A Call For An End To Vegan Elitism

A Call For An End To Vegan Elitism

Meat or no meat, you do you and me do me.

Let it go for the record that I do not care what you eat or how you eat it. As someone who simultaneously desires ham salad, the curry chicken salad from Whole Foods, and salmon sashimi at any given moment, I don’t intend to or desire to sway anybody’s preferences. I also would like it to go for the record that I in no way consider myself in some way void of the privilege (however or whatever you see privilege to be). I am whiter than white and in college and getting paid too much to scoop ice cream, and I am grateful to be where I am.

That being said: As someone who spends a good amount of time on the internet, I happen to be under constant exposure to a wide array of Facebook posts about politics and news and the weather—to euphemise—all of which I have, with time, become completely numb to. There, however, is one particular post, or genre of posts, that so often comes up on my timeline of things that always seems to rub me in one wrong way or another. Perhaps it is because I work in a place that attracts a lot of vegans or perhaps because I live in a neighborhood which lives to serve vegans, but I am constantly surrounded and perennially irritated by vegan propaganda.

That is not to say that I am irritated by vegans as a whole; I know and admire many veggie-loving men and women and will do nothing to discredit the energy they put into maintaining an animal-free diet. Veganism, as it stands alone, without its signifiers, is essentially a diet. However, vegan propaganda and vegan rhetoric and the vegan ego (the vego), all drive me to a point of insanity which is soon to be verging on “no return.” What I am calling for is an end not to you eating your plant-based diet, but rather for an end to the pressuring Facebook posts and subtle snubs towards me and my fellow meat-eaters (though admittedly, I do steer clear of red meat under most circumstances— we’ll get there later).

I do not think that meat-industry shame videos are by any means effective in spreading veganism. It is unfortunate what happens to animals in big farms; as a child my mother had me watch "Food Inc." so yes I’ve seen the pigs get pushed over by the giant metal barrier and it was, yes, terrifying. I have not been desensitized to the cruelties of animals; I don’t think most people live their lives happily eating red meat completely unaware of the cruelties that are performed on a grand, industrial level to animals. However, so often the first person to feel the pain of a decrease in meat sales is not Perdue or Alico, Inc. It is instead the small farmers, who live off the land they sew and have done so for their entire lives, and perhaps came from a long line of farmers. These are not the farmers that have giant metal barriers to throw pigs on their sides or force cows into treacherous conditions.

Instead, the promotional work done to bring “awareness” only starts small, and hurts humans who feel perhaps more than the cattle, who live to support their families. Monsanto will continue to live on and thrive, its workers committing suicide at alarming rates, while you protest small farmers and eat soy cheese that a young boy in India worked at a slave wage to help produce. Unless you’re buying small, from a small market where you know that what you’re eating is from point A and only traveled so far to get to point B, you’re feeding into the cruelty; perhaps not of cows or chickens, but of humans.

If you are in the top 1% of vegans who is able to buy local and go completely farm-to-table, you should be able to recognize that you are, yes, above many. Above so many of the hard-working individuals in this world who will circumstantially never be able to provide for themselves with such luxuries. You are among the top percentage of people in this country who, not only had access to such things but who can afford to use them. If you live in a food desert like 23.5 million people in America, a ‘“vegan lifestyle” might include Crisco on bread, paired with store-brand Oreos and a tall glass of juice from concentrate.

It is not easy to be vegan, as incredible as that may sound. For so many, milk and eggs may serve as an affordable form of protein for them or for their families that can’t be replaced with something plant-based and sustainable. If you can afford seitan instead of chicken and are still be able to get that extra protein despite subbing high-protein chicken for high-gluten-and-not-much-else seitan, you are, by comparison, pretty lucky.

Now you may be asking, me, privilege Queen: Well, what’s your GD excuse? It is that I love the people around me. I recently went on vacation with my family and, had I been a vegan, would have had to excuse myself from every single dinner we had that night. I would have had to stare my great grandparents in the eyes and say “I can’t eat this salmon, sorry.” I would have had to assert myself to someone who was old enough to at least felt the depression, and would recognize the salmon before them as something earned, something to be grateful for. The thought of that absolutely terrifies me.

For so many people, they don’t know any different. Regardless of what they can’t afford on a monetary level, you couldn’t even begin to explain a quinoa burger to someone who grew up on beef, or who grew up eating a Sunday roast and who takes pride in being able to put proteins on their table for their family more than once a week. Generationally and regionally, veganism is sometimes just not possible.

My undying love for cheese aside, I could easily live a life of tempeh and chick’n, of quinoa bowls and cauliflower alfredo. I don’t eat red meat because I love cows and I often don’t drink milk because I have, with age, become lactose intolerant. But I love and accept my family and friends who eat meat because they always have and my family and friends who get queasy just thinking about dairy. Also, I have owned many a fish in my life and can say with great confidence that they couldn’t be less sentient—sorry.

Live long, eat well, eat meat or eat meat substitute, and prosper, but don’t be too in-your-face about it, please.

Cover Image Credit: silviarita / Pixabay

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13 Different Pastas You Need To Eat Right Now

I could eat pasta for every meal.

Do any of you out there have a favorite food that you love 10x more than any other food?? Well me too, and mine is pasta, specifically spaghetti but really any pasta will do the trick. I literally think I could eat pasta for every meal for the rest of my life and be perfectly okay (I might be 900 pounds but it would be worth it, right?). So here are some drool-worthy pics of some drool-worthy pasta *insert heart eye emoji here*!!!!

1. Traditional Spaghetti Marinara

2. Spaghetti with Meatballs

3. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

4. Fettuccine Alfredo

5. Penne Pasta6. Pasta Salad

7. Lemon Shrimp Angel Hair Pasta

8. Macaroni and Cheese

9. Bowtie Pasta with Broccoli

10. Rigatoni Marinara in Cake Form

11. Chicken Pesto Tortellini

12. Alphabet Pasta

13. Rotelle Pasta

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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11 Sweet Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From Your Favorite Candy

Candy is sweeter than just the taste, it teaches leadership lessons.

Leadership is sweet.

No, I’m not talking about how sweet it would be to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. (Even though it would be pretty sweet.)

Yes, having a leadership position may be exciting. But it’s much sweeter when your behaviors show that you are a true leader.

Candy is the sweetest ways to learn about leadership traits and how to better work with others.

1. Sweetart Leaders

Sweetart leaders seem sweet at first. They always leave a good impression, greet others with a smile and volunteer whenever the boss asks.

As sweet as they may be, they can turn tart. These leaders are sweet only when it benefits themselves.

2. Skittles Leaders

Skittles leaders are full of ideas, possibilities and creativity! They bring in ideas from everyone involved and are always excited to try something new.

This excitement can be short-lived when they sign up for more than they can handle or do not think about the consequences of their actions.

Their tendency to be fast-paced and “taste the rainbow” (try everything) can get them into trouble

3. Bubblegum Leaders

Bubblegum leaders make everything they do “pop!” They add details to any project that make it come to life.

However, you may burst their bubble if you do not agree with their ideas. Furthermore, their pride may reach a point where it “pops” if they are not careful.

4. Jawbreaker Leaders

These leaders can be intimidating due to their thick exterior. They can be frustrating when they are slow to share their ideas with others.

Do not let them intimidate or frustrate you. Just like a jawbreaker, take time to work with them, and you will learn how sweet they truly are.

5. Pop Rocks Leaders

Like Bubblegum leaders, Pop Rocks leaders make things “pop.” The difference is that they have the confidence to “rock” anything.

This confidence may become explosive when they decide to “rock” something negative or when someone leaves their confidence on rocky ground.

6. Laffy Taffy Leaders

Laffy Taffy leaders know how to make people laugh! They are the leaders that use comedy to make meetings less boring.

Unfortunately, their humor can be inappropriate; leaving them in sticky situations.

7. Peppermint Leaders

Peppermint leaders work to clean up mistakes and leave things fresh. They always have “fresh” and innovative ideas.

Consequently, they may offend others when they over-edit information.

8. Sour Patch Kid Leaders

Sour Patch Kid leaders are notorious for leaving a negative first impression. Their sour disposition means that they are easily irritated.

Don’t let their initially sour disposition fool you, beneath their bitterness they are sweet.

9. Snickers Leaders

Snickers leaders always laugh at everything, even if it isn’t funny. They love sharing gossip.

Once you get past their sometimes childish ways you will learn that Snickers leaders may be a little nutty. However, their sweetness holds them together.

10. Almond Joy Leaders

Like their name suggests, Almond Joy leaders are always joyful. Their smiles can light up a room and draw people in.

Unfortunately, Almond Joy leaders tend to be softies. They are very tenderhearted and will let their emotions control their decisions.

11. Gummy Worm Leaders

Slimy and sneaky are good adjectives for Gummy Worm leaders. They tend to sneak into other’s business to gain information.

Even though Gummy Worm leaders may seem disgusting at first, they are often shy. Their sneaky ways are how they gain information without being the center of attention.

Cover Image Credit: ijansch / Flickr

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