Are you as tired of the angry vegan stereotype as I am?
It’s like people expect us to stay quiet on the issue of animal cruelty just to please them and protect them. Protect from what, you might ask. From feeling uncomfortable, of course.
No one wants to be told the truth about their immoral habits. It’s hurtful.
We want to keep the belief that we are good people who would never hurt anyone, not even a fly. So when you poke the right buttons and expose our hypocrisy, it hurts us.
That’s how the angry vegan myth began.
Sure, there are individuals who struggle with anger and how to manage it. There are also vegans who truly want to bully others and punish them for exploiting non-human animals.
But the majority of us are simply passionate and loud activists who want to protect the innocent and educate the uneducated.
While anger may fuel us for a while, it is not who we are as a community or as individuals. And those who do let this red emotion guide them, need our help, not judgment.
In this post, I mainly want to talk about how to avoid letting negative feelings overwhelm you, and how to use them as a tool for creativity and activism.
You see, when I went vegan in 2015, my heart was full of sadness and resentment. I was so deeply disappointed with the lack of humanity I witnessed wherever I looked. I wanted to believe people were kind but the evidence just wasn’t there.
I thought everyone around me was bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.
It took a lot of self-help books and podcasts to convince me that being a joyful vegan was just a better, healthier way to live my life.
I know that it is much easier to see the world as an inherently cruel place to live. I still look at it that way most of the time when I am not being mindful. But our reality is whatever we decide it is.
If you focus on the progress we are making, that’s what you’ll see. If you focus on everything that’s going wrong, you’ll see it on every corner.
Imagine if you woke up every morning with a warrior attitude. Not like in a war, but more in a let’s go on an adventure type of way.
Like Sydney Fox from Relic Hunter who is always ready to fight for the greater good without losing hope and confidence.
You wake up, stretch your body and go through your self-care ritual. You don’t always feel excited about what’s to come, but you consistently meditate and read books on the topic of mindfulness.
Instead of scrolling on your Instagram page and feeling upset at the latest news, you opt to listen to a conversation on the Waking Up app. When you see a friend eat animal flesh, you don’t berate them but kindly treat them as your equal, knowing that just you being vegan is bringing awareness to the table.
Don’t be an angry vegan in the room, just be a vegan in the room. When it’s time to speak, speak. When it’s time to listen, listen.
The less you act on impulse, the more you will find a connection to non-vegans and there will be more willingness from their side to listen to your arguments.
As I said earlier, anger is fuel. It can fuel you to do good or it can fuel you to do bad. This decision is solely yours to make.
When you meet someone who pushes your buttons, you can either be the light that guides them to a more ethical lifestyle, or you can push them even further away from ever considering becoming vegan in the first place.
First impressions matter; that’s why it’s so important to know that we are always being watched and judged. This is not about you expressing how you feel, but about what you represent as an animal rights activist.
Do you want to represent compassion or hate? Unity or division? Equality or segregation? Hope or despair? Conversation or censorship? Positivity or negativity?
Think about non-human animals before you allow your anger to speak for you. You can choose to be kind… if you want to.
You got this. You always have.