Most of us have a vegetarian or vegan friend. But, how many times have you seen that friend in an argument or debate defending their vegan choices?
In recent years, the vegan movement has grown in popularity, but prejudice against them has grown as well. One wonders why and the answer may be more complex than first thought. Vegetarianism and veganism account for 5% and 3% in the US . There are hidden biases that tend to drive anti-vegan hatred , but how can one person’s dietary choices make another person angry?
The choice to harm as few animals as possible, for some reason, does not translate well and becomes a social point for hate. I am not a vegetarian nor a vegan. But, I can certainly understand why one would want to make the change, however small. Personally, I try to limit my meat consumption and only use what is necessary, and I defiantly believe there is a more humane way to slaughter the animals we eat.
Refusing to cook meat until husband apologizes
A woman on Reddit posted her story in the subreddit AITA (Am I The Asshole?) She explains that her husband is from the deep south and for some reason, actively hates vegans and vegetarians .
He was raised in a traditional southern American white family-style and knows nothing else. His parents get very upset when a restaurant advertises meat alternatives or say that they make substitutions for vegans. The woman says that it never really bothered her so much, and she could just brush it off. She went on to say that her now 6-year-old daughter has developed allergies and intolerances to a variety of animal products like eggs and lactose. As a result, she cannot often attend the birthday parties of her friends from school because she can not have anything that she doesn’t bring with her.
Her daughter is not vegetarian, but she cannot have any of the fun child-type meats like chicken nuggets as they may contain egg products. The young girl had recently made friends with a boy that lives down the street; she tells her mother that they are vegan, and at his birthday party, she was able to have cake instead of the muffin her mother normally brings. The mother says that her daughter was visibly happy afterward and had play dates with him more than any of her other friends because she could have all the snacks she wanted without getting an upset tummy.
The saga continues
The mother says that she saw the boy’s father out and about one day and went to greet him but was met with immense hostility. She asked him what the matter was, and he said to never speak to him or his wife again and that he would be praying for their daughter. She felt that he had gone too far by this point and said so; he then pulled out his cell phone and showed her an obscene text message from her husband, bashing the vegan lifestyle and insulting them personally. The mother would not believe it, but when she got home and spoke with her husband, he admitted to it proudly and said he didn’t want his daughter to hang out with hippies anyway.
She explained that if he didn’t apologize to that family immediately, she would stop cooking meat. He replied and said, “You need to get over it and do your job.”
The mother adds finally that she is seeking counseling for the two of them but feels that her husband would never agree to it.
Here are some of the responses
Understanding your vegan friend
There are many misconceptions about veganism and vegetarianism. Many
people think it only has to do with diet, but that is just one part of the whole. The vegan society has defined the vegan lifestyle as a way of living that seeks to exclude as far as possible all forms of the exploitation or abuse of animals. They strive to do their best to abstain from promoting anything that exploits animals for people’s entertainment. That includes not wearing fur or leather and not visiting circuses or zoo’s The vegan lifestyle is inherently activism and protest. One of the core vegan tenets is that humans can live side-by-side with animals instead of being the apex predator and hunting everything into extinction.
We have become very used to using or consuming animal products, from soaps and cosmetics to clothing and food. There are alternatives from plant-based milk (i.e., oat, soy) to synthetic fabrics. The vegan lifestyle is about intent as well as mindfulness. Before buying something at your local market, consider if that product has contributed to any animal’s death or harm. If it has, doesn’t buy it.
The number of vegans has grown by about 40% since 2017  and meat
alternatives and sustainability in farming are more discussed than
ever. It is clear that the future is vegan. Maybe it’s time you join your vegan friend too! At the very least, we reduce our reliance on animal products.
- “Snapshot: Few Americans Vegetarian or Vegan.” Gallup. RJ Reinhart. August 1, 2018.
- “The hidden biases that drive anti-vegan hatred.” BBC. Zaria Gorvett. February 4, 2020.
- “Vegan Lifestyle: Why Veganism Is More Than a Diet.” Sentient Media. Grant Lingel. November 21, 2018.
- “AITA for refusing to cook meat when my husband broke our (lonely) daughter’s only friendship because he hates vegans?. Reddit. January 2021