More than veganism, this post is exploring the concept of judgment. Thanks for reading!
I don’t want to be a vegan anymore. Like most labels, being a “Vegan” can be problematic. The murderer/saint dynamic between those who do eat animal products and those who chose not to has always been off-putting to me.
Although it was difficult, I did my best to look past the abrasive and militant mentality of popular vegan YouTubers such as Freelee, Durian Rider, Vegan Gains, Vegan Cheetah and Sorcha.
Through the year, I watched their lives unfold through their channels and the commentary made on their behalf by other people. To be honest, it didn’t seem like things were going very well for them. Despite this, their ineffective approach to veganism has since become the standard, and fulfilled the “annoying vegan” stereotype. Along with many others both online and offline, they have disgraced the lifestyle I once proudly embraced.
Presently, labeling yourself as a vegan carries with it an inherent judgment. The stereotype is: I’m better than you, I eat healthier and do good things for the planet/animals so whatever you’re doing is invalidated because you’re not a vegan as well.
The reality of the situation is that not everything is so black and white. I’m positive that more people would become vegan if it wasn’t so stigmatized or they didn’t fear that they would be labeled a quitter if they slipped up or stopped for a while.
As far as my preference for food, I still make vegan choices. It’s true that you’re body becomes accustom to the conditions it’s presented with. Veganism opened my mind to a whole new world of possibilities while eating that makes me feel full and healthy.
At the same time, the present political climate has been dividing people left and right, literally. Everyone is rampantly chastising, judging and blaming everyone else. At this point, I’ve become so mentally and emotionally drained by all these things going on around me, that I just don’t want to engage with labels anymore.
Division and alienation don’t make us stronger people.
Thinking critically, the advertising industry has had one of the most effective influences on society, not because they make people feel bad about themselves, but just the opposite. Advertisers sell products to the public by promoting love, happiness and belonging. If popular vegans used their platform to promote this amazing lifestyle using these same tactics, maybe then I’ll proudly call myself a vegan.
Until then, I will continue to eat a predominantly plant-based diet and work towards a more ethical lifestyle, but I am no longer a vegan. I’m just Sheyenne.
Suggested Video: Vegans are Bad for Veganism by Unnatural Vegan.