Demystifying the forceful vegan.
Whether we're talking about the stereotype that the first thing a vegan says to you will be, "I'm vegan" or the stereotype that they won't be friends with non-vegans, people tend to judge vegans more than vegans judge others.
The thing is, I've never actually met one of these vegans who shouts from the rooftops about their vegan status. In fact, most vegans I know, including myself, are hesitant to mention it to new friends or acquaintances for fear of being lumped into this stereotyped category of seemingly fictional pushy vegans.
What seems to be the real story is that non-vegans dislike the message that vegans are spreading, thus automatically forming negative opinions of vegans... Hence the forceful vegan stereotype.
Many vegans (including myself) post vegan content on their social media. This vegan content usually goes along the lines of the moral issues with eating another animal's flesh, drinking another animal's breastmilk or simply the statistics of how harmful animal agriculture (i.e. dairy, egg, and meat producing farms) is for the planet. These posts are just as "normal" as any political posts that normally litter everyone's Facebook feeds, anyway, so I don't think this is truly all that "forceful."
I feel like most people just don't want to hear that there may be some flaws with the way that they're eating. Let's be brutally honest for a moment.
We are not baby cows. Cow milk is for baby cows. We do not need to drink cow milk. No other animals in nature consume any other animal's breastmilk. Our digestive systems are not designed to intake dairy — hence the large population of lactose intolerants in the world.
There is no morally significant difference between a pig and a dog. They are both intelligent animals, capable of feeling pain. Why is it "OK" to kill a pig for meat, whereas if someone in the United States slaughtered a dog for meat, we'd call the police on the grounds of animal cruelty? If killing one animal is wrong, killing both of them is wrong. Killing any animal for meat is wrong.
I get that dairy products and meat are tasty and that the majority of the western world was raised on a diet consisting of numerous dairy and meat products, but take a step back and really see the situation at a moral standpoint...
Eating these products is, in simple words, weird.
One last point, a disclaimer of sorts, is that I understand that access to food in some areas and families is limited. If the only food you have access to or can afford is a cheeseburger and a glass of milk, I do not think it is wrong to consume the only food available to you in order to survive.
I get that veganism is a luxury of sorts, as do most vegans. This "weirdness" I'm asking readers to acknowledge is only in cases where you have the choice of buying whatever you want at a grocery store or a restaurant, and yet you choose the flesh of a dead animal and the byproducts of a cow's breastmilk.