when Tesco showcased vegan produce,, they faced protests from the National Farmers Union. It seems that wider society too has a significant problem with vegans, being “viewed more negatively than homosexuals and asexuals”, and it was only drug addicts who were perceived in a more negative way!
So what is it about vegans that people hate so much? Well it could be that many vegans seem to be “outspoken” stubborn and possibly rather emotional. No one likes people who have got too much to say, especially if it is stuff that themselves and many others aren’t going to agree on. Thus their ability to eliminate so many foods out of their diet, for emotional reasons, and to then throw it all back in people’s faces isn’t going to make them very popular. Though I am sure that most are very good at exaggerating the words of vegans! But whether these characteristics are actually staged or not, some of the reasons as to why people go vegan such as the extent of the barbaric practices which take place within the meat industry seem to present a significant emotional challenge to non vegans. Whereby rather than considering their side and being eager to learn more, it is easier to be dissociated with the surrounding issues, while picking on vegans in a weak attempt in defending themselves. Subsequently this creates an “us and them conflict on both sides, where (their) opinions and beliefs become suspect to them on the opposing side!” Furthermore the same applies even with vegetarians, where “veggies tended to rate the virtuoso of other veggies more highly than of non veggies”. By vegans/veggies and meat eaters being so divided, it means that it will be harder for common ground between the two to be found, hence a lack of mutual understanding. Also vegans are more likely to be “agnostic or atheist” which is obviously going to annoy some people!
As well as this, for many people veganism seems to collide into more of a political action or movement, presenting “a threat to the status quo” as it enhances cultural changes. This has been proven within New Zealand, where “a study found that people with more right wing leanings had the highest tendency to view vegans negatively”. Moreover vegans present an easy target for the “angry” as it is always easy to make fun of the “poster child, the advocate for the soft lefty liberals” and of course “the snowflakes”. As opposed to their traditional mighty mighty foxhunting game!
As vegan has been on the rise in recent years, it means that the hitting target in effect, is growing. As it is easier to find people with these seemingly abstract beliefs to attack. Plus the fact that is is so common now, is inevitably going to irritate many people. For example in 2017, the demand for vegan food rose by 140% while people in the UK were said to be eating 50% less beef than they did in 1975. Additionally we are probably aware of the growing range of vegan recipes and bloggers on the internet, so it can feel as if the meat dishes are being taken over. This is making the switch toward veganism increasingly easy, and may seem like a harmless way of evoking less vegan consumption. But at the same time, there are many people who still want their meaty favorites and become disappointed when they can’t have it. Proving that the tide is beginning to turn, possibly meaning that meat eaters are going to become more defensive still…
There seems to also be a growing threat, especially toward people who “don’t like being told what to do”, as there is is more information now online as to some off the health consequences of eating meat. While in spite of some of the health concerns concerning veganism, it is actually true that “while the study is ongoing…the results indicate on average vegetarian men and women live at least nine and six years longer, respectively, than their meat-eating counterparts.”
Though in very recent years, veganism really has become part of the mainstream, with terms including “meat free Monday”, “vegenuary” and “flexitarian” being used more and more freely. Inevitably this is going to further annoy those who don’t like the vegan ideology as they may really feel as if the vegan diet is taking over. Not helping this, I would say that there are some influencers who are not necessarily helping this cause, by taking the whole vegan lifestyle to a new extreme, in some cases living literally off fruit! Hopefully you realize that this is a terrible representation. What’s more is that veganism could have just as easily been a fad, and maybe the only reason why it remains prominent is due to the ethical side of it.
But what can be concluded is that the tide is turning, which is good for those wanting to cut down, or stop consuming animal produce due to concern of the environment or animal welfare. And it seems as if people are beginning to actually consider the challenge of the meat industry, as opposed to just bypassing it, and thinking about it if this wasn’t the case, then who knows if I would be writing this post today. Though there is also the concern that veganism will be facing an increased amount of backlash in years to come, because as it grows, more people will see it as a potential threat.
Finally if you are not are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian or not- please remember that though it does seem as if more and more places are adopting vegan recipes, generally there are still more meat options available in comparison to veggie ones- and if you are a meat eater them there is nothing stopping you from having something different for a change!