It seems like the word 'vegan' is like the new f-word. Many people are annoyed by vegans, others actually feel threatened by their family or friends becoming vegan (because it goes against the norm and threatens their own complacency). But why does there have to be opposition against a movement that is disclosing the fact that healthy eating, compassion, and sustainability can all be achievable within one lifestyle?
Veganism is a becoming a big movement, much like the anti-slavery movement, the feminist movement, and the civil rights movement. All of these steps toward change have something in common — they stem from experiences of inequality, oppression, and lack of respect.
We are a group of people seeking change and progression to a better future. It doesn't matter if we are fighting for women, ethnic minorities, or animals. The intentions are the same for all of them. We want positive change.
Vegans are the next big group leading change on the planet. We are from the future. We desire a cruelty-free society filled with healthy, energetic people. We are conscientious people who care about our effects on others and the environment.
Being a vegan activist is not always easy, especially when you have a social media account dedicated solely to the vegan movement and increasing awareness to our community. We are faced with people who seek out fights with us. The funny thing about those who do try to fight with a vegan is that they don't know how strong we are - standing up for something that is not yet accepted. It takes a lot of guts to stand up for what is right especially when it has to do with food (haha). People love their food. People are addicted to their food. They do not want to be told that they have been doing something that causes harm to others AND isn't even healthy at all.
However, opposition is expected. Opposition is the first step toward any type of change. Time is another factor that plays into the evolution for change. We all know how long it took for women to receive the right to vote or until slavery ended. It takes time for a culture to evolve.
There are five stages to acceptance that people experience during changing times. The first step is denial. Meat-eating people may deny that they knew about the harms being done to the animals or the horrible environmental effects of animal agriculture. They will also try to come up with every possible argument against veganism there is and give excuses as to why veganism is impossible for them. The second stage is anger. I already told you about the fights that carnivores try to pick with us. They are angry at those of us who don't stand for animal cruelty (mind-boggling). Stage three is bargaining. They start to understand the concept and see some positive benefits to the change so they start to inch their way toward progress with baby steps. We commonly see this as "I am now a vegetarian," which is better than nothing and commendable in its own right. Stage four is depression, in which we regret not taking eating healthy more seriously in the past and are saddened by the time it took to find veganism. Every vegan wishes they found it sooner. The last step for change is acceptance and it doesn't come quickly. As much as we would like to see a planet of all vegans, it will take many centuries to achieve. Just like any other huge social movement, change takes time but it is all worth it.
Eat plants, feel good!
Thank you for reading, it was a long one!
Come see me @ounceofjess on Instagram!