'Aggressive' Vegans Are Putting Meat Eaters Off Giving Up Meat
The Debrief: A new study suggests that so-called 'aggressive' vegans may be harming their own cause
New research has revealed that one of the reasons why a lot of carnivores are reluctant to give up meat and dairy is because they feel annoyed by the 'aggressive' attitudes of other vegans. So what's up with our perception of veganism?
Veganism got trendy
Remember that scene in Annie Hall when Woody Allen finds himself confronted with an unappetising plate of alfafa sprouts and mashed yeast, in an LA cafe? Well, things have progressed significantly on the vegan food scene and these days it's hard to find a central London highstreet that doesn't feature a beautifully branded vegan ice cream place or a wholesome-smelling vegetarian restaurant. Look at the success of Mildreds, which recently opened two further branches because of the popularity of its Soho location. But despite this, and the many, many celebrities who have voiced their support for vegan living, it can be hard to let go of those alfafa sprout associations. Last year a study actually revealed that of 1000 people interviewed, over half admitted to being put off dating a vegan.
The diet argument
Meat eaters apparently feel prodded, pestered and guilt-tripped by ernest vegans with 'know it all' attitudes. On the other hand, vegans probably get frustrated with the perception that they're angry and righteous all the time, and lately non meat and dairy eaters seem to describe themselves at 'plant based', which may be a bid to escape any of the old associations. The recent Netflix documentary 'What the Health' focused on the health benefits of giving up meat and dairy. The claim about one egg being as harmful as smoking 5 cigarettes is downright depressing and hard to digest when a great deal of scientific research has suggested otherwise. There's so much conflicting information about food that it's hard to form a solid argument about diet either way (I've now completely lost track of whether coconut oil is healthy or not).
Where is this going?
According to this latest study, there are a handful of reasons why meat and dairy eaters are put off going vegan. The top reason, quite simply was 'I like the taste of meat too much', followed by 'meat substitutes are too expensive'. Then came 'I'd struggle for meal ideas', and 'my family eat meat and wouldn't consider going vegan or vegetarian with me'. 'Aggressive vegans' come last, with meat eaters claiming 'they consider their way of eating to be the only way'. It seems that without any badgering, a lot of people are already coming round to the idea of veganism, with a rise of 360% in ten years - so a softly, softly approach might be best for any vegans trying to convert their friends and family.
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