I went vegan in August of last year. I am the first to admit I have not been perfect and have made heaps of mistakes. However it has been the best lifestyle change I have ever made. I feel more justified in my love for animals. I feel healthier, happier, more in control of my nutrition and have more energy than ever.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an aspect of competitiveness in this lifestyle. People trying to outdo each other, constantly trying to go one step further than the last person, and then judging others for not being exactly the same as they are. Going so far to cut important people out of their lives because they aren’t vegan.
Another thing I’ve noticed from this lifestyle is that many vegans forget that people are more important than animals. Truly think about this before becoming angry or agitated. I’ve seen people judging starving families in poverty stricken African nations for eating meat. The ‘first world’ impression of veganism is not helped by acting like this. Compassion for people as well as animals ensures we are living the most ethical life we can live.
We can’t do everything. Anything we can do helps. Even if its as simple as having Meat Free Mondays – so many families have embraced this as a trend now, imagine how many animals its saved! Let’s celebrate each other and the great things we’re all doing to help animals AND people. I’ve created a little list here on things we should all focus on:
- Stop thinking you’re better than other vegans or vegetarians, or even meat eaters, you’re not. If you find yourself getting a big head, remember how privileged we are to be able to make these decisions for ourselves. Strip back to basics, we have a roof over our head, people who love us, food in our bellies. Life is good.
- Every little bit helps, even non-vegos who are lowering their meat intake are doing well. Gentle encouragement, education and acting positive about this lifestyle will give others a good image in their minds to refer back to.
- People who haven’t even gone vegan or vegetarian yet but want to, are still doing good. Young people, people who are sick or can’t make decisions for themselves, you’re all doing wonderfully and I praise all of you.
- Do not sit there in your child-made sweatshop Nikes and tell other people they aren’t as good a vegan as you. You have actively contributed to child labour, and honestly, we probably all have. So unless we all make a conscious effort to not only shop and buy cruelty free for animals, but also cruelty-free for humans, none of us can really pass judgement.
- The bitterness and perceived ‘hippy’ element of the vegan community really isn’t helping its cause, today I watched a video on someone who decided to stop showering? Dude! No! There are vegans everywhere, from vegan kids in primary and high schools right up to the health conscious vegan in the boardroom at a stellar company who fosters animals in his spare time. That ‘Oh my god vegans are such hippies and they smoke weed and eat nothing but grass’ image still exists, but we have to push forward to get rid of it. It’s helping that so many amazing vegan food bloggers are popping up and truly showing people how amazingly delicious vegan food can be.
Eating a diet high in fruits and veggies will make you feel better whatever lifestyle you prescribe to
- Passing judgment on others decisions is exactly what we do not want people doing to us, so why do we do it to others? Be kind in your education and if they do not listen, just drop it, don’t let something like eating meat or not ruin a good friendship or relationship, good people are so hard to find, hold onto them.
- Chiding people because they are trying is going to want to make people quit, not continue. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, pointing out the negatives of something that someone is trying to improve is not the way to help them.
- A lot of vegans forget about peoples FEELINGS. There are some incredibly rude YouTubers out there giving people ‘no bullshit’ advice that just makes them look like horrible people to be around. Fine they are vegan, but would I want to be their friend? Hell no! While that advice may work for some people, it’s guaranteed to fail more times than it will succeed. People who use the sayings “I just speak the truth” or “I have no filter!!!” are often about to say something mean and not feel bad about it.
WHO CARES if someone is a healthy vegan, a junk food vegan, a good cook, a bad cook, a vegetarian, a meat eater who only eats it occasionally, a meat eater who is actively reducing their intake, we’re all doing good in this world, and the sooner we all accept each other how we are, and support each others respective journeys, the happier we will all be. : )