From sausage roll outrage to severely outdated stereotypes: Why it’s time to shut up about veganism
Just let people live
Vegan is one of those words like "feminism" or "Kardashian" – it's instantly loaded. When people hear it, they'll voice their opinion instantaneously, whether good or bad.
There's no denying that some vegans are insufferable wankers who push their views when they're not wanted, won't acknowledge any issues within their belief system, and aren't open to any form of criticism. Yet the same can be said for some meat eaters, vegetarians or pescatarians, because there are insufferable wankers everywhere. It's 2019 – so surely if someone wants to be vegan, it's not that difficult to just let them get on with it?
Well apparently, it is – and the reaction to the Gregg's vegan sausage roll highlights this. People went fucking hysterical, hailing it the result of "PC ravaged clowns". Yet the vegan sausage roll is effective capitalism – Greggs can't make money from vegans if they don't sell anything they can eat.
More than three and a half million people in the UK now identify as vegan – and with talk of the severity of the state of the environment, attitudes to veganism are changing. It isn't ok to say "fuck the turtles" and laugh while drinking out of a plastic straw anymore, just like it isn't ok to pretend that the beef burger you're munching on isn't seriously harming the environment.
The increase in interest and active participation in veganism is solid proof that it isn't going anywhere – and the stereotype of the vegan as the over- privileged wanker who shouts opinions about meat being cancerous whilst doing vast amounts of cocaine isn't an accurate representation anymore. So many different types of people are vegan, and all they're trying to do is live more sustainably and enact change. I'm vegan because I want to minimise any pain that my existence could cause. Where is the problem with that?
I've heard the "vegan at a dinner party joke" more times than I care to recall. I get it, I get why veganism is funny – it's out of the ordinary, it's annoying and reflective of the behaviour of a bunch of snowflakes. But do you know what's just as annoying and reflective of the behaviour of a bunch of snowflakes? People who can't just shut up and let others live their goddamn lives.
Veganism is criticised for not being a personality trait, but complaining about veganism is similar criticism that makes people feel uncomfortable and judged. Nothing effective can come from a vegan calling a meat eater a murderer, just as nothing effective can come from a meat eater calling a vegan a snowflake – because you don't change people's opinions by silencing them.
Vegan haters need to get a hobby – take up knitting or rock climbing or something, and let people live, because telling vegans that they're idiots, hypocrites or snowflakes clearly hasn't been productive. I'll be in the corner contently eating my tofu.