First They Ignore You, Then They Fight You But Eventually You Win

About two months ago, a person on facebook who had recently adopted to a vegan lifestyle was telling me about the fights and adversities she was facing from people since she had gone vegan. She asked for advice how to deal with it. First, I told her that it was not unusual to face these challenges and that probably almost every vegan is going through a hard time when he or she jumps on the “vegan train”. I told her that she was not supposed to live up to the expectations of others but only to hers and that people would have to accept her new lifestyle in the end if they wanted or not.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” So said Mahatma Ghandi – and I’m not about to disagree.

When it comes to veganism-which is taking enormous strides towards the mainstream-we seem to be oscillating between the mocking and fighting phases. It seems almost impossible for me to scroll through Facebook these days without seeing some dim friend of a friend mocking the ‘hipster vegans’.

But what are these people doing when they laugh at vegan efforts?

Veganism hinges on three things – sustaining the environment, eradicating animal use and abuse, and maintaining the optimum health that a well-balanced plant-based diet can deliver.

With leading global scientists claiming a vegan diet is essential to sustain the planet – and with animal agriculture responsible for up to 51 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions – there seems little to mock on that front.

When it comes to animal abuse, many seem to see compassion as something to ridicule. This has always struck me as moronic. There’s nothing weak about standing up against something you see as wrong – especially when this goes against received wisdom. You only need to look back through history to see a catalogue of abhorrent, unthinkable practices that were once considered normal. I hope the abuse of animals as food and entertainment will one day be seen this way by the majority.

The thing is, when you laugh at vegans and their efforts, you are doing the dirty work of the animal agriculture lobby. When you laugh at vegans, you are effectively promoting the systematic torture and abuse of animals that goes on in so many slaughterhouses. Whatever lie you tell yourself about your ‘grass-fed’ and ‘humanely-slaughtered’ meat is just that: a fiction. When Animal Aid secretly filmed in 10 slaughterhouses, campaigners claimed they ‘found evidence of law-breaking and cruelty’ in 9 of them. Workers were filmed putting out cigarettes on the animals, stamping on them, slapping them. Slicing their throats while they were still conscious, throwing them by the ears. Some slaughtered animals show signs of sexual abuse.

Meat eaters frequently bemoan how emphatic veggies are about their lifestyle choices: in fact the opposite is often true. Look at this poll published in Time magazine. While 30 per cent of meaters wouldn’t date a veggie, only four per cent of herbivores would discriminate against omnis.

When it comes to the health aspect, I don’t care what people do to their own bodies, though I will always laugh at posting #eatclean alongside a picture of meat though.With antibiotics given with wild abandon to livestock, and fecal matter found in meat…clean? Really?

Many are calling 2016 the year of the vegan: there’s certainly fiscal reasons to think so – just look at the market share plant-based companies are now taking in the milk sector for example. Not to mention the huge number of people participating inVeganuary this year (some 2000% more than in 2014). High street chains are starting to offer more vegan options (coconut and soya milk in Starbucks for example) and you can see the tide turning.

With more and more plant-powered people than ever, the openly hostile and aggressive meaters are starting to look tired, their arguments cliched, their jokes unfunny.

The next phase is the fight: After that we win.”



  1. Ziggy Daniels Reply

    Oh yeah, My entire Sustainable Agriculture class laughs at Vegans every time I am in class, but I just ignore them with my best disgust & pity look on my face…….

  2. Carolyn Hoffman Reply

    I respect individual’s choices in nutrition world. What I struggle with is that when I am hosting a gathering, I take into account that not everyone desires a meat/poultry/fish option and I serve both a meat/poultry/fish entree and a vegetarian one. That is rarely reciprocated by a vegetarian host. Often, part of the dinner discussion seems to become a political discussion. I just want the gathering to be a non political one.

  3. Cat Race Reply

    Yeah the whole personal choice or to each his/her own argument…enraging. The animals don’t get to choose

  4. Cat Race Reply

    Because the animals aren’t given a choice. Our vegan meals don’t cause death or pain. That’s the whole damn point. Holy fuckballs.

  5. Carolyn Hoffman Reply

    Sigh is correct. Think of the insects you kill as well as their ecosystems when the farmer/the gardener tills the soil, removes plants from the earth. Sigh. I respect and appreciate every animal who ends up on our menu. Much like the Native Americans.

  6. Danielle E Lynn Reply

    I got kicked out of a vegan group today called Trying Vegan because I said one product has GMO’s. I am done being vegan. I don’t want to be a mean person. Yeah I heard a thousand times not all vegans are like that but I haven’t found even three who were kind.

  7. Milla Plantbased Reply

    Also being vegan isn’t really anything to do with your relationship with other vegans.. it’s about your relationship with your ethics towards animals, the environment and your considered analysis of the health literature concerning animal protein consumption. If those tell you to be vegan, be vegan, if not, don’t.. if they do be the kind of vegan you’d like to see more of ❤

  8. Natasha Leanne Jane Kennedy Reply

    Hey I’m nice! Well I am most of the time until someone pees me off lol. I have been vegan around 7 months now and I have learned a lot. I haven’t met a horrible vegan as yet but not everyone is the same. Even tho I am not a strict vegan, I avoid the obvious things but some things still have like milk proteins or such like in them esp some alternatives. Some vegans might slate me for this while others will appreciate I am doing my best. While I am not strict like most I admire and have the utmost respect for those who do. Just be you.

  9. Kyprianou George Reply

    Take the chance you have book now your Omega 3 diet for vegan and vegetarians in Crete Retreat.
    Learn more about the Pilates regime at our retreat
    General Information
    Your Pilates programme at the retreat is absolutely tailor-made to your needs. There is no “one size fits all” physical fitness regime in our approach.
    Your Pilates programme includes both MAT sessions and REFORMER or other Pilates apparatus sessions.
    This means that you will see the results of your workout at the retreat quite immediately (after the 2nd day of practice).
    All Pilates sessions, both MAT, REFORMER and/or AQUA last for 60 minutes.
    Pilates Equipment Sessions
    The Pilates sessions on REFORMER ARE INDIVIDUAL, this means that you meet and work in PRIVATE with your Pilates instructor for 60 minutes every day. All muscle groups will be addressed accordingly.
    You will be given a postural assessment before you start your work out programme and your instructor will gently guide you through a series of Pilates exercises, noting your areas of strength and weakness, flexibility, and range of motion with careful, hands on guidance to make corrections and ensure proper alignment.
    Throughout your session your instructor may also test muscles to see if they are firing in the proper sequence. After your first session, she/he will make notes in your folder for you next sessions and to document your progress at the retreat.
    Pilates Therapy Room
    The Pilates therapy room at the Villa is equipped with Pilates apparatus of latest technology by and with professional mattresses, props like Pilates balls, thera-bands, roller foams etc.
    This Pilates therapy room is open to all guests throughout their stay under the guidance of two Pilates instructors.
    Level of Practice
    You do not need to be a Pilates practitioner in order to attend the retreat since you will be guided at all times by one of our certified Pilates instructors.
    Additional Therapies
    In addition to the Pilates daily regime, you can benefit from the massage (Shiatsou and/or athletic) and you can complete the mind-body experience with a Feldenkrais session (ATM) with a certified practitioner that will guide gently you through it.
    Please note our professionals are all internationally certified for their practice. A detailed bio of our team members is available on the Retreat’s page.

  10. Sarah Horne Reply

    Danielle E Lynn, I got called out by people in that same group over the weekend for having attitude. Yeah, I had attitude; I was tired of being told I was wrong simply for having opinions about soy, GMOs, acquiring carnivorous pets, vaccines with animal products, etc. (Are these not all legitimate vegan topics?) One person told me if I spoke against soy, the meat eaters would win. I quit before they could kick me out. Life’s too short for that sort of nonsense.

    There are extremists everywhere. If only these people realized that they’re actually doing more harm than good with their attitudes. Quit being vegan if you want, but don’t let it be because of a bunch of insecure soya-heads who can’t entertain the thought that they might not have all the answers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.