By Jesse Barrett @jessebarrett96
People hate vegans. Just ask reddit. I used to be vegan but would hate telling people. There would always be an eye roll or a big “ugh!” when I confessed. I felt like they were annoyed at the fact I didn’t eat meat, which felt unnecessary – because why should they care? I never announced was vegan or tried to convert anyone.
There are roughly 8 million vegans in the world today. That’s a total of 1 per cent of the world’s population. The number of vegans in the US has grown by 600 per cent between 2014 and 2018, with other countries such as those in the UK, Australia and New Zealand showing an increase of more than 90 per cent between 2011 and 2016. Veganism is on the rise – so why so much hate?
There are many reasons people go vegan. The top four are:
- animal welfare;
- moral values;
- environmental activism; and
- the perceived health beliefs of a plant-based diet.
Our foods have a lot of random ingredients in them to prolong their shelf life that I can guarantee most people won’t know about. Vegans have to read the ingredients for majority of items they eat – and most of the time they can’t even eat them.
One of my key takeaways from going vegan was I learnt how to season my food better. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s made a massive difference in my life. It doesn’t feel like a chore eating veggies any more. I actually enjoy eating them because they taste a lot better than before I was vegan.
A lot of restaurants cater for vegans and it never stopped me going out with my friends. More vegans walk among us than you might think; this has encouraged restaurants to look into adding vegan dishes to their menus.
Food writer Abi D’Souza says veganism is becoming more mainstream. “It’s becoming easier to be vegan and transition to a plant-based diet because of how much chefs and home cooks alike have evolved, adapted and become more creative with ingredients and culinary techniques,” Abi said. “On almost every menu, there’s at least one vegan option. I think it’s great that people are becoming more aware and conscious of their health and/or the environment.”
All in all, no matter what reason vegans have for being vegans, if they aren’t hurting anyone, should we be so hard on them? Be nice to your vegan friends! They might just be saving the planet.
Featured image: Show me where the vegans hurt you. Photo: Best Vegan Memes/Facebook