ThatIt seems that vegans get a bad rap for being pushy, judgmental, preachy, and condescending. I never want to be looked at like that, but also I will always speak my mind as to how I feel and my beliefs. In the defense of vegans everywhere, I think what non-vegans might not understand is that the reason we're vegans, our beliefs behind why we do it, is very passionate and important to us. Think about something that you whole heartedly believe in. Something that's so important to you that defines you. And then, think of how you feel when someone makes negative remarks about that thing, especially people who aren't truly informed about it. How would that make you feel? Pretty awful right? Angry? Hurt? Disheartened? Not valued?
When people trample on veganism, something so important to us, it hurts. A lot. Not only does it hurt us, it's hurts the animals, because it feels like your choosing your taste buds over their lives, and that goes against every single thing we believe in. We made that change, we know it's possible for others to make that change too. A lot of vegans simply try to point out facts, but people don't want to hear it, and it gets looked at like we're preaching, but really, we're just teaching.
Knowledge is power. We hope that sharing the knowledge that we know, that helped us decide to go vegan, will help inspire change in others. We want that change for the animals. That's why I created this blog, like so many others have also done. To inform others about the vegan and cruelty free lifestyle, and to show how accessible and gratifying it is. I know that no amount of bullying can make anyone change, but knowledge can.
This post is my opinion only. I can't speak for all vegans. Some choose vegan for health, others for animals, for the environment, and a lot of times it's a combination of reasons. Me personally? It's a combination, but 90% of it is for the animals. I want everyone to be vegan, and that's the truth, unrealistic or not. I want all animals to be able to live their lives without fear, sadness, and pain. I never want to see another animal caged, suffering and being tortured, only to die a painful death. I never want to hear of another animal losing its life for us to eat, to wear, for our products, or for our entertainment. We are all animals. Our lives are not more important than any other animals. A cats life is not more valuable than a pigs. We are all equal. All lives matter. That's a core value of veganism.
Because of that, what people have to understand is that it's hard for us to sit back and listen to how you could never give up burgers, cheese, ice cream, etc.. because we know the suffering behind those things you can't give up. I see a lot of comments from non-vegans like "Oh if you're so happy being a vegan why do you have fake meats and cheese ?!" Honestly, a lot of vegans don't just stop eating foods like cheese because they hate it. Cheese is delicious, I can admit that. We stopped eating it because the dairy industry is so cruel. In today's world, vegetarianism and veganism is becoming so much more prevalent in our society that it's literally easier than ever to go meat and dairy free. Every other day I see a new vegan food item. And companies are constantly inventing more substitutions because the world as a whole is shifting, slowly but surely.
Adding to that, a vegan diet is better for your health. Going vegan has allowed me to eat better than I ever have. Eating real food makes my body flourish. I'm getting my vitamins and minerals from food, although if I do feel I'm lacking I have vitamins I can take, but it's not necessary to take them daily. I've learned so much about food, and I continue to have fun experimenting with different recipes I probably never would've tried, even as a vegetarian. And before you ask:
"But where do you get your protein?"
"What about B12?"
"Vegans are always mad because they're hungry!"
1) I get more protein and B12 in my diet than my meat eating husband does.
2) And I eat 5x a day, trust me, I'm not hungry.
People spend a lot of time worrying about the vegan diet when they should be worrying about their cholesterol levels, and what's worse, worrying about whether the meat they're eating is causing them cancer. Since it's been proven that processed meat causes cancer, that should be a concern to anyone eating it. If my iron gets low, I can make up for that in my diet. If you get cancer from yours, no diet is gonna fix that.
Lastly, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the crops we eat.. all things are made possible by the one and only Mother Earth. The world has given us everything we need to sustain and flourish, and what do we do? We destroy it. Our environment faces so much jeopardy because of what we put it through. Keeping livestock is not just awful for the animals, it's awful for the environment. Instead of me spouting out facts, here's a great illustration that explains it without fancy words:
Read that and see for yourself. That illustration puts it better than I ever could.
So please, the next time you're tempted to be mad at a vegan for doing what we do, I hope what I said here today will pop up in your head. Remember we're fighting a much bigger battle. Being the minority, and fighting for animals, your health, and the environment, we have the odds stacked against us. Our intentions are good, even if they don't always come across that way! Even if you don't agree with our beliefs and we don't agree with yours, thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance for your understanding!