Suddenly, veganism is mainstream and no one gives me strange looks for being vegetarian (OK, that’s partly true).
I’ll admit, there is a side of me that can’t stand the newfound righteousness from many of veganism’s once bone-licking converts, who are now infiltrating restaurants, streets, shops and magazines to preach of their time-limited fad. Just like beards, bums and neon-light signs, veganism got a social media supported PR overhaul, because let’s face it, going plant-based looks good.
A huge hate-based Vegan protest I accidentally stumbled upon significantly contributed to this feeling, so please excuse me if I sound harsh, but thousands of blood-stained protesters hurling abuse at innocent bystanders did not help the stereotype.
On the other hand, I applaud the wake-up call that the trendsetters have forced upon the hospitality industry. We have never seen so much culinary variety. Whilst Vegetarian options have been shunned for Vegan menus, they at least come as standard and they taste far sexier than lettuce and falafel.
So, what’s the balance? There’s always a balance, right?
Veganism may not continue to remain as huge as it is right now, but an appreciation and awareness of meal options outside of the traditional meat and two veg probably will. We can all learn to be healthier, to eat well (not to mention sustainably and with a conscience), to experiment with food and more importantly, to enjoy it. Food needn’t be a sin.
Secondly, we will hopefully learn to respect one another’s choices. I am here in 2019 because a long time ago, humans ate animals. We didn’t start off as herbivores. Now we have choices. Some people continue to include meat in their diet; others don’t. We have different reasons for our choices. It’s also OK if sometimes you eat meat and sometimes you don’t. You decide how you feel and you decide what you eat. So if you’re someone who cares about how animals are treated and you also like to eat meat, allow yourself to be that person. It’s OK.
If you have a view on how others could improve their lives, try educating and sharing, rather than isolating and shaming. This is something we get wrong time and time again.
Vegans aren’t all the same. They don’t all have the same diet, beliefs, values and behaviours. The same goes for vegetarians, flexitarians, omnivores and everything in between. It’s the judgey-judgey part of human nature that slows us down and it’s not limited to any group of people, label, background or whatever else. I personally think it would be wonderful if were all just people who believe in stuff and eat stuff. I’m still wondering if veganism wants us to put up barriers or tear them down. All thoughts are welcome.