4.9
July 30, 2017

The Underlying Reason Why People Hate Vegans.

You won’t need to look far online to read comments from meat eaters about how vegans are a disgrace to society for pushing their agenda onto those who don’t want to hear it.

There was a time when responding to them would rattle me, as I tried to find out what provokes someone to type rage-fueled rants just because there are people in the world who don’t want to be part of the cruelty, suffering, abuse, and trauma carried out on animals. I’ve read so many of these hateful diatribes directed toward vegans that I decided to research why these people react this way.

One of the reasons is a lot simpler to comprehend than I expected. Of course, there will be a variety of reasons that people hate on the people who are trying to eradicate cruelty, but I believe one of the main reasons here is cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a scientific theory that was developed by Leon Festinger in 1957. It suggests that people have a strong inner drive to hold all of our attitudes and beliefs in harmony with each other, so that we can avoid disharmony, or dissonance. The second part of the process is what we do to maintain that harmony.

When we are faced with information that conflicts with the beliefs we already hold, one way to mend the dissonance is to go to great lengths to find information that supports our original beliefs, which results in us achieving cognitive consistency.

I have witnessed this on numerous occasions when people try to justify why they consume meat and dairy products, and why they believe that vegans are wrong, annoying, or that they are “preaching” when they express their beliefs.

The arguments people come up with to explain why veganism is wrong or hypocritical range from, “Plants have feelings too,” (which isn’t entirely true), “Fridges and freezers are made of animal products,” (I have never found any evidence to support this claim), “B12 deficiency!!” (vegans can receive more than enough B12 when they eat a balanced diet—besides I’d far rather be deficient in B12 than support animal abuse).

Another popular retort is, “All the animals would die,” or, “Where would all the animals live if everyone suddenly turned vegan?” Many factory farmed animals are brutally and forcibly artificially inseminated (raped) so that they can reproduce, therefore, when demand reduces, the need to force them to reproduce reduces/ends. Not only that, the lives they live are filled with extreme emotional, mental, and physical abuse—not a life that many of us would choose to be born into and quite literally hell on earth for the animals. There are animal sanctuaries across the world crying out to take in these animals so that they can live lives free from pain and suffering.

As the above shows, there are people who will try to rationalize their view by coming up with tenuous arguments to support their deeply held beliefs, and then others (myself in this case) may reply with an argument that goes against that belief.

It can be so difficult to accept something as “the truth” when it goes against something that we have previously and still currently believe to be true.

Instead of compassionately listening and being open to how people perceive situations, what facts they have, or the knowledge they hold, we attempt to shut one another down to prove that our point reigns and anything that differs is nonsense—which is a mild word compared to the extreme reactions I’ve read or heard thousands of times when people refuse point blank to hear one another out.

Whenever we do not understand something, our automatic primal instinct is fear. We are afraid of what we don’t know, or understand, and rather than opening to it and moving to a place of vulnerability so that we can allow the possibility of new information, we close off, put on armor, and prepare our defenses.

In our desperation to maintain our safety, surrounded by what feels familiar, we may attack, lash out, or become resistant to what someone else is saying or doing. This is simply our ego’s way of keeping our inner world stable. However, stability can also mean stagnancy and doesn’t offer room for growth.

When someone tells us that they hate us, they detest our views, what we stand for, what we believe in, or that we are wrong and they are right, the healthiest thing we can do in those moments is to remain calm, reminding ourselves that they do not actually know us enough to hate us—they just hate the fact that our opinions differ from and challenge their own.

Almost all anger, hatred, and resentment stems from a lack of knowledge, compassion, and understanding.

Meat eaters don’t hate vegans per se; they hate that vegans present a lifestyle that is vastly different from their own. Rather than questioning themselves and opening up to why that person is vegan, and hearing what they have to say, many people find it far quicker, and simpler, to declare rage, which is nothing more than their own confusing, conflicting, internal beliefs, values, and feelings battling to remain dominant.

Because really, can someone actually hate another person because they don’t want to be part of cruelty, abuse, neglect, suffering, torture, and the killing of billions of sentient beings? Some vegans may come across as though they think they are superior, resentful, judgmental, and that they think they know best—but, for most of us, that is simply a reflection of the unimaginable pain and suffering we witness and are aware of, knowing that all of it could be prevented just by eating more mindfully. (Of course, veganism isn’t immune from attracting its share of obnoxious whackos too.)

As I’ve said many times, if it was dogs that were being treated barbarically, in the same way pigs and cows are treated by the millions, there would be national outrage, and very few people would be hating on those who try to stop it.

Despite what cognitive dissonance may try to point out, there is no fundamental difference between a dog and a pig when it comes to emotional intelligence, pain, fear, and suffering.

We are all sentient beings, sharing this planet with other sentient beings—many of which cannot talk. Some of us are a voice for the vulnerable, and some of us cannot hear that voice as anything other than a rant that denies or challenges their beliefs and opinions.

To peacefully co-exist, all we need to do is to make a concerted effort to listen to one another and to try to perceive other people’s way of thinking. We then might find that we are not all so different, and that the only thing separating us is misunderstanding.

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“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” ~ Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

 

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Author: Alex Myles
Image: Libertarian Girl/Flickr
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Social Editor: Callie Rushton

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Phoenka Therandom Aug 5, 2018 12:33pm

no its because vegans are calling us meat eaters "EVIL" they are saying that we are are torturing all animals, sure, some are put in to a tight space, but we freaking realized that so now our family only buy products from family farms, can't we just eat a steak with out you vegan calling us all 'evil' and 'heartless monsters'? like we evolved to become omnivores, we have the ability to digest meat, why not just be what nature intended you to be? if a wolf eats a deer, and you call it evil and heartless, your just stupid. some people can't handle being a vegan because their genes and environment! so stop calling meat eaters evil! vegan or vegetarian! (even if you say that no one does that, all those PSA are unintentionally calling most on the population 'horrible people' for eating meat, I'm quite a sensitive person so any unintended hate are detected by me, and i feel like the hate is pretty strong towards us too, there are articles about how bad the things we do are, and everytime some one posts their opinon on why they dont want to be vegan, a bunch of vegans instantly come to hate on them when in fact, it just their opinon, so no offense but thats what i feel like vegans are saying to us meat eaters)

Fred K Brattåker May 15, 2018 7:13am

Michael Rikes I've seen the kind of trolling of vegan sites you're talking about. I've also seen vegans trolling various Facebook events and bacon "fan" groups with images and videos of animal slaughters - I've seen all the videos before - and claiming that you can't truly love animals if you eat them, and "we're" all horrible, amoral monsters. That's evangelism there. It's not enough to make your own dietary choices, for whatever reasons, but you try to demonize and convert those that have yet to "convert." These are the vegans people have a problem with. There's a lack of respect between some vegans and some omnivores...but those same people are likely disrespectful in other areas as well. It's not really "vegan-vs-omnivore"...it's just "asshole-vs-asshole" with innocent bystanders getting caught in the fray.

John Edwards May 7, 2018 8:35am

No, the reason we can't stand you is that you think you're better than others, and you are not, quite similar to a lot of evangelical Christians. You have a mental issue and want to be part of a cult that lacks logic, just like any other cult. Veganism is a replacement for religion in the modern world. I have no problem with people who don't eat meat. I do have a problem with people who act as if the sight or smell of meat is going to kill them. I have a problem with people who freak out because a piece of meat touched their vegetable or the fork was used with meat. It's not a toxic substance. Get over yourselves and your privileged current obsessions and delusions.

Skye Iron Apr 4, 2018 9:05am

Um, no. That is not why we hate vegans. In fact, we don't even hate vegans as a group. No, the vegans we hate are those who hold a 'Holier than Thou' mentality who seem to think it is their sacred mission to insult, degrade, shame, and objectify those who do not conform to their beliefs, those vegans who think it is okay to do absolutely anything, no matter how immoral, in their attempt to convert omnivores to their cults, including but not limited to; bending the truth, flat-out lying, knowingly releasing misinformation, casually throwing accusations of abuse and rape around, casting aspersions on ones character, and scare tactics. To them, there is no such thing as an 'ethical' omnivore whom they are fond of calling 'carnists', a degrading label that these vegans created designed to shame. Many of us omnivores are just as appalled and disgusted as you are when it comes to factory farms, which is why we source our meat from ethical farms that allow the animals as much freedom as possible and whose animals do not suffer unnecessary pain. To them there is no such thing as someone who physically cannot survive much less thrive on a vegan diet. We hate the vegans who hate and degrade other vegans, vegans who actually feed their carnivorous and borderline omnivorous pets a species appropriate diet, vegans who do not attempt to force their views on others. We hate those vegans that feel the need to constantly shame those ex-vegans whose systems simply cannot support a vegan diet, ex-vegans that already feel bad enough about their body's failure and do not need to be told how supposedly terrible they are for this failing that was completely out of their control. Unfortunately, these terrible people are the ones who scream the loudest and generally make the most noise, so these are the vegans that most of us sensible omnivores are exposed to and consequently, because we mostly only encounter these vegans, we hate vegans, specifically these assholes. Because of the almost non-existant exposure we have to sensible vegans, we tend to stuff you all under a single umbrella and you are therefore tainted by a portion of your own group and cop some of our hate, hate that has been instilled in us by vegans. So you see? If it wasn't for this specific group, the only hate you would get would be from assholes and trolls, not from those of us that were innocently minding our own business, existing hateless lives until that one fanatic vegan turned up and made damn sure to instill that first seed of hate with their shaming and non-sensical arguments which was then nurtured and fuelled by more of the same.

Nazif Güler Feb 28, 2018 10:34pm

Of course the author didn't bother to listen to non vegans. Is this taking challenges kindly? I'm never bothered by someone being vegan (good for them) but I don't take preaching in a condescending way & harassment well. I'm not devil incarnate just for having different culinary choices. (I don't eat meat with the exception of fish for that matter.) They should practice what they preach.

Nazif Güler Feb 28, 2018 10:28pm

Michael Rikes I don't care personally. It would probably be just that I would find it hard to find ingredients for perfect vegan food as opposed to vegetarian. But if you imply that I'm evil for eating differently than you do then expect some backlash. People don't like being questioned & harangued about things that don't involve others. (Defensiveness) I never called any vegan names and if someone do I'd tell them to grow up. But respect goes both ways.

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Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.