Tuesday, August 4, 2015

5 things vegans do that irk me

EDIT: First, I don't think there is any such thing as ethical silk or ethical wool, so please actually read the blog if you're going to send me hate messages referencing it. Second, I maintain that it is wrong to criticise and berate people who choose to live ethically, even if they maintain minor caveats (i.e. they use "ethical silk" or "ethical wool".

I tend to like crappy vegan people even more than I like super nice non-vegans. This is a bad habit and I am working on extending my love outward a little bit and becoming more understanding of people's shortcomings.

Nonetheless, there are still a few things that lots of vegans do that really irk me (yes, I'm guilty of some of these as well). Lately I have shared a lot about the things that non-vegans say and do that get me down, but vegans aren't perfect either.

  1. Calling non-vegans carnivores: This is just silly, and totally plays into the completely manufactured scientific argument that non-vegans make for continuing their murderous ways. A carnivore is an organism that subsists entirely on flesh/meat. Humans are not carnivores, though we have become omnivorous - meaning that we derive energy from both  flesh and plants.  Stop calling meat-eating humans carnivores. 
  2. Focusing on the people who suck, rather than the people that don't: This isn't really a vegan problem, per se. I find that we live in a  time  of immense egotism and self importance. We think that we are smarter than everyone else. We think that everyone else is a moron. Everyone else is the reason that the world is the way that it is. When we become vegan, it becomes all too easy to place all of the blame for all the world's ills on non-vegans. And just like when you hear a song for the first time, and then you notice it everywhere, so too do you start to notice all the crappy stuff that people do after you become vegan. This is incredibly unhealthy and can lead to defeatism - the militant vegan's worst nightmare! 
  3. Only making friends with other vegans: We are obviously going to be attracted to like-minded people, in the same way that surfers hang around with other surfers, and foodies make friends with foodies, so too is is natural for vegans to make vegan friends. But because of #2, we sometimes find ourselves rejecting our non-vegan friends...and this isn't cool. How do you hope to have an influence on others if you fence yourself off from regular people? 
  4. Criticising other vegans: Now, I am just as guilty of this as many others, but we really have to stop criticising our vegan brethren. We can't all agree on everything. For example, I eat local honey, and I know some vegans who will wear "cruelty free silk" (Ahimsa Silk), and "cruelty free wool" (Non-Mulesed) from time to time. On the other hand, there are lots of vegans  who do not think that we should use anything that comes from living creatures, including manure from companion animals, or the naturally shed feathers of companion birds. All of these are perfectly valid ways of being vegan. We all believe in living compassionately, not killing, not torturing, and not taking advantage of any species. Even though I do not agree with people using silk, no matter how it's cultivated, nor wool that is produced on farms for profit (I'm in the air about wool that is harvested from companion animals) I know that my fellow vegans are doing their best and I must try not to criticise them. For one thing, this opens me up to criticism as well, and for another, there is a very fine line between criticism and disparagement. Disparagement is the enemy of intelligent conversation and personal growth. Intelligent debate is fine, but don't be a dick.
  5. Hating everything: This is  linked closely with #2 and like #2, we all  do it, not just vegans (bahahahaha...the eight year old in me just cracked up a little). I do find that lots of the vegans I have met, though, are Negative Nancies, especially those who I met in the North, where vegans are fewer and farther between than in the big city. I get it. When you're the only vegan you know, its hard to not get down on the world. They don't think that there is hope for the planet. They are kind of hermits. They have bad attitudes. They bitch all the time. They never talk about beautiful sunsets and they never tell funny stories. Everything sucks. I dated a guy like this briefly, and while it was nice to be with a vegan, it was really difficult to remain positive and joyful with that negativity around you all the time. I firmly believe that you get back what you put out into the world. If you're a grumpy jerk, then the world will be a dark place; if you're positive, then the world will be bright. 


Also, look! I made a new friend!

Happy Tuesday!



  1. Oh honey so how do you suggest we call carnivores? And honey is vegan? Wow

    1. First, I totally understand why you will disagree with me on the honey issue, and I will never claim that honey is strictly speaking a vegan product. But I, a self-proclaimed vegan, will consume it on occasion. I will never buy honey from a big corporation that whores out their bees to non-organic farms, as is common in the United States. That is completely evil. On the other hand, local bee keepers, who have ethical apiaries all over the Unites States and Canada are caretakers of an incredibly important part of our planet and the one and only little critter that keeps all our awesome vegan food growing. The local honey farm that I get my honey from - which, to be honest, I seldom eat, but feed to the voracious VOMD now and then - does not over-harvest, does not use harmful chemicals to sedate the bees, and for all intents and purposes, is ethical, though you may disagree. Now, do I think that bees are amazing? Yes. Do I think that they deserve respect and love and compassion just as much as any other living creature? Yes. Do I limit my intake of even local honey products and ensure that I never purchase products from the grocery store that contain honey to ensure I am not buying into bee slavery? Also yes. Am I the only one who thinks that we can call ourselves vegan and still consume honey? Absolutely not. There's a great little article from a vegan beekeeper in New York that you can check out: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/beekeeping-and-the-ethical-vegan-will-curley/

      I will add, though, that driving a car probably kills more bugs than ethical beekeeping, but perhaps that is a conversation for another day.

      That said, you don't have to agree with me, and I completely respect that we have different world-views.

      As for what we should call non-vegans, how about non-vegans? Carnivores are creatures that do and can subsist entirely on animal flesh. Human beings are not and have never been carnivores. In fact, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that we are fruitarians by nature and evolved to survive best on a diet of fruit and seeds. So, for me, calling meat eaters carnivores is just giving them more wood for their self-righteous, pseudo scientific, "evolution" argument fire. I think using non-vegans properly gets across that veganism is the right way, and anyone who eats meat (and dairy, and eggs etc.) is...non.

      Thanks for the comment!

    2. what's wrong with omnivores? Since that what most people are. How many people do you know who eat ONLY meat? pfft carnivores... the only carnivore I know is my cat

    3. Sandra, Yes! Omnivore completely makes more sense than Carnivore! <3

  2. right? and I go back and forth on the honey issue. I've read enough things against it that I don't eat it personally, but it doesn't bother me if another vegan does and still calls themselves vegan. I'm not going to go all vegan police on them and tell them they can't have it or that they're not vegan if they do. It's sort of a grey area. And if someone eats honey but no other animal products they're doing a whole lot more good for the planet than someone who eats meat and dairy and eggs