5 Oct 2014

Why Do People Bully Vegans?

In my experience as a vegan, I've come to realise that my mere presence can ignite hostility in others. I'm sure this phenomenon is known quite well among the vegan community. When people are reminded about the fact that veganism exists, they are forced to think. They are forced to acknowledge their contribution towards animal death and exploitation... and they don't like it. They get defensive... offended, even. This can sometimes lead to bullying.

When you're bullied for being vegan, you may begin to develop some hostility of your own. This is normal and natural. We can't really expect to always respond to harsh insults with gratitude and a beaming smile, can we?! We must remember, though, that hostility is rarely productive. The best way to deal with these situations is often to ignore the perpetrator and remember why they act the way they do. Perhaps they're just trying to get a rise out of you - ignoring them is certainly the best option if they are. Don't give them what they want. Give them the opposite - nothing at all.



"The problem lies in the fact that our mere presence reminds them of the fact that their food suffers. They don't want to acknowledge this fact."

Sometimes, however, there is a deeper, well-hidden meaning behind the occasional hostility of omnis. The problem lies in the fact that our mere presence reminds them of the fact that their food suffers. They don't want to acknowledge this fact. They want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that everything is blissful and idyllic. I was once like this, but I eventually realised that hiding from the truth is never going to change anything. In order to change reality, you must face it first.


Unfortunately, bullying doesn't always stay in the schoolyard

We can conclude that many omnis bully because they feel guilty, and vegans are, understandably, their primary target. In their minds, we're the ones responsible for this terrible feeling. How dare we remind them that the world isn't perfect?! This is similar to the reason why school yard bullies do what they do. They, like guilt-ridden omnis, feel bad about themselves and force these bad feelings onto others, hoping that this will somehow suppress their own suffering.

When there is a deeper meaning behind the contempt and mockery coming your way, it's best to take action. Educational action. I believe that our role as animal rights activists is to spread truth and information as much as humanly possible - and educating omnis is a great way to start. Through their bullying, these omnis are essentially begging for you to educate them! Don't miss that opportunity. Let them know the truth, but try not to be harsh or contemptuous about it - that will work only to weaken your cause.


"When there is a deeper meaning behind the contempt and mockery coming your way, it's best to take action. Educational action."

Importantly, don't ever take what a disdainful omni says to heart - remember that what you are doing is right and good. You really are making a difference, and their harsh words aren't going to stop you. Just remember that many of us were once non-vegan ourselves, and may have also faced feelings of guilt, remorse and indiscretion. Different people have different ways of dealing with these rampant emotions, and for some, bullying becomes a very effective outlet. Teach them to channel their anger-fuelled passion into something more positive - like veganism, for instance. Good luck.


[Image Courtesy of Ambro @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]