Think all vegans are the same? That we are all hippies in drum circles with long hair, munching on granola? Or pretentious baristas donning political slogan T-shirts? Let’s crack the myth of vegan conformity.
What do you think when you hear “vegan”? If long hair and tie-dye, or a pretentious barista with a political slogan T-shirt come to mind—you’re not alone.
However, these stereotypes are not your future, should you decide to go vegan. Assuming as much is akin to assuming that all meat-eaters are like that one guy you know who is a total D-bag—and happens to eat meat.
In reality, vegans vary widely in countless ways. Not all are avid environmentalists, health nuts, or ethically-driven.
There are conservative—yes even Republican—vegans, believe it or not. Dominion, a fantastic text on the question of animal rights, was written by Matthew Scully, a conservative, and former speech writer for president Bush.
There are religious vegans of a variety of backgrounds. Veganism crosses races and cultures and languages and genders.
There are totally ripped, strong vegans. There are couch-potato, lazy vegans.
Veganism is not an exclusive club (sorry, actual pretentious vegan barista who is emotionally crushed by the lack of exclusivity in your lifestyle).
Let’s take the reasons for going vegan that we have gone over so far:
- The environment. Maybe you don’t care about the environment. Guess what? You can be a vegan and still drive your SUV and still take really long showers. Going vegan doesn’t mean that you instantly have to carry around pocket mulch and use a solar-powered cell phone.
- Health. Maybe you are not a health nut. Get ready to take on the full meaning of couch potato. There’s a wide array of vegan junk foods out there so you can go vegan, have a cruelty-free diet and still give your health the big f you.
- Morality. Maybe you are not concerned about the suffering of animals. In fact, maybe you don’t like animals at all. Veganism is the best way to have absolutely nothing to do with animals whatsoever – you don’t have to eat them, you don’t have to use them, you don’t have to interact with them at all! So, if you hate animals… vegan is actually the way to go.
- World hunger. The only way we can possibly address world hunger is to have a global shift to plant-based diets.
- Lastly, some people think that veganism just doesn’t gel with things like being athletic, funny, musically talented, an actor, scientist, entrepreneur, writer, physicist, dancer, etc. But watch the video up above for examples of people who fit all of these descriptions and are vegan!
So regardless of your background, ethnicity, religious preference, or really anything, you too can be vegan!
— Emily Moran Barwick