Oh, the vegan lies I was told back in 2014 when I was transitioning. I was ready to believe everything I was told as long as I was making progress.
Influencers were thriving at that point and veganism was slowly rising. The motivation I had for going vegan was strong and that led me to listen to some very strange people.
There are millions of vegans and, naturally, each one has their own set of beliefs and views. Nothing wrong with that. I literally write about how we need more diversity of thought in our movement.
But there is a line that some people cross and I want to talk about it.
You see, a lot of individuals have a tendency to seek attention and following. We live in an era of cults, and those are created by the most random people. Some happen to not eat other animals.
That’s not the point, though. The problem lies in those people brainwashing new vegans into believing delusional things. When you are a beginner, you will be eager to learn and some people will want to exploit that.
Here are some of the vegan lies I used to believe:
- I believed eating plant-based can cure any illness.
There was a very influential vegan couple back in 2014 that I watched all the time.
Some of their advice was good, but they also shared a lot of claims that were not scientific. For example, they said that eating plant-based can 100% cure cancer, depression and even schizophrenia.
Those are some extraordinary claims and yet, no extraordinary evidence was ever presented. Being mentally ill myself, I truly wanted it to be true, but the reality is different.
Eating a whole food plant-based diet is of great benefit, but it is not a miracle cure for most illnesses. You still require medical help, and usually, a lot of luck.
- I believed vegans were morally superior.
Of course, not supporting killing non-human animals for food is a moral and ethical stance, but it doesn’t stop here.
Precisely because anyone can be vegan, we have to understand that this one area is not enough to make you morally superior. Vegans can be racist. Vegans can be homophobic. Vegans can be domestic abusers.
Vegans can be anything, including immoral and unethical.
Although I never quite thought of myself as being better than non-vegans, I was biased towards plant-based individuals. An individual work of art was immediately more wonderful if I knew the artist didn’t eat animal products.
That was a form of belief in vegan superiority.
- I believed angry activism was the only form of activism.
I wasn’t always someone who talked about compassion and kindness.
My first two years were pretty intense and angry. The way I spoke about animal rights was dividing. My goal was to make people aware, even if they got upset and never wanted to see me again.
Anger was fueling me in the wrong way. It wasn’t making me more productive or effective. I was just more depressed and rude to my friends. No one was inspired, they just wanted to go away.
Finding the work of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau helped me. She reminded me that I don’t have to be mean to be inspiring. Joyful veganism was possible and I so wanted to be a part of it.
Everyone must be true to themselves and speak from their heart. What works for me may not work for you, but that’s the secret. Each vegan has a secret superpower and it can only be used if we embrace our personal form of activism.
Be an angry activist if you want to, just don’t do it because you feel pressured.
Have you heard any of these? Did you believe them? Let me know down in the comment section.
It is good to find inspiration and motivation in other vegans, but you should not believe everything they say. Although we cannot choose our beliefs, we can still choose who we listen to.
I should’ve recognized that some vegans were spewing bullshit. It was my fault that I spent the first few months believing the most common vegan lies. I still enjoyed the beginning phase, but it could’ve been better.
While veganism is a great philosophy to live according to, it is not magic. It’s a moral obligation, the right thing to do, but not perfect. There is still so much that we cannot control, or can only control a part of it.
Lead a healthy lifestyle but know health and old age are not guaranteed. Acknowledge your moral code when it comes to non-human animals and then look for ways you could improve in other areas. Speak up, not down.
You got this.