2019 has already been supremely gratifying, as it’s confirmed that my existence pisses of Piers Morgan, which is absolutely delightful. Yes, the man who’s given us such compassionate, intelligent and socially-minded tweets as ‘I’m planning a ‘Men’s March’ to protest at the creeping global emasculation of my gender by rabid feminists’ has been at the epicentre of the first twitter-storm of the year over the release of a vegan sausage roll at Greggs. Lots of other angry people waded in on the debate too:
Aside from providing some quality entertainment in the bleak back-to-work week, sausage-roll-gate has reminded me of a lot of the discourse I’ve experienced since becoming vegan, which amounts to:
Me: I’m vegan
Person: HERE’S WHAT BUGS ME ABOUT VEGANS
Me: I’m vegan
Person: Here’s 10 very detailed questions that challenge veganism that I’d like you to answer publicly without preparation, despite the fact that I’ve never applied such rigorous questioning to my own dietary choices.
Me: I’m vegan
Person: God, you’re so preachy.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Well, she is being preachy and judge-y. Just look at what’s she just written!’
And I get it. And I also get that it’s #notallmeateaters. This does not represent the breadth of discussion I’ve had on the topic, but the pattern has emerged nonetheless.
Conversations like this often back me into a hole- I can say nothing at all, which would probably be seen as agreement, I could agree with some points and accept nuance, which has been met with ‘Aha! See? You’re a hypocrite!’ or I could defend my views, which is interpreted as an attack on the person.
Of course, if I were to point out that perhaps it’s slightly combative for someone to react to the mere fact of my being vegan with a bunch of things they dislike about veganism, I would be considered too sensitive/unable to take a joke/unwilling to have a civilised discussion about it and therefore wrong.
If you cut us, do we need bleed (hummus)?
I have had so many conversations over the last two years about how judgemental vegans are, and all of them, to the best of my knowledge, were prompted solely by me disclosing that I’m vegan. That’s it.
So, why does it bother people so much?
Well, because taking a strong stance against something will automatically prompt people to fear that you are judging their own choices. It’s the same reason I’ve responded so strangely in the past to people who choose not to drink.
This video explains things much better than I can, is short, and doesn’t advocate either for or against veganism, drinking, environmentalism or religion (the 4 examples it uses). I think it’s really interesting and would encourage you to watch it if you find human behaviour fascinating.
Maybe someone should play it to Piers…
Urgh. Vegans. It’s just whine, whine, whine with them.