The worry over the Vegan 'Image'


Dec 2, 2017
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The worry over the Vegan 'Image'

I've recently come to realize that with the advent of Vegan going, at least to some extent, "mainstream", the numbers of people
adopting the vegan diet/lifestyle growing fast, there is what might be perceived as an associated image problem, and a worry over
what this could mean.

In the past, vegans were an even more marginal a group than now. There were not lots of vegan (processed) items, like mock meats,
ice creams and the like. Very few mainstream restaurants had options outside of things like side salad and maybe some potatoes,
there was little mainstream press that was dealing with being Vegan (good, or bad).

However, this has in recent years changed considerably. Vegans of a decade ago, or even 2 decades or more might not have even
been known to exist. I know from my experience that a little over 20 years ago in my early 20's I had met only one in my entire
life, and none in the next few decades. I wasn't doing internet searches on the word 'vegan', as the word was pretty much removed
from my consciousness.

That can't be the case now for many people. With the documentaries, the inclusion of vegans a little more in entertainment films (as
vegans), and with major networks addressing vegan food or vegans in general (which tends to be a mixed bag, in my opinion), there is
a lot more exposure.

Spotlight. Holy baked tofu, batman, is my suit wrinkled, my hair in place and my righteous indignation/peaceful, accepting vegan attitude
in check? Am I one of those soon to be failed raw vegans? What's my position on animal rights, and how active am I?

Now, the even more worrisome problem. There are crazy vegans. I mean crazy, crazy vegans. Some of them, like Eric Dubay, is not only raw,
but he's a Flat Earther and one of the driving forces behind this movement (cheers, Dubay, if you're reading this, I really like your
stuff, but the circular map with circular sun is wrong), and then there's internet con-men/women, who are selling starvation diets that
happen to be vegan but are not sustainable and they aren't even following them! **** drinking vegans, God give me strength! Even now what
appears to be Ex-Vegans, some of them obviously spiteful towards us, some of them proven to be complete liars with anti-vegan agendas.

Vegans who aren't pro-gay/pro transgender or pro-feminist? can that be, aren't we all moving along the same line of
group consciousness? Flower power hippie vegans? Vegans that are pro war??!!!! Vegans who like Trump??!!!

We need unity, some cry. A set of beliefs that is all inclusive outside of being Vegan so we can provide a united front to the world.
This is the thinking of some.

I think this is a huge mistake and only serves to divide us, as vegans, as well as hinder membership. The fact is, there are altogether
too many people (vegan or not) on the internet who cannot handle the internet. It's a big wide and scary world with some scary opinions.
Groups and cliques can form, and people outside of the common beliefs (outside of diet/lifestyle) can be seen as a threat to certain
collective, comfortable, opinions.

Please do not bring up the recent clash I was involved in here. Although I probably wouldn't have given the matter the thought had this not happened, I didn't write this as a round about way of addressing it. So please don't.

For me, this is the heart of the matter. Fear. We found common ground, but above that common ground there are differences in opinions and
attitudes, and now the common ground doesn't seem so unifying.

Can we accept our differences and stay united on the common ground, or will the differences divide us? If the differences divide, then must
we seek to eradicate them, or tolerate them? Do the differences even matter on non-vegan subjects?

I think the answers to these questions boil down to two basic concepts:

A) One is a collectivist. On topics outside of Veganism, Majority opinion rules. A collectivist in a minority position fears this, and must
try to force the majority to agree.

B) You are an individualist. If one was a vegan prior to the greater influx and media attention, or even a message board to meet others,
you were most definitely already that. Strong in your stance that you could withstand the bombardment of the world's onslaught of
advertising and persuasion to be otherwise in your choice of eating and lifestyle habits.

There is a mixture here on veganforum. I see individualists, and I see collectivists. The world, however, is LARGELY collectivist, so naturally,
we can expect more of them.
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