Vegan community – this is what you’re doing wrong.

I am not a vegan or vegetarian.  I am an omnivore but I do most likely eat less meat than the average omnivore.  While I do believe that eventually we may be a vegetarian or vegan society, or at least mostly, I do not see a serious movement towards this lifestyle for at least 2 generations (and that’s if things go quickly), but more likely 4 generations and a few generations after that for a mostly vegetarian society.  How long this change will take is up to two sides – the vegan / vegetarian community and the resistance (those who will fight to keep meat eating alive).  I am going to concentrate on the vegan community because most of what I see is coming from them, not the vegetarian community (vegetarians are either very quiet of quietly in the vegan community).

While the vegan community is making strides I honestly believe that their tactics are more successful at turning people away from veganism than turning people towards veganism.  I do believe that veganism is a noble cause – it’s just their methods that I, and many others, do not agree with.

The largest offense is graphic pictures.  Most die-hard omnivores (no human is truly carnivorous) live in their own ignorant world and don’t want to know the horrid conditions in slaughterhouses and factory farms.  They want their meat and will believe that the graphic pictures and videos are isolated incidents.  The same goes with the “pain and suffering” aspect of your arguments – die hard omnivores will believe that those aspects are also isolated incidents.

Another offense that turns people off is the militant “all or nothing” attitude.  I’ve personally been trashed by vegans because I eat chicken eggs (and I enjoy them).  99% of my chicken eggs come from either the South Florida Fair (which are raised by 4H children) and are treated well or my own chickens.  My own chickens are kept in a large hutch and they are fed a very good diet (primarily layena but also as a supplement a mix of scratch, dried fruit and veggies, alfalfa pellets, dried meal worms, etc.).  They will also often get “table scraps” (leftover veggies (not spiced etc.) and leftover fruits and veggies (all human quality – anything rotting or close to it goes into the compost).  I can tell my chickens are healthy and low-stress because the yolks in their eggs are dark yellow to orange – not the very pale yellow you see in grocery store eggs.  In the rare instance I buy eggs I get a brand like Pete & Jerry’s, the yolks in these eggs are always orange.

So my question is: I’m treating my chickens well, they have a good home, why shouldn’t I eat their eggs?  They’ll go to waste if I don’t.  So, why shouldn’t I eat my own chicken’s eggs?  I always get the “you shouldn’t” response.  That isn’t good enough for me.  If I eat them in a healthy moderation then give me a good reason why I shouldn’t?

One vegan even told me I should go outside and free my chickens.  Yeah, that’s humane.  They would either starve to death or get attacked and killed by neighborhood cats – if they’re lucky.  If not, they might be tortured by neighborhood kids.

Vegan food – sorry, but for those of us who do not have the time to cook vegan meals at home and would have to concentrate on store bought food, vegan food isn’t good at all.  Sure, it’s gotten better but still, a lot of it is disgusting.  While I have found some “chicken alternatives” that don’t taste bad there is still no beef alternative that even comes close.  I’ve even tried veggie burgers and most are horrible.  The only one I’ve tried that I’ve actually liked was from Elevation Burger but I think I liked it because they aren’t trying to fake beef – they are trying to make a veggie burger (I think its rice and some other grains?).  I would eat those on a regular basis if they weren’t so expensive!  J (By the way – not everyone loves mushrooms and nuts, too, which seem to be the #1 and #2 source of vegan food).  Don’t get me started on vegan “cheese”, too.

Don’t worry, this article isn’t about just slamming the vegan community and telling them what they’re doing wrong, I also offer solutions.

Instead of publishing graphic pictures why not publish health reasons to go vegan?  Tell us why a vegan diet is healthier than an omnivore diet.  Feel free to even go into how growing vegan food is better for the environment and economy than eating meat.

Also give us suggestions on how to have a healthy vegan diet.  Show us ways of eating vegan on a tight budget – oddly it’s easier to live an omnivore diet on a budget than it is to live on a vegan diet (even though meat requires more resources to produce than vegan?  I still can’t figure that one out).   I am glad to see this is one step that the vegan community has started to promote and I look forward to seeing recipes online about healthy and good vegan dishes.

As for the militant attitude, celebrate small victories and work with people making strides, don’t make them pariahs because they aren’t 100% vegan yet.  Back to my eggs – I don’t buy mass produced cheap store eggs.  At the fair they’re about $5 a dozen (as opposed to about $3.50 a dozen for the grocery store eggs) and the Pete & Jerry’s eggs are $2.89 a ½ dozen.  I know I spend more than $3.50 for a dozen of my own chicken’s eggs but they’re well worth it.

Work with people, even non-vegans, not against them.  Help people find healthy alternatives and don’t make them outcasts because they aren’t 100% vegan.

Leave a Reply