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