Being vegan isn’t an exclusive club or some weird religion or cult.
Being vegan also doesn’t automatically change your personality, your friendship group, your religion, your family or anything else that makes you “you.”
Vegans live here, in the real world, just like you. We may even be in your class or ride the same bus. Heck, we might even be in your family.
That's the thing, society sees us as tree-hugging, lettuce-eating creatures, and many don't seem to know quite what to make of us.
Many would rather keep vegans in a box so others didn’t have to deal with the reality that veganism actually makes sense.
If you are a vegan, you are just a human being who is taking a stand. You are a human who says “no” when told that animals are food.
I'm here to burst stereotypes associated with vegans:
1. Vegans are preachers.
All vegans want to "convert" meat eaters to veganism and do so by talking about documentaries and sharing PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) posts on Facebook.
The simple act of sitting with a salad can paint you as “forcing your diet on others.”
There are obviously vegans out there who are pushy, but most vegans do not force their opinions on others.
We don't want you to stop eating animal products, we want you to be able to make the decision on your own terms.
If my tofu burger, or me “sharing” an animal abuse video is “forcing” my opinion on you, you need to take a look at why that one post in a sea of thousands bothers you so much.
2. Vegans hate meat eaters.
We can't stand to look at you in the face, due to the mere fact that you eat animals.
We don’t hate you. We hate slaughterhouses. We hate that you are supporting them.
We hate where your money is going and that you don’t understand it’s going there, but we don't hate you.
3. Vegans are healthy.
The amount of plant-based foods they eat must mean all vegans are super healthy.
Wrong. Vegans can also be extremely unhealthy. While it is true that the vegan diet consists of mostly fruit and vegetables, which are good for you, vegans who eliminate meat but continue to eat highly processed foods are not getting the benefits of a plant-based diet.
4. Vegans are scrawny.
Vegans have poor physical performance due to their lack of animal protein.
It is a known fact that a side effect of a plant-based diet is a slimmer waist, but that does not make vegans weak by any means.
People who don’t use their muscles are weak; vegans can be and usually are strong and vital.
5. Vegan food is boring.
The vegan diet consists of eating a ton of bananas and salads.
No meat doesn't mean no fun. Plant-based food can be just as tasty and delicious, it just depends on the level of creativity you are willing to put into your meals.
Once you break out of the "I'll just have a salad" routine and experiment with new produce picks and preparations, vegan recipes can be anything but repetitive.
6. Vegans love animals.
If you're vegan, you have to be a full-blown animal rights defender, and if you have a house full of stray dogs, even better.
This isn't always the case; many people are vegan for health or religious reasons, and these people really don't care about the ethical or compassionate aspect of veganism.
7. Vegans are hippies.
They wear tie-dyed shirts, have dreadlocks and their bodies are covered in tattoos.
There are just as many suit-and-tie vegans as hippy vegans — if not more — and all shades in between.
Most hippies I’ve known throughout my life haven’t even been vegetarian.