Vegan Shaming

Vegan Shaming

This post is one big rant and I swear a couple of times. If that offends you I suggest you check out some of my other blog posts. This post is specifically about vegans being shamed by other vegans, this has nothing to do with people who are not vegan.

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed today and I started to get very angry about some of the posts and comments I was seeing from members of the vegan community! If you’ve read my previous post Why I’m Vegan you’ll know that I’m relatively new to the lifestyle as I’ve only been vegan for 5 months. During my transition I joined a lot of Facebook groups for vegans to help with finding recipes and connect with people on a similar journey. Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of vegans are being shamed by OTHER VEGANS. I see people constantly getting judged because they didn’t know something was vegan or they chose to keep non-vegan items from before they made the switch and that really pisses me off. I am so sick of this “vegan purity” shit.

I want to talk about some things I have seen recently that have really irked me. One woman had a carnivorous pet that needed live prey and was looking for the most ethical way to supply it with food. While most people were very supportive and gave her suggestions on how she could do this others were seriously judgemental. They were telling her that vegans don’t have a carnivorous pet, that there is no ethical way for her to feed this animal (although I’m quite positive it’s unethical to starve it), and that she flat-out shouldn’t have it. This seriously pissed me off, these people had no idea if this woman had just recently gotten this animal or if she had it before her transition, they don’t know if it came from a pet store or if she rescued it. Nobody knows what her situation is and they have no right to tell her that she can’t have this animal or that she’s not a vegan because she does. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion and it is fine to discuss it, there are ways to do that without shaming someone about their lifestyle choices.

In another post there was a woman asking about buying animal products (clothing and shoes specifically) second-hand, and if it is ethical or unethical since you are not directly contributing to the demand. Again, a lot of people were able to have a mature discussion about their opinions and were RESPECTFUL of other people’s views, but of course not everyone was. I saw a couple of comments along the lines of “real vegans don’t wear animals EVER” or “the thought of that makes me sick.” This also brought up the topic of keeping animal products that you had before your transition which also makes some people “sick”. This is totally a matter of opinion and you don’t want to wear or own animals products regardless of how you get them that’s cool and that’s you choice. There is no need to shame other people about their choice though. Remember that not all people can afford to replace their furniture and clothing when they go vegan and that’s ok. These people are looking for ways to live more ethical lives and they shouldn’t be judged for doing so!

What I’m trying to across is that nobody is perfect and nobody is going to go through their whole vegan life without making mistakes. We’ve all been there, you accidentally bought or ate something that wasn’t vegan. That’s okay, you learn and you make a better decision the next time around. But apparently to some people if you aren’t a “perfect” vegan 100% of the time then you’re not a vegan at all and if you don’t agree with their views on the vegan lifestyle then you’re a bad person. If you’ve been told you’re a “bad vegan” I want you to know that as long as you’re doing your best you’re fine. We all chose this lifestyle because we want to live more ethical lives and not a single one of us is any better than anyone else. To all the “perfect” vegans out there that think they’re better than everyone else, fuck you! Stop shaming other people! Help build them up instead of tearing them down.  The vegan community needs to be supportive of people rather than making them feel like shit about themselves.

Remember to be conscious of the comments you post and how you respond to people seeking advice. If they’re looking for advice they clearly want to be better and you have the opportunity to help them rather than judge them. If you’re vegan and you’ve ever been shamed (or have seen someone else get shamed) about a mistake or decision they made let’s talk about it in the comments. If you have any suggestions for future posts please let me know!

“How would your life be different if you stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.” – Steve Maraboli



  1. December 6, 2017 / 1:33 PM

    I hate seeing stuff like that. Really irks me too. When I first went vegan, I asked a friend of mine who had been vegan a while for some tips – her first piece of advice was “don’t listen to other vegans who will try to shame you” and I still think it’s relevant!

    • December 6, 2017 / 4:51 PM

      Definitely! It can be so overwhelming when you’re starting out and I feel like a lot of people don’t think with it because of all the judgement they get!

      • December 7, 2017 / 2:57 AM

        Absolutely. We can’t as vegans make a positive difference in the world if we’re all bickering over the most trivial of details. Great post 🙂

  2. December 6, 2017 / 2:08 PM

    I agree, the vegan shaming vegans thing needs to end! If we make the standards so strict, no one will ever try for fear of being ridiculed! We need to lead with compassion, because that’s really what the heart of veganism is all about!

    • December 6, 2017 / 4:53 PM

      Absolutely, it’s all out building people up and helping each other grow!

  3. December 6, 2017 / 3:05 PM

    This is good, very good! And totally agree about supporting each other, indeed, we learn from our mistakes. I’ve been told that by someone I barely knew, who basically made me feel awful about it, she said I shouldn’t say that i am vegan because at the time I was still learning how to be a vegan and I wasn’t aware of some things. Thanks for sharing, glad to know I am not the only one who thinks it’s not OK to judge people. 🙂

    • December 6, 2017 / 4:54 PM

      I hate that so much! Mistakes don’t make you less of a vegan, it’s all a part of the process!

  4. December 6, 2017 / 4:30 PM

    I completely agree! I have never understood why people feel the urge to pick on each other, it’s very peculiar and sad. It must stop. <3 Love, guys, veganism is all about the love. 😀

    • December 6, 2017 / 4:54 PM

      Exactly! Why can’t some people expand the love and compassion they have for animals to their fellow human beings!!

      • December 6, 2017 / 4:59 PM

        Absolutely! We all want the same thing, we should focus on that, and not get distracted by nitpicking at the way other people are going about it 🙂 Everyone is different, and we should celebrate the beauty of that. <3

  5. December 6, 2017 / 5:32 PM

    I’m with ya sister! Great post.

  6. December 6, 2017 / 6:30 PM

    We need to remember to be compassionate with people as well as animals. We’re all doing our best. Hopefully, a few bad apples haven’t turned people away from the vegan community. That’s sad because we’re stronger together and we could all use support from time to time!

  7. December 6, 2017 / 8:01 PM

    Oh dear the vegan police have been out again, poor souls. I am not a vegan so I cannot be arrested for not living up to the label. I do however vegan as a verb. In each moment I carry on veganing. Sometimes I vegan in a gentle way and sometimes vigerously and to my hearts content. mwahaha

  8. December 6, 2017 / 8:04 PM

    Woohoo I found the video I remembered watching about the vegan police, you’re gonna love it:

    • December 6, 2017 / 8:06 PM

      I’ll definitely check this out when I get a chance! Thanks for sharing

  9. December 6, 2017 / 11:19 PM

    Oh thank you for this post!!! We still have not-vegan clothes and what not because we can’t really afford to replace them a quarter of the way into their life span. When it’s time to get a new jacket I will absolutely buy a vegan one though.

  10. December 6, 2017 / 11:40 PM

    Great post. People are human, mistakes will be made, honest questions should not be met with hostility.

    • Sabrina Patricia
      December 7, 2017 / 3:07 PM

      Exactly! The intention is what matters most!

  11. December 7, 2017 / 2:17 AM

    Awesome post!! Totally agree with the points you made. A little tolerance and kindness goes a long way 🙂

  12. Sabrina Patricia
    December 7, 2017 / 3:06 PM

    Such a great read! It is just so important to support each other and help out rather than giving people the feeling that there is something they can do wrong. Making the effort to go vegan, be vegan and keep doing that is the greatest gift to the planet and all beings! It is the intention that is most important – so why even bother and focus on the small things that didnt work out perfectly? Have never met a single picture-perfect vegan that knows everything and does everything by the highest ethcal standards!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  13. December 7, 2017 / 5:12 PM

    Thanks for bringing light to this! I agree that “vegan purity” needs to stop. Maybe the more we address the ridiculousness of it, we can tear it down.

  14. December 7, 2017 / 7:56 PM

    Thank you for this, I feel it deeply and it needs to be said. My friend who has been vegan for 2+ Year’s shamed me for only being vegan for a few months when I was excited about vegan food, whereas my friends who have actually been vegan longer were really supportive when I was even just cutting out food groups pre-making the choice to fully go vegan, and did support me going vegan! I think it’s awful people in the same community will shame each other, why not be supportive? We all stand for the same thing

  15. December 8, 2017 / 7:50 PM

    Wow so interesting! You know it is the same thing in a lot of mom circles and forums too – we are all imperfect people raising our kids the best we can. As long as we are loving our kids and not placing them in danger, there are so many ways to bring up our kids. But there are moms who seem to know best and shame other moms for not doing it the way they do it. We need more love and understanding in this world!

  16. December 9, 2017 / 9:39 PM

    I couldn’t agree more! I only follow one Facebook group by Zanna van Dijk which is called the Living Consciously Crew and the best thing about it is that it is a safe place with no judgment and no pressure, no right or wrong way to live, eat etc. I suggest you leave those other groups – you don’t need that in your life. ✌🏼

  17. December 9, 2017 / 10:25 PM

    Hi there! I am new to this lifestyle as well (4 months) however I was vegetarian for 3 years before. But yes I couldn’t agree more! I added groups on FB to and asked about coffee pods and got shamed so quickly that I shouldn’t use them cause they aren’t a way of “living ethically”. I understood the concept they were portraying but it’s like why not say it in a nice way instead of making me feel bad? I’ve learned that a vegan lifestyle is about respecting everyone’s point of view and cheering other’s on with love and kindness. Great post! 🙂

  18. December 11, 2017 / 9:29 AM

    I’m not vegan, but feel your post is relevant to just about every way of life: religion (“my Jesus is better than your Jesus”), parenting (you absolutely should/shouldn’t breastfeed/homeschool/cuddle your child) and just general interaction with others. If someone asks for advice, then give it in a constructive way, but if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. Great post!

  19. December 12, 2017 / 5:47 PM

    I couldn’t agree more, this has been something I have written about in the past, and although I follow a plant based diet I don’t call myself a vegan and I don’t wish to be called one either. People shaming is not acceptable, and I have no interest in it. The internet is an amazing place, but there is way too much shaming going on.

    Great post, keep it up!

  20. December 18, 2017 / 8:51 PM

    “What I’m trying to across is that nobody is perfect and nobody is going to go through their whole vegan life without making mistakes.” – Spot on! Totally agree. I wouldn’t even refer to it as mistakes. When you’re trying, you’re already on your way to succes. A fallback is no shame. The intention and effort is what counts. Love your post Chelsea 🙂 thank you

    • December 31, 2017 / 5:33 AM

      Thanks for the comment Shana and thank you for taking the time to read the post! 🙂

  21. good thyme gal
    December 20, 2017 / 1:54 PM

    this, this, thiiiis!!!
    I often wonder why vegans are like the social pariahs of the world because actually we’re nice and caring people, but more often than not I’m reminded that actually no there are a handful of holier than thou, purist vegans giving us ALL a bad, preachy name. surely any good a person can do is good… alas there will always be someone else out there saying that’s not good enough

    • December 31, 2017 / 5:33 AM

      You are absolutely right! Just keep spreading the love and ignoring the people who try to bring you down!

  22. December 31, 2017 / 5:26 AM

    seriously downright strong influence! you are right! and I agree with every word .. great job!

  23. January 2, 2018 / 6:44 PM

    I’ve been meat free for 22 years, in my experience the most aggressive and judgemental vegans are the ones who quit after a year because they find something else to be angry about. Most people are good, sadly the nasty ones really stand out.

    Personally, I think being intentionally cruel and hurtful to other humans is not in the vegan spirit.

    • January 3, 2018 / 4:37 AM

      You’re absolutely right! Veganism is all about love and compassion. Thanks for your comment Erin! Keep spreading your light!

  24. January 3, 2018 / 11:58 AM

    Hellloooo. Glad you mentioned swearing, pissed off etc lol, cos i need to do that at times lol. I started my Vegan Journey recently but was a vegetarian, before that a pescetarian. So whilst transitioning i was 4 days a Vegan and 3 vegetarian/pescetarian, even that wasnt good enuf for some. Just unbelievable that even Peta told me theres no such thing as sustainable fish for eg and i wasnt helped neither recognised by other Vegans(i ate fish and eggs before veganism). But how can we support each other and help others transition if we so negative and mean to people already living sustainably, cruelty free and eco friendly wanting to become real vegans? Btw so many brands ive come across arent “true vegan” neither 100% Cruelty free, as a new Vegan im at times lost as they fake it badly!!

    • January 7, 2018 / 4:01 PM

      You’re right it can be very tricky at times!! Keep doing what you think is right! Thanks for the comment!

  25. Mandy
    January 22, 2018 / 9:15 PM

    What a fantastic post! I am about 4 months into this lifestyle and I make mistakes sometimes but I do not beat myself up over it, nor would I do that to someone else! One of my favourite things I have found is all other vegans I have met are incredibly friendly, welcoming and open minded so it sucks to hear that there are some people out there acting this way. I guess we have to keep spreading the positivity!! 🙂

    • January 23, 2018 / 8:13 PM

      You’re absolutely right Mandy! It’s just a few people who give us all a bad reputation!

  26. February 1, 2018 / 7:59 AM

    I couldn’t agree more! More compassion, less judgement – in all aspects of life. Empathy is what gives us our humanity, and it’s fast becoming obsolete in this world. It’s so sad.

    • February 1, 2018 / 4:26 PM

      Absolutely! Thanks for your comment Lauren!

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