Monday, September 18, 2017

“I want to punch that kid in the face.”


A friend of mine posted about an encounter one of her daughters had in kindergarten. Another five year old told her that her sandwich looked “gross.” No big deal, a five-year-old boy calling something “gross.” Didn't abuse an animal, didn't endorse hurting animals, didn't throw bologna in her face. (But if he had, remember: 5 years old.)

A vegan publicly commented on the Facebook thread, “I want to punch that kid in the face.”

OK, you might think this is extreme. But I monitor the comment threads for One Step’s online outreach. These ads reach between 1.5 and 2.5 million people a month. And you would not believe the hateful things vegans say to others on those threads.

Watching all this on a daily basis, it is absolutely not surprising to me that vegans are hated, and about as popular as drug addicts. We can complain about this, or deny it. We can even rationalize it, as if this is a “good” or even a “necessary” thing.

Or we can stop obsessing about a word, and actually focus on animals.

What would that look like? First, we would stop using any “v” word. If we can't make our case just talking about animals, we need to rethink our case. Second, we should rethink our message.

7 comments:

Unknown said...

I agree! Like I wrote a few years ago: https://medium.com/@TheAnimalist/vegan-no-more-89282c30a29c

:)

Unknown said...

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH, WHAT OTHER COMMUNITY HAS BEEN SO CONSTANTLY CRITICISED JUST BECAUSE OF DIET. THE LAST 50 YEARS HAVE SHOWN COMPLETE ABUSE OF ALL NON MEAT EATERS. NO WONDER EVERY VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN FEELS THAT ITS TIME TO ATTACK BACK. STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY....IDIOTS.

Matt Ball said...

Thanks for your anonymous comment about the abuse you have suffered. Your all-caps argument for attacking makes it hard to understand why anyone would have a negative view of vegans.

Johanna said...

If our message is compassion, we should be compassionate to all beings, including humans. I have seen the hatred expressed by vegans toward other vegans, and I just don't get it.

Johanna said...

And what's with all the high-profile vegans expressing their love of gluten? Is it to poke fun of people who are gluten-intolerant? Or they don't believe gluten intolerance is a real thing? Or they like to brag that they can eat it while others can't? I have to admit I'm feeling a little disrespected over here. (I'm referring to the person who left the first comment).

Matt Ball said...

I do get the anger, Johanna. Knowing what happens to animals, and then being met with indifference, it can be hugely infuriating. But there are, I believe, two problems: 1. Making it about us (our persecution), and more importantly, 2. We can't yell or scream our fight our way to a more compassionate world. Although I've seen some elaborate rationalizations claiming we can!

AJ said...

Although I am an animal rescuer and activist of 35 plus years, I gave up being a vegan years ago BECAUSE OF extreme vegans whom I wanted no associations with.

Ironically, a recent (natural!) treatment for sleep apnea has altered my tastes and appetite, and now I cannot eat anything made from animals without getting sick. So technically that makes me a vegan (again). But will I call myself one? HELL no.