Why People Hate Vegans?
I am not sure we can call it a phobia but nowadays more than ever, there is definitely a part of the population that has a serious aversion towards vegan and vegetarian people. But why do people hate vegans?
Mind you, we live in a society that is so divided for so many reasons I guess the popularity and growth of veganism have made the movement become so powerful that it’s beginning to scare people….for the wrong reasons though.
Its basis is denial, a kind of unconscious fear towards those who think differently.
And that often also corresponds to the “fear” of leaving deeply rooted customs and beliefs.
So … does this “vegan phobia” really exist?
To understand the concept better, one can speak of vegan phobia making a parallel with homophobia.
Homophobia is the prejudice towards people with a sexual orientation different from what one considers habitual or licit.
Homosexuality, historically, feeds very unjustified forms of arrogance, hatred and intolerance among people who do not accept and deny their existence.
The same happens with veganism, which reflects the hostility of those who oppose a choice that goes beyond a diet and that represents an ethical lifestyle based on the respect of all sentient beings.
Veganphobics manifest a tendency to marginalize, exclude, bully or act in a discriminatory manner against vegans and vegetarians.
This hostility has certain psychological connotations linked to fear and denial.
What are vegan phobics really fearing?
For as simple as it may sound I honestly believe that people that hate vegans are fearing the truth, the fear to admit to themselves that what they are doing is cruel, uncompassionate and humanly incorrect, but rather than see that, they prefer finding an enormous list of excuses to prove they are right, or better justifiable on their actions.
If we think of the word “phobia” we know it speaks of “fear”.
What is fear? It is a subconscious feeling, which causes rejection and can lead to self-defence reactions.
Thus, veganism, based on respect for the life of animals, can generate “fear” or “rejection” in many people.
Fear of the unknown
When you come across someone that criticise you for your being vegan be sure all he/she does is refusing to discover something “different” and capable of compromising habits and certainties.
Why? Because veganism upset a system of animal abuse rooted and considered “normal”.
It calls into question customs based on the exploitation of weaker beings that can not defend themselves.
But one could then dispute this is the story of men and our society. There is always someone stronger that will exploit another being, even human, for being – simply speaking – weaker than they are.
Meat eaters and people that disagree with the vegan movement will use the argument that a human domain is considered socially “correct” and accepted according to the supposed “laws of nature”.
Living in denial
The basis of everything is denial, which can manifest itself at different levels.
The denial of “another reality” and another way of thinking and living that could possibly be correct (and it is)
The vegan phobics can take it to the extreme with actions of hatred, repression or bullying towards the vegans.
Social networks offer several examples. (Even though I must admit vegans are getting stronger and stronger in their Social media presence and we are doing a fantastic job)
Sometimes denial is expressed through silence. A silence that leads to looking to the other side, avoiding the problem instead of facing it. A silence that hides the horrible reality of animal suffering and injustice linked to its exploitation.
I have watched a fair amount of vegan documentaries that clearly show how animals are being mistreated and suffer, and I have noticed so many times when I try to have some of the “meat eaters” that I know watch a documentary with me, they will come up with 100s of excuses not to watch it.
Seriously, it brought me to question who actually watches these films?
They are made to educate people but it seems to me a big bunch of the people that need to be educated just refuses to watch them point blank
Denying the existence of a problem is somehow a way to “justify” the system under the concept that is in the natural order of eating meat, as a socially accepted behaviour that, in reality, hides the daily slaughter of innocent lives.
But unfortunately, this same denial together with the act of repressing or hiding facts or realities prevents the fight against the persistence of injustices.
What should society do to make it better?
Our society is concerned with concealing suffering and animal exploitation. The big factories, the industry giants skillfully keep the victims of these abuses (the animals) out of sight, hiding the cruelties of the industries in the sector.
It also does it with the help of the marketing kings, capable of bombarding the collective imaginary with positive announcements such as “Chickens raised in freedom”, “fresh fish from our sea”. And of course, the always current “happy cows in the field” visible in almost all milk containers.
I mean I even heard an interview talking to someone that was the owner of a farm where the animals were fed organically and they supposedly treat them really well, where the guy said, the animals were humanely killed? What absurdity is that?
Humanly and killed in the same sentence? How can you even put the word humanly ” almost like it is a compassionate and loving word ” followed by killed?
These messages easily manage to manipulate and deceive the imaginary of less informed people skillfully hiding the massacres and exploitations that hide behind these industries.
How do these people see vegans?
The vegan phobics base their ideology on the conviction of having a universal response, correct because socially accepted.
In this way, it is intended to forget and erase the opinion of those who think differently.
A study has been carried out to see how people view vegans and unfortunately from the analysis the predominant tendency was that a vast majority of meat eaters will ridicule veganism, affirm that it is impossible to sustain, consider veganism as a “fashion”, portraying vegans as sentimental or even define vegans as hostiles…
Talking about hostiles obviously, there is nothing hostile in slaughtering a cow…
But “life-long” customs are difficult to dismantle in the absence of knowledge and motivation and many people reject the “unknown” or what can shake their habits
How can we spread the word?
Is there an effective way to convey our vegan choice without provoking rejection or defence on the part of the listener?
The reality is that there is no golden rule.
Each person has their values and a different sensitivity but above all very own ways of expressing ideas.
Each person who receives input processes it according to their emotions, their experiences and personal convictions.
This means that the same message, communicated in the same way, can be perceived differently depending on who is listening.
What is certain is that expressing our ideas in an aggressive or arrogant way, or ridiculing who thinks otherwise, is only counterproductive.
Use the power of ideas
The best results can be pursued with unassailable reasoning, with scientific evidence or even with the offer to show who is standing in front of us a different reading of what is “commonly accepted” by society.
You have to know how to have empathy and respect with someone who thinks differently. If you try to force someone to be like you, it won’t work, they might get defensive because they feel you are attacking them. Most of the time they will jump at your statements and don’t allow you to finish them. I have had the same experience myself, so many times.
But what do you do? Do you give up?
NO. never! Remember that many of today’s vegans ate meat yesterday I was one of them too.
So be the example and who knows in time you can be inspiring for many people.
Empathy is the key for me
Remember that not everyone can have your point of view.
Consider that the ethics of veganism may not be shared by everyone but you can also offer another perspective, this time linked to health.
By their own conscience or by medical imposition many people adopt a vegan diet for fear of the effects that the consumption of meat can have on the organism.
Ok, this might not be the reason why you are a vegan, but do you really care? If it helps save another animal so be it.
And it is also a small victory because, for each “carnivore” that reduces the consumption of meat or embraces a vegan diet, the demand on the part of the consumers is lower and more animals are saved.
Not everyone knows or think that many animals are supplied with hormones and antibiotics to gain weight and thus obtain more meat and consequently more economic benefit.
At the end of the chain, this meat inflated with hormones ends up in the plate and in the body of the person who ingests it.
The long-term risk is the risk of increasing diseases or other complications.
Teach how to replace meat
Nowadays animal meat can be substituted by vegetable meat, a source of important proteins.
The fish is not safe either: many fish have mercury levels well above normal and It has also been proven that a good amount of fish ingests residues of plastics abandoned at sea, mistaking them for food.
And in the end, it is the man who is exposed to the risk of putting these waste in a circle in his body when he eats fish.
Approaching a discussion using meat and fish health risks as powerful tools of dialogue can help others to open their eyes about what they are eating.
Empathy is the most important thing to bring people to discover another reality.
I know each one of us has a different way to approach a battle, some want to fight, some wants to shout, some rather do it softly and subtly.
It does not matter how like it does not matter why someone will become vegan.
Yes it is morally incorrect to kill another being and I stand 100 % with that belief, but I am also willing to accept the reality that if someone becomes vegans because they were afraid of having a heart attack by eating too much meat and they don’t really care about animals but they have done it purely for egotistical reasons, for as wrong or right it may be I am still happy because one less person eating meat is one more animal bein saved.
And that is all that really matters