Angry Vegans

“If you want to be vegan, that’s fine, good luck to you. Just don’t force it down other people’s throats. It’s my right and my choice to eat whatever I like and it’s got nothing to do with you.”

These are sentiments I hear all the time. The wording might be a little different each time but the message is the same. It’s an argument that bothers me in many ways. Veganism is about much more than what I eat. It’s about living a more compassionate lifestyle, caring for others and the environment. So in saying that how can I be an angry vegan? Yet I am, very angry.

I’ve lived meat, dairy and egg free for nearly 50 years. I’ve never had any illness worse than a cold, never broke a bone am fit, healthy and as mentally I’m as sharp as I’ve ever been. My BMI is 21.7 and I have a flat stomach! I have brought four children up on the same diet and none of them have ever been sick either.

Virtually everyone I know of the same age (and many younger) are either overweight or at the very least carrying more weight than they should be. Three people I am close to had heart attacks in 2016. None were over 50, all were meat eaters. I say were because one has cut it out altogether and the other two have cut down. Happily all three are still with us.

Let’s look at the initial statement in this piece a little more closely. “Don’t force it down other people’s throats”. The thing with veganism is it’s like winning the lottery, it changes your life. You want to climb to the top of the highest building you can find and tell the world about it. All vegans are aware of and are vehemently against the horrific cruelty that is part and parcel of putting meat on plates and once you stop contributing to this it’s like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders and you want to tell the world about it.

When something good happens to any of us we want to share it, and when it’s something anyone can have, we want our friends and family to have it. And all the people we work with, and all the people we connect with on social media. Even people we randomly meet going about our lives. It’s such a great thing, we want everyone to know. But before you know it, you’re accused of forcing it down people’s throats.

“It’s my right and my choice to eat whatever I like”. This statement is true. Obviously it doesn’t allow us to eat each other, but as the world order stands at the moment, if someone wants to eat the bodyparts of a dead animal or their secretions, they are completely within their rights to do so. The thing is, it may be your right to do so but it’s not right to do so. I know this is vegan speak and contentious but I have known all my life that it is correct. When I was very young I used to think that I was from the GLOBAL NEWS and one day everyone would think like I did. I no longer believe I’m a time traveller but firmly believe that sometime in the GLOBAL NEWS people will look back upon us as the savages that we are.

Until we start caring and valuing all of the creatures we share this planet with, we won’t really care or value any. I have a horrible feeling that unless we all adopt a vegan mind set, by the end of this century most of the animals and sea life that we grew up with and took for granted, will be gone.

Yes it’s your choice to eat whatever you like but it shouldn’t be. If there was no profit in animal agriculture then people would have to kill animals themselves if they wanted to eat them, I wonder how most people would deal with that? The entire industry exists to make money and for that reason only. By continuing to support it with your stubborn defiance you are supporting the most evil trade that exists on our planet today.

A lot of meat eaters tell me how much they abhor factory farming and rightly so. They tell me that all animals should be allowed to live “natural” lives yet they still eat them.

Pasture raising animals is impossible with the current demand for meat and dairy products. We already use 40% of the earth for animal agriculture, much of which is done behind closed doors in huge factory operations. Experts estimate that to meet current demand we would need three times the earths land mass to pasture graze the animals we grow for food. Whether you like it or not, if you choose to continue to consume and support the meat, egg & dairy industries then you are supporting factory farming.

“It’s got nothing to do with you”. Actually it’s got everything to do with me and all of us. Despite those with a variety of vested interests claiming otherwise, meat and dairy production has a major impact on global warming. This fact is well established, there is and will be no argument. Unless we make drastic changes there is every chance of a four degree warming by the end of this century. Even on my hyper healthy diet it is unlikely that I will be around by then, but my grandchildren certainly will be. If the rate of warming continues our planet will be a very different place by then. So if your actions are going to negatively impact the lives of my family, it has everything to do with me.

Not everyone will like this but I believe that if you’re not an angry vegan then you’re possibly a selfish vegan. I’m angry because billions of beautiful creatures are needlessly butchered each year for pleasure and profit. I’m angry because we are destroying our only home. The Coral Reefs and the Rainforests are dying or being destroyed, thousands of species, plants & creatures are becoming extinct and once all of these are gone there’s no way they will ever come back.

It’s difficult to describe just how angry I am. We all should be.

Nick Bean

Environmentalist, activist, writer and public speaker. Decided to "Go Vegan" at the age of four.

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