Raise your hand if you have been personally victimised by a vegan

Words by Corey Vlahos

Illustration by Twylamae

I’ve got beef with broccoli.

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimised by a vegan. Because I have and I’m assuming you have too.

Now how many of those are, or have been your immediate friends?

The majority of my friends are hardcore – like, death-metal hardcore – vegans. Which means lectures are usually crammed down my oesophagus into my meat-filled stomach weekly.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I were discussing (over a soy latte, btw) how our vegan friends can be. I say this with love, but they can be patronising, antagonistic, and sometimes judgemental towards us and our dietary choices.

I understand and support their passionate convictions, after all, they are trying to save the lives of living, beautiful creatures. But does that justify it?

Let me paint the scene for you: the aforementioned friend was enjoying their Brie cheese at our mutual friend’s birthday getaway. They were enjoying their dopamine delight until… they looked up to see a room full of glared faces beaming in disgust.

“Do you know how many cows died for that Brie,” one vegan (whom I love dearly) said. What followed were playful antagonising comments that I’m sure most non-vegans have become accustomed to. Suffice to say, my friend was not pleased.

So, if you’re the 98 per cent of Australians who are friends with the other 2 percent, you have probably heard these 10 phrases all too often:

  1. “You need to try this organic bio-cheese that tastes like [appropriation] and Feta.”
  2. “Ohmygod, I can’t drink that wine. It’s not vegan,” flips hair then pouts lips.
  3. “I’m a freegan today.”
  4. “You’re practically a vegan,” *responds with a confused look* “you hardly eat anyway.” (I think they were insinuating that I had an eating disorder. I don’t. I’m a broke 23-year old who enjoys Gin more than food, EFF-WAI-AI).
  5. “Are your dreadlocks vegan?”
  6. “I hate having to watch the barista while they make my coffee. You know, just in case the ‘forget’ the soy milk.”
  7. “That’s not vegan.”
  8. “Did you know your fried eggs had a soul?”
  9. Um… humans aren’t supposed to be drinking animal milk.” (It’s a true fact).
  10. “Did you know that Dr Martens make vegan shoes,” said the vegan, while glaring at your feet.

Satirical jokes aside, I do support the cause – and of course my friends – and try my best to eat ethically produced products. In saying that, it does not excuse being subjected to unsolicited comments and facts about what I choose to digest.

Carnivores – as extreme vegans call us – shouldn’t have to hide in shame, and the same applies to vegans (though, I am yet to meet a vegan who hides their veganism). Instead of making snide remarks, try to start a conversation with us. Why do we choose to eat meat? Have you thought about the harm the meat industry has on the environment? You know, thought-provoking questions.

Approach us with compassion instead of indifference, because we are humans who actually may need meat to live (ever heard of pernicious anaemia? Google it).

If you’re still finding it difficult to see things from a non-vegans perspective, then click on this link to Immortal Technique’s song ‘Beef & Broccoli’.

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