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Vegan sausage rolls and a world that mocks plant eaters

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Veganism seems to be a threatening concept. I have come to this conclusion based on the vitriol that has been spouted in the media over the last few months.

I think the militancy and assumed superiority of some vegan activists has contributed to this. It causes a knee jerk reaction from the mainstream that is similar to that experienced by early feminists and ethnic minorities fighting for equality. There are certainly similarities between these causes, the methods they use to generate debate and the challenges they face.
I am not a hard line political person on any subject. I think that each and every one of us is entitled to make decisions about our own bodies without fear of violence, mockery or compulsion.
William Sitwell, a respected restaurant critic, in a private email wrote “How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat?”
Piers Morgan responded to the launch of the Greggs vegan sausage roll with the following tweet:

I have just started out as a vegan. I do not like animals. I’m not really keen on people either! I have decided on it because I don’t agree with the suffering that humans inflict on other species. I can no longer plead ignorance or forget that animals are treated appallingly for our benefit. I don’t want that on my conscience, on my skin or in my food.
I am not a PC ravaged clown who should be force fed meat. I am simply a human trying to make the world slightly kinder.
The issue is not about whether companies are right to offer vegan alternatives. It is about having the opportunity to eat a meal with your family, to make choices about what you eat without having to make a big deal about it.
As someone who is wheat free due to allergies, there is always a lot of stress when eating out. The vegan sausage roll won’t solve that for me but it will improve the eating out experience for many others. Having to plan ahead to make sure there will be something on the menu, worrying that the food will be out of stock, being made to feel awkward for checking ingredients, all contribute to eating out being unenjoyable ๐Ÿ™
I understand that there are critics of veganism who complain about the pesticides used to kill insects in order to protect crops. They are absolutely right, but we are not purposefully breeding them, treating them inhumanely and then murdering them. New methods for all farming techniques need to be developed and this will come with time as our planet struggles to cope with rising populations and increased pollution.
One other problem I have identified is that vegan products try to resemble meat, making it appear that meat is the ideal to try to replicate. I would argue that this is because so few of us start our lives as vegans so we rely on the familiarity of products. In the future, if vegans continue to make an impact on our food and farming industries then new foods and practices can change this. Until then, I want to fit in with my vegan sausage roll (mince/burger/sausage/milk/cheese/other animal derived product that is the norm).

On a personal note, I would like to thank brands for raising awareness of veganism. It isn’t a fad, it will only proliferate over the years. Now please make more products that are wheat free and meat free for me!
Becoming vegan is not the end of the story. It is the start of a brave new world where humans and animal coexist in a positive relationship. Accepting veganism as a way of life and being tolerant of our fellow humans is perhaps the first step…

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4 comments

  1. Pingback: Diary of a vegan: day 1-5 | loopyloulaura

  2. Pingback: Sanctimonious vegan snobbery undermines the ethos of the cause | loopyloulaura

  3. What an insightful and satisfying post!. I have been vegan for 11 years now and was vegetarian from the age of 9 before that. I’ve been ridiculed all my life for it, moreso since taking the vegan step. Beyond that, I was not fed during labour (just 5 years ago) because the hospital didn’t know how to accomodate a vegan and my 5 year old son is offered 1 vegan option per week in schoo! The rest of the week he lives on sides. I’m probably a bit more hardline politically than yourself (not just with veganism), however, I am by no means pushy with my views, I agree that “each to their own” is a great concept for life and think that all people’s ways of life should be respected. Thank you for pointing out that we are not all sanctimonious fools.

    I am a non-religious person that advocates that all religious beliefs should be observed and respected. However as someone that holds the strong but non-religious belief of veganism, I have to put up with constant ridicule, threats from midwives when I chose to bring up my son up as vegan (it’s not dangerous if you know what you’re doing, he’s incredibly healthy and intelligent!) and GPs not allowing me access to the medication that I need because my non-religious reason for not wanting gelatine is not valid enough for the cost of them!

    You’ve highlighted a very real point and I love the way that you have assimilated it to past movements, because it is a movement. 11 years ago, my husband and I couldn’t go for a meal anywhere. because nobody served vegan food. Nobody! And my god we missed pizza and ice cream! Now we have choices in multiple places and it’s like a life of luxury for us. Veganuary was also a huge step forward.

    People don’t like change and people don’t like what they perceive to be judgment of their life choices. Nobody wants to be the person that doesn’t care enough to make a change and some feel the need to attack those that do.

    Congratulations on your vegan journey so far. You seem to have researched incredibly well and I actually hadn’t even heard of those jackfruit burgers, they sound delicious. If you do ever want any help/advice surrounding the subject, please feel free to get in touch. I’m not an expert, just somebody that’s had to fumble through much less accepting times than we’re in now and find a way to manage as a vegan. It’s getting better, honestly! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hang in there!

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