Have you ever been asked; why are vegans so preachy? Vegans are often stereotyped as overly preachy, which is one of the reasons why we attract so much disdain. Of all the reasons so many people dislike vegans (we wrote an article on this, which you can read here), our reputation for being preachy is one of the most commonly cited.
There’s a well-known vegan joke which goes something like this:
Q: How can you tell someone is vegan?
A: You don’t have to; they’ll tell you!
Of course, not all vegans are the same, and some of us are less vocal than others about our views. However, most of us are incredibly passionate about veganism which is why we have adopted the lifestyle.
Veganism is more than a diet choice
Veganism is often viewed as simply a diet choice. Because of this, it can be difficult for some people to understand why some vegans promote the lifestyle so passionately. However, while it is true that some people opt to follow a plant-based diet solely for health reasons (the risks associated with eating too much dairy and red meat and processed meat are well documented), the majority of strict vegans view it as far more than simply a diet choice.
For most of us, veganism is a rejection of the abhorrent cruelty that’s inherently built into the animal agriculture industry. We are conditioned by clever marketing to believe that animals are treated well in this industry. We are conditioned to believe that animals are subservient and exist for the benefit of humans. But once the truth is seen, veganism often becomes the only viable choice. So many people – the vast majority in fact – persist in their willful ignorance about this, and, to vegans, this can be frustrating. Because of this, many of us are keen to promote awareness, expose the truth and show people an alternative way of living.
If animal cruelty is not sufficient reason alone to go vegan, there is the issue of environmental degradation. This is perhaps the second most prominent reason why people choose a vegan lifestyle, and it is an issue of grave concern to all of us. Animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to deforestation, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. A recent report suggests animal agriculture is responsible for at least 87% of greenhouse gas emissions and is, therefore, the leading cause of climate change.
While those following a vegan diet may be well aware of this, many meat-eaters are not. Some even choose to believe the claims that vegan diets are responsible for environmental destruction (which is untrue – read more about this here), perhaps because this view allows them to continue comfortably in their lifestyle choices. Like animal cruelty, the environmental issues associated with meat and dairy production are extremely concerning. Vegans may come across preachy on these issues because they are so crucial to the planet’s welfare and all who live on it.
Why vegans preach
People who choose to go vegan have strong values and are trying to make lifestyle choices in line with these. To those who realise the truth about the animal agriculture industry and how we have been deceived by marketing and the media for years, it becomes glaringly obvious that there are major issues with the way we produce and consume our food. But it is equally obvious that there is a simple and accessible alternative – a vegan lifestyle. Many of us who go through this process of awareness simply want to help others see the truth and make changes for the benefit of all. Simply put, we can be preachy because we care so much; we care about animals and their welfare, we care about the planet, we care about humans and the wellbeing of current and future generations.
We speak on behalf of the animals who have no voice because they do not share our language. We speak on behalf of our beautiful planet, which nurtures us and continues to support our lives despite the greed and destructive nature of our species. We speak for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren. And for you and yours too, if you are yet to see the truth for yourself.
And I can only speak for myself when I say that I am proud to be preachy. We hope this sheds some light on the question of why are vegans so preachy. If you have any questions feel free to pop them in the comments.