as I walked from my office, across the small stream that cuts through campus, and to the parking lot, I realized that I lead a life that I love. And I am happy.
First of all, I get it. I get the anger, and sometimes I feel it too– that anger that comes from the seeming obliviousness of vegetarians and people that call themselves vegan while overlooking the fact that other things besides foods can contain animal products, byproducts, or promote animal testing. I think, “what’s stopping them from going that extra inch and committing to a completely vegan existence.”
But the thing I don’t get is being rude to those people. Most of us weren’t born vegan, far from it. Most of us grew up around meat and animal products, and I would venture that most of us didn’t omit all non vegan items from our lives over night. For a lot of us it was a process, a process that involved changes, not just in what we ate and the products we bought, but in the way we thought about the world. We became aware, some way or another, of the suffering in the world, and decided we couldn’t become a part of the violent and cruel system that causes it. No matter what your call yourself or how strict a vegetarian you are, I sincerely believe that you have an impact, and you are a vital part of a movement that will hopefully only spread and become stronger. If you are living a vegan life style, that’s great! But thinking your better than other people because of how strict you are isn’t helpful. Being vegan, no matter how important of a choice it is, does not give you the right to be rude to other people– it does not make you better than others, and your self-righteousness only proves that. I’m sure you’d be a jerk whether or not you ate meat, so please don’t use veganism to justify your bad behavior. For me, veganism has always been about compassion and extending that compassion to human beings is the only thing that follows.
Do I wish everyone would just be vegan, I mean, truly vegan? Yes, of course. But you should only support those around you who are adopting vegan practices, not belittle their attempts. I get the frustration, but you can be better than that.