15 Sep 2014

Is Veganism Just a Fad Diet?

Over the past few years, a plethora of so-called 'fad' diets have risen in popularity. The Paleo diet, Raw 'Til 4, the Atkins diet and the low-carb diet are some well-known examples. Whether or not these popular diets are 'fads' or not is debatable, but the bottom line is that they are indeed just diets. They all revolve entirely around eating, or refraining from eating, specific types of food. Veganism, however - as most vegans will know - is not only a diet, but a lifestyle. On switching from the omnivorous lifestyle to the vegan lifestyle, every aspect of an individual's life will essentially change. It's not just about food.

This is where one very common argument against veganism comes into play. I've certainly heard this one more than I'd like to, and I'm sure many of you have as well:

"Everyone has a choice to eat what they want, it's just food! Stop bullying me because I choose to eat differently to you!"

This argument is wrong on so many levels. And, when you acknowledge the fact that veganism is a lifestyle rather than a diet, it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. A common retort to this particular argument is:

"It's not about what you eat. It's about who you eat!"

That one, short statement sums up my argument perfectly. Many non-vegans don't seem to understand that veganism is about more than the food on your plate. It's about where (or, rather, who) that food came from. I, for one, don't even see animal products as food anymore. I see animal products for what they really are - dead limbs, organs and secretions. Doesn't sound very appetising, does it?

Vegan/non-vegan isn't the same as apples/oranges!

To be vegan, you must do more than simply abstain from eating animal products. It's also about what you use - and that includes anything from dish-washing liquid to dresses. IF something is made from dead animal parts, it's not vegan. Vegans also abstain from exploiting animals in any way - they should not be used simply for human benefit. That is not their purpose. Veganism is about compassion, which is personified through the avoidance of products and services derived from suffering and death.

"To be vegan, you must do more than simply abstain from eating animal products."

Furthermore, veganism isn't just a 'fad'. It's not something that will come and go - it's something that will continue to grow and expand throughout the ages. Over the past few years, the vegan population has grown by the tens of thousands. That's evidence enough that people are waking up! If growth continues at this rate, veganism will soon fall into the mainstream. Veganism has been noted extensively throughout recorded history, with the term first coined seven decades ago. You can bet all your apples and oranges that it's not going away any time soon!

So, if anyone ever asks you to stop bullying them about their diet, make sure they know the truth. Veganism is about following a passionate and compassionate lifestyle - it's not the same as preferring apples over oranges! Let's demolish the "it's just food!" argument for good!

[Image courtesy of Adamr @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

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