December 8, 2012

How Vegans ruined Veganism

I haven't liked meat ever since I was a child. It wasn't out of a moral concern or even for health reasons; I just didn't like the taste of it. I do however enjoy "vegan approved" meals, and I think they're delicious, and in the past have been a "fruitarian" because I wasn't fond of vegetables either.

But I could probably never call myself a vegan, at least not until these vegans go away. You could say that vegans have ruined veganism for me. How? Read on.

college libertarian meme

You know those self-righteous and preachy vegans?

Basically, if you're one of those, you're not helping your cause.
Vegans have a stereotype of being judgmental dicks, and by being self-righteous and the constant unwanted preaching, you're not helping with the stereotype.

Speaking of the judgmental vegans...

I'm very wary about pride, as I've found that it can be a very dangerous emotion. It's one thing to judge another person's lifestyle (which is often derived from their parents' lifestyles, and their parents' and so on) as a lifestyle that you wouldn't want to live, but it's another thing to get up into their face and criticise them.
You may say that you have the right to express your opinion, but your right to do so does not trump our right to live our lives how we goddamn want to.

Some of my vegan Facebook connections post shock photos in order to preach

Usually, these photos are the same ones that PETA use, of animals in slaughterhouses.
I have an issue with relying on shocking or scaring people or making people feel bad about themselves in order to make a point. I think that if you rely on those tactics, you haven't thought hard enough to articulate your feelings or your logic, so instead opt with the easy option of "SEE WHAT THEY DID TO WILBUR!!"

Yes, these commercial farms are an abomination. But I get the sense that none of these "PETA vegans" have ever been on a small family farm before; then again, there aren't many small farms left. Plus, haven't we, along with other animals, been eating animals for thousands of years?

They seem to think they're an exception to logical fallacies

"Plus, haven't we, along with other animals, been eating animals for thousands of years?"

"N is natural.
Therefore, N is good or right.
U is unnatural.
Therefore, U is bad or wrong."

I cannot tell you how many vegans I know who became vegans in order to have a more "natural" diet, or how many have claimed that by eating organic foods, they're healthier. This has recently been shown to be not exactly true.
Hell, even I am guilty of this, as it's the reason why I avoid dairy products.

They speak of cognitive dissonance of meat-eaters but then fall prey to their own arguments.

Some also use Google's Autocomplete to argue for them

Admittedly, this one is for somebody I know, and not necessarily for all vegans and vegetarians.

google search autocomplete
I saw them and one of their friends laugh and call this "brilliant".

Oh wow! If Google's Autocorrect said it, then it must be true!
I wonder if they'd find this funny or call it "brilliant":

Google Search auto complete vegans are-

Or if they'd also agree with these:

Google Autocomplete: black people are -

Google Auto Complete blacks are -

Google Auto Complete females are -

Google Auto Complete women are -

And seeing how he's a fellow atheist, I wonder if he'd also agree with this?:

Google Auto Complete atheists are-

Veganism is not without it's health risks

There have been studies that show that veganism can be no healthier or unhealthier than a normal (junk-food free) diet. These studies, however, are not groundbreaking. This is mainly because not everybody does their research and plan their meals.

I've known vegans (high school or college aged, of course) who thought that just being a vegan by itself will make them healthier. This is not always the case. If you're going onto a vegan diet, you will need to learn how to plan your meals quite well so that you're not missing important nutrients. It is best not to plan your meals alone but to follow recipes. If you're going to be a stupid teenager and call yourself a vegetarian or a vegan but rarely eat vegetables, then yes, you're going to get sick.

And guys? You're free to eat what you want. You're also free to fight for animal rights. But being preachy jerkfaces to people isn't going to help your cause.
And me? I'm not a vegan, and I'm not a vegetarian. I'm an omnivore who just happens to prefer fruits and vegetables to meat.

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author Tiger Craven About Tiger
Tiger is a 22 year old college student, mental health activist and professional living in the St Louis metro area. An atheist for all of his life, he is a member of his school's Secular Student Alliance and a local freethinker's meetup group. When he's not being apathetic to the idea of God or writing about atheism, he is a writer and public speaker about mental illness and disability, a photographer, and a bassist.


  1. I just came from a "Care2 Causes" posting called "I love vegans". Well, while I don't hate all vegans, but just the preachy ones I posted what will probably get me kicked off of a site I've been a member of since 2010:

    And I love their pious, holier than thou attitude that, just because their lips don't touch a burger that somehow, that means their poops don't stink! These Prius-driving, fair trade coffee sipping, 'Oh look at me! I pack my groceries in a hand woven, Guatemalan peasant made, micro industry, artesian bag, I'm so much better than you 'tacky' people', pasty faced little jerks make me puke! I'm progressive as hell, man, but these guys make us all look like jerks! So you don't eat meat. Big, fat, hairy deal! Where do you think the heavy metals come from that make up your 'smart' cell phones, Ipads, Ipods, Kindle books and so on? From the third world, where they are mined in non-ecological ways. And, where do they go when you replace them? Off to China where they are taken apart by poor people who smelt the metals in the open air, poisoning both the air and themselves. So, don't come all 'high and mighty with me. You've got a pretty big 'carbon footprint' yourself, pally!

  2. How is veganism related to libertarianism? As a matter of fact most libertarians are not in favor of veganism. We are opposed of anybody telling us what and what not to eat. Most of us conclude that it is by natural law and in our evolved instincts to eat meat.

    1. "How is veganism related to libertarianism?"
      Nowhere did I talk about Libertarians. The image that you're talking about was modeled after the beliefs of somebody I knew; they were Libertarian, vegan, and an atheist. However, if I ever see them again, I'll ask them only if you start to actually read articles past the pretty pictures.

    2. Was that last sentence needed, at all? You talk of asshole vegans and that comment kind of flags you that way. As a last comment i am actually on a vegan diet and love it, i'm a male nurse who drives a hybrid. I'm currently in school for my RN, and believe it or not i am a conservative. I know that just saying that i'll be collectively flamed for it, but i don't care in the least. cowardice will be the cause of this posts removal, but again i don't care. All i ask of the people reading this is to open your mind to how the world really works, look outside CNN, NY Times. Seriously do your own research on topics, it's sickening how many people blindly follow progressivism and bash the tea party. also i don't want to hear excuses about the koch brothers or bush this and that, come back with a REAL argument for me if you want to discuss politics, until that time stop bashing others for ridiculous reasons.

    3. Hi Nate, thanks for the comment. I'd like to start by saying that in the four years that I've ran this blog, I have never deleted somebody's comment before.

      To respond, if I come off as an asshole for being annoyed by people who make a comment about a picture that's used in an article as if that one picture was the entire argument or point of the article, then call me as you wish.

  3. Posted this on Twitter @katjett68. I have been vegan 2 years and I use raw veganism to heal addiction. I love being vegan and so does my husband, however, we do not make our 12 year old son follow suit. I believe in leading by example. I have experienced this elitist attitude first hand and it makes me sick. I want to meet more vegans like you. GREAT post! ~ Kathryn

    1. I'm sorry, I just realized I called you a vegan. :)

    2. Thanks for sharing on Twitter and for the kind words!
      I can only imagine what you've experienced. These people are infuriating, and they make me sick too!

  4. Well, on the subject of how we've been eating animals for a long time, we've been doing a lot of really terrible things for a long time, such as murder.

  5. The point that we've been eating animal protein for a long time is an important point. Our bodies have evolved to eat a whole foods diet, including meat (not factory farmed, highly processed meat)...not processed soy products, bastardized grains, etc. I cannot eat a vegan diet due to numerous food intolerances. I love animals, deplore factory farming & can't stand it when vegans act like I'm a murderer for eating humanely raised meat.

  6. "Plus, haven't we, along with other animals, been eating animals for thousands of years?"
    Most animals do not eat other animals. The animals that do, love bloody raw fresh killed animals. I do not know anyone that thinks of eating when they see a cat that has been hit by a car and is bleeding to death.

    Vegans speak up and confront all the meat eaters with the cruelty they are responsible for. Who else will?

  7. We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals.
    Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our
    circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.
    (Albert Schweitzer)

  8. Amazing, I love vegan food but the whole vegan attitude is just turning me off from veganism, I have friends that are vegan and they all have the same attitude, I honestly hate that word so much

    1. Definitely try to surround yourself with less enraging individuals. Few of the vegans I've met have not fallen prey to the vegan attitude, but they're definitely out there! And if you enjoy vegan food that much, definitely don't let some asshats deprive you of something you love.

  9. This is a veritable knockout punch of an article~!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for concisely organizing my qualms with preachy vegans. I needed to know I wasnt the only one who felt sympathetic towards its philosophy yet felt something was also wrong.

    Most Vegans are practicing it as a fashion statement, a way of one-upping, an excuse to eat thin....the shock pictures on facebook are particularly disgusting. I wish they would write a god damn essay instead of find the most disgusting shocking thing and put it up all over.

    People know. They know.

    With time the system will change and America wont be the meat eating hog that it is today.

    Again, I loved your article and it crystallizes my own reasons for avoiding absolute veganism.

  10. Wow. I could have written this down to the last detail.

  11. You should be like this towards people wanting to be good for the world. It an extreme and one I agree with. The majority of Christians are become over religious and vain. About bowel movement and keeping what excatly. To me it's very disturbing for such sexual perverts and addicts have no where to go thats real. I sorry but their is no point in bad mouthing these people who what change and humanity in a worldliness this. It's a problem the church will not face is its ungodilness and vanity which they cast over anyone who is vegan. And are even sadistic towards the harmony vegans right to live in. It's the church keeping worldliness and not working towards much more than being the vainest and most hate filled.

  12. I pretty much agree with you here.
    I eat plants and I can't stand preachy vegans.

    I eat plants for many reasons, for health and fitness in my sport, because I love cooking.
    And I come from a moral principle to not force any living being to do anything they don't want, or use violence against them. So that means not hurting people or animals if there's no need for it. (self defence would be the only exception).
    So that also means not getting into people's faces with stuff they don't want to talk about, not doing protests or activis to try and push laws that will force people to do things they don't want. I'm pretty much against politics, even the good causes. Because it always involves forcing some people to do stuff the don't want.
    I'm a voluntaryist rather than I'd ever call myself a vegan.

  13. It's really quite simple. Preachy vegans preach on befalf of the millions they see voice-less and victims of mass over-consumption. Let's be honest, we're eating too muchand its gross what it does, but it doesn't mean we can't have it - in way smaller quanities. Because really, we dont, and never really have, been able to consume it at the quanities we do now.

  14. I fully agree with you. I don't like eating meat much either so I'm basically vegetarian. Everytime a meat-eater would say something rude about vegans, I would defend the vegans because I do understand them. Recently I wrote a comment asking for a compromise between vegans and meat-eaters to accept each other, and a vegan person actually said that meat-eaters are murderers and they don't have good morals. I told that person that this isn't the way he/she should persuade people, it only associates vegans with negativism. Not all vegans are like this though.

  15. Finally someone who gets how I feel!! I normally just say "I don't eat 'hardcore' meat" because I can't eat things like steak, ribs, but the minute I say that people ask me if I'm vegetarian. No. I eat some meat, just not very often. I love fruits & am very picky about what I like. I wouldn't consider giving meat up or even dairy. Recently there was a Facebook topic about a woman who released a 'controversial' children's book called "Vegan is Love" & had graphic drawings. I commented about the minimal meat I eat but that I'm not vegan, & that I just wouldn't want to make my daughter feel guilty for eating meat. Guess what all the replies I got were? A bunch of vegans trying to guilt trip me & telling me things like "oh I think you'll turn vegan", "buying organic & cage free means nothing! You're still killing something." Stop it. This is EXACTLY why you guys have a bad rep! Acting self-righteous. I've had friends who are vegan who didn't judge me but these commenters were full of themselves.

    1. EXACTLY!Being called a murdering bitch doesn't exactly make someone want to change their diet.Certainly not winning any converts that way.Thankfully not all vegans are this way,because I know a few and they don't cram their beliefs on me.

  16. I'm very upset that I've been introduced to veganism by shock factor, but I got over it. I kinda needed at least that, but I do wish it was done more politely. I like to call the preaching "Vegan propaganda" where they shove there ethics down your throat while mocking you in the most explicit ways about your diet. They tell you how easy it is to convert to a vegan diet through mock meats.... but then go silent when you ask them "What about soy free food?" They're like contortionists trying to fit in a teeny little box and... You know, as someone who cares. That ain't healthy. Hipster diet shaming vegans with enough money to blow on all this overpriced garbage vegan junk food are the worst. A lot of vloggers on youtube pretend they are making a difference, but really they're just shackling people without a care, whether they're just surviving on bread and banana's. I say they don't care because they can't go a single video without taunting anyone who's still eating animal byproduct, whether they're on the path to veganism or not. You think I'm cynical? I don't know how much worse I'd be without my best friend who's trying to stick true to the vegan lifestyle.. because it makes her feel good! She works very hard and I just wanna help her figure this out, because the cost of being a modernized vegan sucks. We need to learn how to cook, basically.

  17. Being vegan is a strong moral stance. However, it is too often a black and white world view that doesn't admit there is a spectrum of ethical action based on the level of suffering caused to animals. This can be influenced by many interrelated factors: the number of animals being slaughtered, their species and brain size, the conditions of captivity, etc.

    For instance, some vegans present their diet as a clear moral divide in the same vein as murder - but all humans are human, not all animals are higher level mammals capable of robust awareness, anticipation, long-term memory and many other factors that can influence suffering. This is simply not a black and white case - it is a spectrum.

    Thus, vegans will rabidly criticise vegetarians for eating dairy, or pescatarians for eating seafood, without considering that these are actually much more moral stances on the spectrum than wholesale meat consumption. I have literally seen vegans tell pescatarians to go back to eating all forms of meat because they are "murderers".

    If the whole world was pescatarian, humanity would be considerably healthier, the ecological impact of farming would fall, and animal suffering would be enormously reduced - not eliminated certainly, but enormously reduced. Additionally, diets that omit some types of meat can also act as useful way-points on the road to full veganism. Thus why are pescatarianism, vegetarianism and other diets not 'worthy' goals, especially if they are more easily achievable and can convert more people?

    There are other moral issues raised by people claiming that your ethical stance must be 100% vegan to be 'valid' and 'consistent'. The fact that they attempt to dictate the moral judgements others should make in an area that is deeply personal is disturbing to say the least. It is authoritarian and counterproductive if their ultimate goal is genuinely to reduce animal suffering, improve health or limit pollution.

    If a vegan's goal is simply to show themselves as 'morally superior', then they have made this about themselves and not the animals they claim to defend.