Some people may express distaste toward vegan and vegetarian lifestyle choices for a number of reasons, usually stemming from misinformation or misinterpreted or misunderstood concepts about the decision to quit eating meat and dairy. For example, many people will overlook the health and environmental benefits and merely label the vegan or vegetarian as “picky” or “stubborn.” Vegan and vegetarian diets are relatively new to the mainstream culture in 1st world countries. Many adults in the U.S. were raised on and very familiar with milk, cheese, poultry and meats and have trouble accepting vegan and vegetarian ideas. It is possible that some people judge all vegans and vegetarians based on a past experience with one person who advocated the diet. However, it is impossible to pinpoint one exact reason why someone may express dislike toward vegan & vegetarian diets as well as vegan and vegetarian individuals.
Some people dislike vegans and vegetarians because vegans/vegetarians are stereotyped as being preachy and righteous about their beleifs, according to one person, who will remain anonymous to protect his identity. Some people do not likie to be made to feel that they are “not as good people as vegans or vegetarians.”
In general, people who have ideals and stick up for those ideals, such as vegans and vegetarians, can easily stand out from the crowd, becoming targets of criticism. Whether vegans and vetarians deserve this sometimes harsh reaction or not, anyone who takes a stand on an issue draws attention from others. Other people migth be jealous of a vegan/vegetarian’s conviction and commitment–it is an enviable thing to beleive in something, and to be courageous enough to stand up for those beleifs.
No matter who you are, those who think differently will have trouble accepting you, and vice versa.
Usually it’s because they had a negative experience with an individual vegan or vegetarian. A lot of people have a stereotype that all vegetarians and especially vegans are militant animal rights activist, especially because of PETA. As a result, they might have preconceived notions about the person based on that one factor. It’s similar to any prejudice, just for a different reason.
One of the main reasons some people dislike or even hate vegans/ vegetarians is just due to them being connected to very radical or even militant organizations, such as PETA. I have a lot of respect for vegans and vegetarians for their will and dedication towards such a lifestyle, but most people seem to dislike them due to their believing of them being this type of self-righteous individual. This is not the case: although there probably are a few that believe they are self-righteous in being a vegan or vegetarian, I have met many who do it for various reasons. Dietary, religious purposes, challenging themselves and those who want to conserve the environment and protect the animals, individuals adapt to a certain lifestyle for more than one reason.
All of the answers so far are great, but I’ve got one more to add.
Some people dislike meat-free folks because they secretly wish they could live meatlessly, but are afraid for whatever reason and don’t know how to proceed and work through the fears to make a lifestyle change. Obviously, this does not apply to all haters.
Some haters of vegans really are scared. They cannot fathom how they would eat, or what they would eat, if they gave up meat and/or dairy. They worry that maybe, while other people are healthy and thriving, perhaps something would happen and the transitioning omnivore would fail on some level. They worry what their families and colleagues would say.
Such worries creates lots of anxiety, and anxiety can mask itself as loathing. It happens with lots of things, not just veganism. Racism and homosexuality come to mind.
Some of these fearful people have gone so far as to bait a veg*n into having a discussion that eventually turns ugly, and instead of seeing his or her role in what happened, the veg*n is blamed for “picking on” the omnivore, when it was the omnivore who started it. I’ve been in my share of these kinds of confrontations, typically during family holiday meals.
And there really are annoying veg*ns out there who generally upset people because they can’t accept the choices of others. i’ve known my fair share of these types, too, and am thankful they weren’t my only exposure to veganism! hahaha
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