The other morning, I woke up feeling groggy af and tired. It was one of those cold, windy days, business was running a little slow and it took a lot of willpower to even consider getting out of bed and going for my mood boosting morning jog. The first thing I did was grab my phone from the charger and sift through my messages. The first message I came across was from a best friend in one of the Messenger groups I’m a part of. It was one of those ridiculous articles contending that plants know they are being eaten. I’m sure you’ve all encountered it at some point. Pure and utter nonsense perpetuated by stubborn, closed minded and disrespectful meat eaters. Within seconds I found myself instinctively replying; my emotions were filled with anger and I was going to put him in his spot. After all, he’s someone I consider almost family and as much as I’d expect such a disrespectful troll from a random, it stings a little more when it comes from someone close; that particular person has moreover been attempting to challenge me for weeks and I’ve always responded eloquently and patiently but on that day I broke. As I was punctuating my message and was ready to press ‘send’, I took a deep breath, highlighted the text, clicked backspace and left the Messenger group. This time for good.
Following that incident, I eventually stepped out of bed and went for my run. I spent the entire 30 minutes jogging and thinking about this and why I was so irritated by a meaningless, silly troll. After all, he’s a good guy and a close friend. His intentions were not to hurt me. I suppose my anger was a byproduct of endless abuse and disrespect by meat eaters who, for some reason, love ‘triggering’ vegans. They go around claiming that vegans are preachy and annoying and don’t let them live their lives when in hindsight, they are the bullies. I am Jewish and have been subjected to antisemitism my entire life. To this day, I will constantly encounter random comments on social media from both the Socialist Left and the Alt Right, hating on my people in ways that make me feel yuck, but being a vegan takes the cake. Not because that there's more abuse and derision targeting the vegan realm- I’d say it’s about even. It's because the ridicule comes from normal, everyday people. Not from idiotic fruit loops nobody takes seriously from the far left or right. It’s hurtful and disappointing when supposed ‘normal’ people poke fun at you.
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I remember encountering a Belgium study approximately two months ago on why religious people are more tolerant than atheists. I believe in God, but not in religion so I was impartial. Though one of the arguments the atheists used to justify the study’s results was that atheism is based on facts and when a person disputes science or facts, they are basically challenging logic. For example, it’s like someone telling you that 2+3=7 when, in fact, you know damn well that it’s 5. It can get frustrating when you know you’re right and you can prove it but they keep insisting you’re wrong. So, I get their argument. I get their argument primarily because that’s how we feel as vegans. It’s plain and simple- animals are being slaughtered, raped, tortured and abused in the cruelest of ways yet those people who claim to thrive on logic keep denying these facts. Numerous studies have demonstrated a sharp correlation between eating meat and cancer, excess dairy and osteoperosis, consuming eggs and cholesterol- yet those people who claim to 'thrive on logic' keep denying these facts. They will not only get out of their ways to prove us wrong, they will dedicate their lives and every crumb of energy to refuting those facts. Consuming meat has been proven to be the number one hindrance on the environment and cause of global warming yet they keep turning a blind eye and arrogantly attempt to stultify our arguments.
I can’t imagine anything worse than witnessing people relentlessly mock you on a daily basis. I can’t imagine anything more irritating than fighting tirelessly for the lives and dignities of other living beings only to have people call you an extremist. I can’t imagine anything more infuriating than wanting the people you love to live healthy lives yet have them deny your facts while eating processed meats and puss-filled dairy. I can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than self-proclaimed animal lovers posting a photo of their cheese cake or medium rare steak on Instagram.
Vegans are consistently battered and ridiculed for doing the right thing. It is as though we took the red pill and can now see the truth, while a majority of people are comfortably sporting their blinkers, unwilling to open up to the truth, learn or empathize.
We are not angry people. We have just had enough of bullies.