Why Are Vegans So Mean and Angry?

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Aggressive, pushy, pretentious, judgemental

If you asked me to describe vegans just 2 years ago, these words all would have come to mind.

Now that I’ve gone vegan, it’s much easier to see and understand the 2 opposing sides.

Hopefully I can shed some light into why some vegans are so mean and/or angry.

Consider Selection Bias

I’d like to ask you a question.

How many vegans do you know personally?

For me a few years ago, it was 0.

The only vegans I heard about were the ones in the news from throwing blood on people with fur coats, or the ones yelling on street corners trying to give you flyers.

You might also come across some at an event who got in a heated discussion.

Is it fair to label those vegans as aggressive and mean? In a lot cases it’s entirely fair.

But is it fair to extend that label to all vegans? No, it’s a small sample, and of course you’re going to hear and notice the…let’s call them eccentric ones.

You could say the same thing about any religion, or anything else that people are passionate about. If you’re not part of their “group”, you’ll only be exposed to the ones making the most noise.

If that makes sense to you, that brings us to a better question:

Why are some vegans so mean and angry?

This is hard to understand when you’re not vegan, but I’ll do my best to share a different perspective with you.

Have you heard of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival?

It’s an annual event (starting in 2009) where tens of thousands of dogs are killed to be eaten in a city in China.

How does that make you feel?

Are you okay with that? Do you think people should be allowed to killed dogs if they want to?

Most people in the West say no. And news of this festival has caused outrage across the world, and from many people who are not vegan.

Now to a vegan (from our perspective), we feel the same way about a cow, sheep, pig, or any other animal being slaughtered.

And instead of tens of thousands of dogs being killed during the year, several billions of other animals are killed each year for food (50 billion chickens alone).

And it’s not happening just in China, it’s happening all around us. Try your best to imagine if people were eating dog almost every meal in your city.

You likely don’t agree that eating chicken (or other animal) is the same as eating dog, but to vegans it’s identical, and elicits those same feelings.

So how do vegans react to all this? There are a few different options you’ll see:

  • Get angry (these are the loudest vegans, aggressive protesters and debaters).
  • Get depressed (pretty common).
  • Be apathetic. You feel like there’s nothing you can do and the world is awful.
  • Accept reality. Accept that suffering is going to happen, but work on yourself and small ways to encourage others to see the world the same.

Most vegans end up a combination of all 4 depending on their mood, location, and probably some other factors.

Summarizing: Why Are Vegans So Mean?

Even if you don’t agree with the viewpoint, I hope that you can understand a bit why you might come across an angry vegan.

They care about these animals that are being mass slaughtered around the world and feel pretty helpless to change anything.

For some, they reach a point where they blow up and get angry, like everyone has done at some point (for other reasons).

This is more common for some people than others. I’m an extremely calm and measured person, and even at times I almost reach this point, so while I don’t think it’s a helpful or correct way to act, I understand it.

If you’ve been on the receiving end of a vegan being not so nice and would like to vent a bit or have a serious discussion about something, feel free to leave a comment below.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

2 comments

  • I have nothing against people who choose to eat only vegetables and fruits because that is what they have decided for themselves and I respect that. Likewise, I would like the same consideration when it comes to what I choose to eat. Now, I would not invite my vegan friend for dinner and serve them up a big steak. I would not even eat a steak in their presence. Instead, I would serve only vegetables and fruits. I love vegetables and fruits. However, I eat meat with the belief that God has given me the right to do so just as He has given the vegan the right to refuse meat. We should not try to destroy another’s faith. I have seen some of the angry remarks from people who do not eat meat, and it is nothing pretty. For people who are supposed to be so kind-hearted, they are quite mean to their own fellow beings without trying to understand the other side. It is much like the person who does not believe in God, who is always bashing those who do believe. Just do your thing and talk about what you do — that is a better way to convince folks of something than hurling insults at them. I have a sister who is a vegan and has a food service business. I encourage people to try her food and give my opinion on many of her dishes. Most of the food is great, so I have nothing against it. But I still enjoy some meat also.

    • If a serial killer said: “I respect your choice not to kill people, but you should respect my choice to kill people because it’s my belief that it’s okay (because of my God or any other reason).” – I expect you can see the absurdity in that statement.

      The issue with your argument is that you ask for respect for your decision to eat meat. This is a decision that harms others, and that’s an important line that has been crossed.