I noticed that some vegans I have met are actually afraid to call themselves vegan. Maybe they are afraid of being bullied or ridiculed. Or maybe they don’t want to be known as a “pretentious” psycho vegan. While I understand where they are coming from, it insults me, as a vegan, that this lifestyle is something to be ashamed of.
One time, I was at Whole Foods with my mother, and the cashier was ringing up our items. The cashier noticed that everything was vegan. What I love about Whole Foods employees is that they actually know about veganism and almost every single one that I’ve met is either trying it out or transitioning, which is amazing. However, this lady was saying that she is taking “baby steps” when trying out veganism, because apparently, “the food isn’t that great.” She says to the vegan. I was honestly confused. Vegan food is amazing. It is actually normal food. Hot dogs, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, burritos, etc. Except everything is not made from an animal. Woah! Excuse me if food made from plants is gross! Because animals are SO much tastier. Mmm. (Oh wait! Animals aren’t food.)
Anyways, my mom actually said that she was “trying out the plant-based diet” when she is VEGAN! Why is she so afraid to use the word vegan? She doesn’t eat meat, eggs, or dairy. She buys cruelty-free products, and she doesn’t buy clothing made from animals. (She does have some leather shoes, but they were from before she was vegan.) I was shocked. I said to the cashier, “Well, I’m fully vegan.” And the guy bagging the groceries literally said, “Well, I prefer to be called plant-based, because I don’t want to be a part of that vegan dogma.” I was about to rip his hair out. Does he even know what vegan means? The cashier stood there confused, and my mom grew tense because she assumed I would speak my mind to this ignorant idiot. I held my tongue because I was sick and tired of arguing.
Vegans are hated a lot in society. We are hated because we do the thing everyone dreads. We call out the flaws of others, and educate people about the truth. Okay, not all vegans do that, but the vegans who truly care about others do. We want people to be healthy. We want people to be educated. Some people are more open than others. Some people are surprisingly receptive, while others are immature and disrespectful. (You don’t want to know how many times I’ve heard “Mmm bacon.”)
I will admit, sometimes veganism can start arguments between friends and family members, and it can be quite dreadful. My mom took a while to warm up to veganism, but in the end she became vegan, which is something I never expected.
However, my dad HATES anything vegan. He even wanted me to be banned from saying that word. He is one of those meat-eaters who LOVE to stay in the dark about things. He will tune out anything when it comes to food. He actually told me that he would rather die of heart disease and eat meat than live a long life with veganism. (On average, vegans live 30 years longer than meat-eaters.) I mean, if that’s not brainwashed, I don’t know what is. The saddest part is, he doesn’t know how much he is torturing his body. Meat causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Veganism can REVERSE cancers and heart disease, if the disease/cancer is caught in time. Don’t believe me? Check out The China Study by Dr. Campell. (That is an online PDF of the book. It discusses the health benefits of veganism.)
In the end, the word vegan symbolizes peace, and love, towards every living animal. Veganism should always be worn proudly. I don’t know where I’d be without veganism. Veganism shaped me into the person I am today. I am now a more compassionate and educated human being, and everyone has the chance to be one too. Veganism is something that anybody can do! You have the power.
Thanks for reading.