Something i have noticed a little too often in certain vegan groups i am in on Facebook is the amount of hate and ridicule certain individuals get when they ask questions.
I understand if it is an internet troll who isn’t vegan and asks a question just to try to provoke a reaction and angry replies, then i understand the replies that person may get. However some questions seem completely open and like the person just wants to understand and instead they get lots of angry replies and telling them they aren’t vegan.
For example, when people ask why honey or horse riding isn’t vegan, there are many who just get angry and attack the person asking the question instead of giving a good answer so the person can learn.
For example: Honey isn’t vegan because the honey is made by the bees for the bees. Honey is the bees source of food and nutrients and by taking honey we are exploiting the bees and taking what is “theres.”
When farmers remove honey from a hive, they replace it with a sugar substitute which is significantly worse for the bees’ health since it lacks the essential nutrients, fats and vitamins of honey. The bees then exhaust themselves by working to replace the missing honey. During the removal of honey, the bees can die after stinging the farmers.
Honey bees are specifically bred to increase productivity. Already endangered, this selective breeding narrows the population gene pool and increases susceptibility to disease and large-scale die-offs. Diseases are also caused by importing different species of bees for use in hives.
Why is horse riding not vegan? Because you are riding an animal which most likely does not want to be ridden, not to mention that from what i understand the saddle and other equipment on the animal can cause pain or other problems. Having a horse can still be vegan, just like if you adopt other animals and take care of them properly that is still part of the vegan lifestyle, however horse riding where you are sitting on an animal and forcing them to ride is not seen as so vegan. Of course letting the horse run free or taking the horse for a ride/walk isn’t the same as actually sitting on it and riding.
It is better to answer and educate than to get angry and not answer the question.
Also, the other day in a vegan group there was a person who asked about the nutrients in a certain vegan substitute and i answered saying that the nutrients in the vegan substitute weren’t similar to the meat product it was trying to copy. So if you were eating that substitue thinking you would get the same calories/fat/protein/macros as the meat version then you would be wrong, but that you can eat it as an alternative and then add other food to make it more complete… or just realise that you eat other things the rest of the day so it is ok if one meal is more carb and fat heavy than the others. But below me people answered such as “oh, you would rather eat a dead animal than a substitute” etc The person asking the question had said nothing about eating meat just asked about the nutrients in the substitute.
The angry responses doesn’t give veganism a good image, it makes it seem like all vegans are bitter and ready to attack when that isn’t the case. Of course there are SO MANY in the groups who give good answers and are helpful to the newbies and all the questions.
It’s not just in vegan groups i see this, but also in fitness/workout groups when new people join and have questions and people begin to ridicule them and make fun of them or leave angry replies when all they could have done is answer, link to an older post that has the answer or just scroll by. It does no one good to get angry.
I believe that people should encourage and be helpful. Encourage the small changes and steps towards veganism and help people along the way by answering questions. And help people who are beginning to workout and not ridicule them when they have questions. Everyone starts somewhere!!! In the beginning a person might not know that gelatin, whey and e120 aren’t vegan or that certain wines and beers are made using animal products. People will learn in time, but we all start somewhere and ridiculing someone won’t help them feel motivated or inspired to keep going!
I know it can be draining to answer the same questions over and over, from my recovery blog i got the same questions over and over day after day and some questions where the answer was fully obvious to me, but i never got angry or irritated, instead did my best to try to answer because that’s how people learn and get inspired!
Lets inspire each other, help each other and if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Ask questions, learn, grow. There will be mean and rude people, but if you don’t ask you won’t learn!
If you have any questions about veganism you can always ask me and i will try my best to answer!