Vegans can get a bad press - and this can be totally undeserved. Most of the time, the negative way that people talk about vegans is due to stereotypes. Rather than paying attention to what vegans are actually like, critics of vegans often prefer simply to rely on detrimental stereotypes of vegan behavior. Below, you will find 8 of the most annoying stereotypes of vegans that seem to never die!
1. Vegans Are Unhealthy:
If you say you are a vegan, suddenly everyone wants to share with you their nutritional advice! Vegans are frequently stereotyped as being weak and ill, however the abundance of vegan athletes and weight lifters suggests otherwise. Vegans can get all of their calcium, protein, and other essential nutrients from their diet - and even B12 can be catered for with fortified milks and nutritional yeast rather than supplements.
2. Vegans Are Self-Righteous:
Perhaps this stereotype stems from the fear that vegans are secretly judging and commenting on what other people eat. However, self righteousness is not an essential ingredient in any vegan diet! Yes, granted, many vegans eat the way that they do because they believe that a vegan diet is more ethical. But that does not mean that vegans think that they are better than other people because of this decision they have made.
3. Vegans Love Animals More Than Humans:
All vegans have heard some variation of this criticism: 'why do you bother so much with animals when there are so many humans suffering on this planet too?' The motivation behind this stereotype is to paint vegans as hypocrites. However (and this may shock you) it is actually possible to care deeply about both humans and animals at once. There is no need to choose one or the other, and loving one option does not by default mean that you hate the other. In fact, many vegans believe that caring for all species, including humans, is an essential aspect of a vegan lifestyle. After all, we humans are animals too.
4. Being Vegan Is Very Hard:
Actually, no! A vegan diet is abundant, varied, plentiful, nutritious and surprising. People often say that their diets became more varied once they switched to veganism because instead of filling up on the same foods that everyone else was eating they were motivated to explore new grains, milks, fruits and veggies.
5. Vegans Are Obsessed With Health And "Clean Living':
Again, this is an overly broad stereotype. Some people do choose a vegan diet for health reasons. However, there are a whole host of vegan junk food lovers out there too. You can get vegan hot dogs, burgers, ice cream sundaes and pizzas if you prefer. Or, you can chow down on salads, smoothies and more - it is up to you! Of course, many vegans get their nutrition from most of the foods they carefully select; some take additional supplements such as probiotics, but nothing is set in stone!
6. Vegans Are Hippies:
Some vegans do embrace this kind of lifestyle. But, you can find vegans from all walks of life. Businesspeople, athletes, truck drivers and doctors can all be vegans. Why not ask your nearest professional if they are vegan? Or ask your neighbor? The answer may surprise you. Vegans are not all alternative counter culture obsessed people, dressed in tie dyed garments or covered in tattoos.
7. Vegans Do Not Understand The Countryside:
Many people argue that vegans do not understand how agriculture 'really works' and how animals are 'meant' to be our food. Please. So many vegans grew up on farms or live in the countryside right now. Assuming that vegans are ignorant is just a negative stereotype that has no basis in reality. Sure, some vegans may have flunked school. Some have PhDs. All vegans are equal! But, in general, vegans tend to go out of their way to inform themselves about issues like animal rights, nutrition, animal welfare and farming methods because their diet is something that they think about often and that is close to their hearts.
8. Vegans Are All Affluent Or Posh:
There is a stereotype floating around that a vegan diet is super expensive and thus only accessible to posh people. Sure, the price of some specialty raw desserts or algae powders can be sky high! But, a vegan diet is actually one of the cheapest ways to live. Think how much a steak costs, or a sliver of smoked salmon? Well, a vegan can eat well for a fraction of that cost. Lentils, greens, cans of beans and cous cous are all affordable, easy to store and very nutritious.