This post discusses 13 things that annoy vegans; it’s written in good fun but it is, in fact, based on the reality we face every day. I’ve been vegan so long that there isn’t anything I haven’t heard or encountered. Most people who know me accept who I am and don’t make a fuss, thank goodness, but I still encounter a few. Some people, for example, seem to constantly look for ways to trap me; for example, they will see me eating a chocolate and ask “is that vegan?”, as though they are hoping to find me “cheating.” Or they proceed to go through the menu in a restaurant to point out what I can eat. Um, I have a number of graduate degrees; I think that reading a menu is within my skill set. Yes, I realize that this is often meant well, but it’s always funny to think about how concerned people become about the state of my health, even though it should be obvious to anyone that if I’m still alive after 30 years of veganism, it’s safe to assume that my I’ve passed that test. I have to resist my very broad streak of sarcasm and not respond with “and where do you get you vitamins and minerals?” when I’m asked from where I get my protein. I try to be gracious as much as possible, of course, as no one likes a preachy or aggressive vegan, and I am Canadian after all, but the urge is there.
I just need to look at my cats’ eyes any day to think of why I’ve been vegan for so long. Most of us love our companion animals and could not bear the thought of them being harmed in any way. We are appalled when we read and hear about the Yulin dog festival, for example, because we can’t imagine dogs and other animals we view as “pets” (I don’t use that term, as it denotes possessions) being subjected to such cruelty and slaughter, yet turn a blind eye to the suffering, misery, and pain, that farm animals are subjected to every year. We become upset about the appalling conditions of so many zoos in the world, yet think nothing of the millions of animals who are killed every year to feed and clothe us, even though so many animal-friendly alternatives exist. Loving animals means that we do all we can to love and respect them, or simply to leave them to live their lives, unfettered by our cruelty and hedonism. Yes, I know I’m preaching, but this is World Vegan Day, and animals can’t speak for themselves. Even if you won’t give up animal products, try to reduce your consumption. Look into the eyes of your animal companion, and imagine if he or she were treated the way most factory farm animals are, and who end up on your plate. Even if it’s just for one day a week.