ForumTouchy Subjects ► Why do people hate vegans so much?
BBC: The hidden biases that drive anti-vegan hatred
People love to moan that vegans are annoying: research has shown that only drug addicts inspire the same degree of loathing. Now psychologists are starting to understand why – and it’s becoming clear that the reasons aren’t entirely rational.

There's been several occasions lately where I've been in an online chat, and even though no vegans have said anything, meat-eaters have started bashing vegans out of nowhere. Apparently vegans talk about being vegan too much. These same people then go on to describe how much they love being meat-eaters seemingly without any sense of hypocrisy. I've never been offended by a vegan, so I threw out into the Q & A this question, and I wanted to share the answers for discussion. I'll reply to a few later.

Why do people hate vegans so much?

* Because they're worried vegans are actually right.
* The handful of vegans who try to convert everyone to veganism and look down on others for not being vegan give them a bad reputation
* They are completely pretentious assholes
* There's a minority of vegans who are preachy and obnoxious. But the anti-vegan minority is quickly becoming just as much so.
* They've been typecast by the self righteous type who posture their morality to others. If someone is vegan because that diet works for their weight loss, some medical reason, or personal preference, that's cool. Even if it is a moral reason but they don't try and push that on others, that's fine. But, it is funny when people think they don't like killing animals, and don't realize, they just don't like killing certain animals.
* they feel condescended to. i understand why it happens but the majority of vegans really do just be chillin
* Because some vegans are hateful towards non-vegans. Though they may be a minority within the vegan community, they are the loudest, and people come to the conclusion that most vegans are like that.
there are a lot of annoying ones
* I think it's the arrogance of claiming to be "cruelty free" when most of your food is produced by migrant labor working for slave wages.
* because they bring up the fact that they're vegan at every possible opportunity and force you to deal think about their veganism more than anyone would ever to
* Want to know how to spot a vegan? They'll tell you about it. Extensively. In great detail. Even if you were talking about something else, like chainsaws. And then when you finally get tired of them shoehorning their veganism into every conversation possible and you bring up that their vegan ideology is actually nothing more than happy feelings because industrial farming kills small animals and birds through the use of machinery and pest control while also having a major impact on ecosystems both local, and through the migration of birds, across thousands of miles, they go into a childish tantrum.
* People hate pretentious people. Veganism is seen as the penultimate in pretense.
* They know that vegans have the moral high ground, and they resent it.
* Lots of new age vegans, they aren't like the old-school vegans. The old timey vegans were very much hippie-dippie-don't-vaccinate-my-child types.
* People don't like it when we interrupt their cognitive dissonance.
  
I think it’s because veganism is very much treated like a miracle diet with extra moral goodness, to the preachers.
And because preachers preach it, it’ll get on some people’s nerves and they’ll preach back the opposite way.
Both sides have gotten loud enough that for the other side, the preachers represent the group as a whole; meat-eaters look at vegan preachers, and vegans look at meat-eating preachers, allowing them to demonize the other and digging them into their own rut in which migrating to the other side is unfathomable.
And those that are actually sensible on both sides or forced to be vegan for medical reasons are caught in the crossfire.

Being a proper vegan with all nutritional needs met is hard. And I think it’s being simplified to the point of not being that way anymore. As for why it’s the same as drug addicts, I’d say it’s a mix of oversimplification/lack of research(who would lop off all animal-related foods and how would they not die?) and preaching.
  
Moralizing is unpopular, and veganism is uncompromising. In my experience, vegans are not inviting about veganism. Many vegans are quiet and agreeable, some are loud and preachy, but very rarely is somebody inviting others to join veganism without judgment.

Vegan sales pitches are things like saying meat it murder or discussing animal welfare conditions while you eat.

How often have you heard of a vegan instead saying, "My food is so delicious, being a vegan is so great, I feel so fortunate to have this lifestyle. I feel really great, I'm healthier and fitter than I've ever been, and it's super easy I can show you how to do it." I've never heard a vegan discuss veganism without heavy focus on morality components.

Also in my experience, I've known lots of vegans and never heard, "It's totally fine if you're not ready to be a vegan, but you're open to reducing your meat intake. Every little bit helps!" There's always an immediate upsell for why you should be doing more.

I think that's the primary reason why, bad sales tactics.

Secondary reason is they make it really hard to plan a mixed-company gathering like dinner, or even to get snacks for a party.
  
In my very possibly incorrect and very possibly uninformedopinion, it's because people online have no respect for anyone else. People have found it popular and easy to hate groups like PETA (which again, in my very possibly incorrect and very possibly uninformedopinion PETA deserves for allegedly being very bad to animals some of the time and people associate Vegans with PETA and being pretentious) and it's more of a meme than it is a genuine hatred (other than said alleged pretentiousness). They have no reason to hate the Vegan population, and if anything, those who abstain from animal/animal product consuming are doing a massive service to everyone else on Earth. Meat and animals simply aren't sustainable for a human population expanding at this rate.

Sorry I'm just so afraid of offending anyone.

also tl;dr everything else here, i'm a hypocritical pr***, i know and i'm sorry.
  
In my [very possibly incorrect and very possibly uninformed] opinion, it's because people online have no respect for anyone else. People have found it popular and easy to hate groups like PETA (which again, in my [very possibly incorrect and very possibly uninformed] opinion PETA deserves for allegedly being very bad to animals some of the time and people associate Vegans with PETA and being pretentious) and it's more of a meme than it is a genuine hatred (other than said alleged pretentiousness). They have no reason to hate the Vegan population, and if anything, those who abstain from animal/animal product consuming are doing a massive service to everyone else on Earth. Meat and animals simply aren't sustainable for a human population expanding at this rate.

Sorry I'm just so afraid of offending anyone.

also tl;dr everything else here, i'm a hypocritical pr***, i know and i'm sorry.

Translation.
Also, you are very much not a prick. This is good information, and an opinion. And if pissy people were to be in the Touchy Subjects sector, they would quite quickly be kicked out by the rest of the people here.
Also, 21 layers is very impressive. I certainly wouldn’t have the patience to do that many layers. Counting is easier.
1</sub>2</sub>3</sub>4</sub>5</sub>6</sub>7</sub>8</sub>9</sub>10</sub>11</sub>12</sub>13</sub>14</sub>15</sub>16</sub>17</sub>18</sub>19</sub>20</sub>21</sub>
  
I believe that veganism is often a genuine attempt to live a more ethical and/or healthy life but in general, the loudest voices supporting it do a great job of driving people away from it.

Unless veganism is practiced right, it's not ethical nor is it practical for everyone to adopt it. By practicing it right, I mean not buying fresh produce that requires loads of jet fuel to send out to the world.
  
Edit for tone: Groceries are typically shipped by sea freighter or trucks, not planes. Using planes would be cost prohibitive.
  
E7 said:
I believe that veganism is often a genuine attempt to live a more ethical and/or healthy life but in general, the loudest voices supporting it do a great job of driving people away from it.

Unless veganism is practiced right, it's not ethical nor is it practical for everyone to adopt it. By practicing it right, I mean not buying fresh produce that requires loads of jet fuel to send out to the world.
What do you mean by "practiced right"? I have noticed non-vegans straw-man vegans a lot. They come up with their own idea of what veganism should be, and then "catch out" vegans for not being it.

It's the same as this response in the OP:
* I think it's the arrogance of claiming to be "cruelty free" when most of your food is produced by migrant labor working for slave wages.

Veganism is not claiming to solve the problem of low wages. This is a non sequitur argument, and surely low wages applies equally to meat/dairy production. It's like saying "gun control is stupid because it doesn't stop climate change".
  
Edit for tone: Groceries are typically shipped by sea freighter or trucks, not planes. Using planes would be cost prohibitive.

Depends on the specific produce, but yes, most are shipped by sea or land.

Millpond said:
What do you mean by "practiced right"?
Certain vegan foods are not ethically sourced or good for the climate.
  
You have to eat something. The damage done by an avocado grove or almond crop is much less than the damage done by a herd of cattle producing equivalent food. Just because they aren't perfect doesn't mean they're equivalent to meat.

A serving of beef emits more carbon than a service of cheese, pork, poultry, eggs, rice, beans/nuts, and potatoes combined. One chicken strips dinner, no sides, is equal to ~18 dinners made of plants. No amount of shipping kale is going to make vegetables as bad as meat.

Increased use of water and pesticides, specifically for things like California almonds, are obviously not great for the environment, but they're nowhere near as damaging as the carbon and land use of cows, lamb and dairy. The carbon footprint for just the beef a n American meat-eater consumes can be about equivalent to the entire carbon footprint of a vegan.

The world is complicated. There's no perfect solutions. I don't think it's hypocritical for a vegan to eat almonds if their goal is to eat healthier, not engage in animal cruelty and/or reduce carbon emissions. Switching from almond milk to rice milk certainly wouldn't hurt.
  
I think we can agree that veganism is generally more ethical than alternatives along with most plant-based diets and that there's no perfect solution to the problem. However, if one is practicing veganism for ethical reasons then it's good to be aware that it does not necessarily grant one the moral high ground. Other great diets Mediterranean with ethically sourced seafood, Nordic, Paleo (with seasonal crops) and vegetarianism.

Almost every major dietary trend has the extreme outliers that get the media spotlight from those who are unwilling to change their dietary habits. It's a difficult change to make that won't happen overnight.
  
E7 said:
Certain vegan foods are not ethically sourced or good for the climate.
What do you mean by "ethically sourced" in this context, and which foods are you talking about? Veganism isn't claiming to prevent cruelty to humans, it's claiming to prevent cruelty to animals. And whatever impact on the environment these certain vegan foods may have, I bet it pales in comparison to the environmental impact of meat/dairy.
Just because they aren't perfect doesn't mean they're equivalent to meat.
Yes, this is the crux. Just because it's not perfect doesn't mean it's not better.
  
E7 said:
I think we can agree that veganism is generally more ethical than alternatives


I wouldn't take that for granted.

Coming back to the title question, that sort of smug assumption of moral superiority is a significant factor.
  
Gorgon, generally agree except for the minor point that farming sheep can be done on land unsuitable for vegetable production and also provides textiles.
  
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