Do people really hate vegans?

A recent article in The Guardian attempted to explain why people hate vegans.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/oct/25/why-do-people-hate-vegans?fbclid=IwAR1Y_ZIehJTDu-REZWpqTCnnpOz_MgS2wRim2D2gA7eZOKjU3rUwY2q-cHw

With a provocative headline, the article is rather long, in-depth and, despite being full of history and good points, low on answers.

People dislike trends, there’s always a backlash against them and veganism is definitely a growing trend. People like to fight online and love the number of “likes” when they criticise veganism – Piers Morgan helped Greggs sell millions of vegan sausage rolls through giving them free publicity and sparking a debate. In a world where news sites like to post as many stories as possible during a day, veganism has become a buzz word which is seen as gaining an instant reaction.

News pages know veganism – like fox hunting – is a contentious issue and they like to fuel the fire with negative and provocative headlines – because the more comments, the higher their page “hit” rates – and this, in turn, makes them appealing to advertisers.

People don’t like their conservative world shaken up and veganism challenges the safety of what they have been taught and grown up with. “I like the taste of meat” really has become a convenient reason for not giving up meat.

It also must be said that there are a fair few climate change deniers in the world, and veganism is inextricably linked to battling man-made climate change.

People don’t like being told what to do – with climate and veganism whey ignore the message like a little petulant child with their hands over their ears shouting “I can’t hear you, la-la-la” despite the fact that what they are being told is totally based on facts.

Veganism really does threaten two whole industries – the meat and dairy industries, so, naturally, those involved in those industries are going to react badly to vegans – especially when we openly savagely attack the way they make their livings. Even our very existence through our purchase power is a threat – and our marketing strategies are heavily attacked and countered by their advertising campaigns and PR departments – look at the NFU’s reaction to the latest Tesco advert https://www.livekindly.co/watch-tescos-controversial-new-vegan-sausage-commercial/

I found the reaction both chilling and a beacon of hope – chilling because it shows that those who use aggressive marketing themselves are prepared to try and suppress their competitors – the history of animal product marketing was highlighted in The Game Changers too (my review – https://veganonadesertisland.com/2019/09/22/the-game-changers-vegan-movie-review/ )

I see hope because it shows that the rise and rise of veganism continues and it does pose a threat to those very industry which it is designed to threaten. Let’s be blunt, if we oppose the consumption of animal products then we want to see an end to the industries which profit from said products. Of course, the likes of Tesco who are cashing in on veganism also sell a vast array of animal products – maybe that’s exactly why farmers are fearful – think about it.

Finally, it has to be asked do people really hate vegans?

Behind the safety of a keyboard, I think may commenting on social media threads come across as anti-vegan, in real life, however, my experience is one of gently Mickey taking rather than full-on hostility. Certainly, there’s the backlash from the expected sectors of society, but on the whole, people I’ve worked with are considerate when it comes to going out for meals etc – after all, it has to be said, most people are still not vegan. We still have the freedom to protest in this country too, so vegans highlighting abuse and cruelty where they see it is carrying on this right and tradition – such protest just receive more publicity in the era of social media and as protests are more in people’s faces they have a greater impact – and more of a backlash. I don’t believe it’s anything personal.

9 thoughts on “Do people really hate vegans?

  1. I get quite a lot of sarky comments, especially at work. It seems that taking the mickey out of vegans is acceptable even though from a legal perspective it’s no different from religion or race. TBH it gets very boring so I avoid the subject.

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  2. Three of my friends are vegans and I certainly don’t hate them – two are fairly easy going, don’t make a fuss but will explain their beliefs if asked. The third is what I would call “militant” to the point of rudeness about what others believe and eat and she has lost friends over this attitude.

    I wouldn’t say that any of them is a great advertisement for the diet – two are overweight by about 25 lbs, and the third is average build. All of them are generally very down and rather depressed, running colds & fevers and generally complain about being tired and run down and are always rather pale and drawn looking (just telling you what I see from those I know). I assume all of them need B12 shots. And this is one of my hesitations – many supplements – especially B12 shots are needed to maintain health – all things I can get from an omnivorous diet.

    I have tried vegan food on many occasions and found it very bland and tasteless – just my opinion – and discovered that I have a rather severe reaction to soy after treating one friend to a very expensive vegan brunch at a fancy hotel – spent the next 3 days in the bathroom!

    I am perfectly fine with everyone choosing their own diet – each to their own – what I have a problem with (and what most people hate – rather than the person) is the “holier than thou” attitude that goes along with it. That’s what most of us can’t stomach. I just can’t do with extremism from either side – it always makes me uncomfortable. I am certainly willing to switch out meat for vegetarian meals a few times per week and enjoy them – but I’m not giving up eggs or cheese for anyone,

    Also – crops like almonds, avocados, soy and quinoa come with their own sets of problems – soil degradation, huge amounts of water consumption – the destruction of other types of farming to meet a demand etc. etc. and I find that those sorts of concerns get overlooked a lot.

    And in the end – I just don’t like others telling me how I should live and eat – yes, I’m willing to listen and to modify (and I’m sure most vegans are like two of my friends) but it’s the strident militants who get the publicity and who put off others and I think they do far more car, than good.

    Just my honest observations….

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    1. Thank you for your comment.
      B12 is actually not available naturally to meat-eaters or vegans – we originally received it through soil on vegetables – pesticides kill it off these days, so fortification or vitamin pills is the only way of getting whatever your diet – it’s fed to livestock and added to dairy products, it’s not there naturally.
      Any diet can be unhealthy – a colourful vegan diet, free of processed food and with5 plus colours on the plate can be really beneficial – I haven’t had a single day off work during my working life – I’m almost 48.
      Personally, I don’t eat avocados or quinoa, but 96% of soya is grown for animal feed for livestock in the meat industry. There are plenty of alternatives to almond milk – they’re not really used that much for anything else.

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  3. And this is why Vegans get such bad reputations – they think it’s ok to perpetuate falsehoods and to censor anyone who disagrees and offers proof that they are incorrect. They also ignore the continuing issues as regards soy, almonds etc. And they can’t see when they are being used by huge corporations who offer more and more processed foods that somehow get a good reputation because they are vegan. Madness!

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  4. Soy isn’t an issue though. Why do you not mention the 93-6% of soy grown for livestock feed? Or the soy used to bulk out processed meat products? Soy is more likely to be a GM crop than almonds too.
    There are more big corporations selling meat products than vegan products, so are meat-eaters also being ‘used’ by them?
    There are no falsehoods, that most soya is grown for livestock is a fact. Some vegans are also soy-free, others are almond-free. Oat milk is actually my milk of choice.

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