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A radio host has called the ‘majority of vegans’ attention seekers.
According to Niall Boylan from 4fm: “I find it an intriguing conversation – the whole vegans and gluten-free people and all this kind of thing.
“There are genuinely people out there who care. And they make their attempt to not eat meat because they believe it’s unethical and they really want to make a difference.
“But there are people out there – who I am sorry, the majority of them – who are jumping on the bandwagon.
“Because it’s hipster, trendy, and cool – ‘and while I’m at it I’ll go gluten-free’.”
The rant was prompted by a letter from a reader whose sister has recently turned vegan.
The letter from the anonymous writer says: “My sister lived abroad and is coming home for Christmas. She recently called home to tell us that she is now vegan and that we need to have a completely different dinner for her.
“I asked her why she has changed all of a sudden and she went on this rant about how meat is so bad for us and that we should research it all.”
It goes on to say: “She also brought up the animal cruelty and said that eating a defenceless turkey does not have to signify Christmas.
“She went on to say that she wants a completely different meal prepared for her because she doesn’t want any of the meat products to touch her food.
“This same woman had no problem tucking into a turkey last year and even went for seconds. This year, Christmas dinner has to change for her.”
The brother resents his vegan sister for ‘making Christmas dinner even more stressful’.
According to the letter writer, veganism is nothing more than a hipster trend. He writes: “It is attention seeking plain and simple.
“You only need to walk around town and see all the different restaurants with gluten free and vegan options.
“These fads are getting out of hand. Most of the people don’t have medical reasons to not eat gluten yet they do it anyway because it is the latest hipster trend.
“It is ridiculous.”
In response, Boylan says: “You want to be vegetarian or vegan, fire away, but don’t stand telling the rest of us what we can and can’t do.
“You’re the minority, I’m sorry.
“This whole argument – ‘we’re human beings, we’re not meant to eat meat, you don’t chase a buffalo around a field and sink your teeth into it’.
“No we don’t because we’ve mechanized it now.”
This whole debate is flawed from the beginning, in the way it links veganism and gluten-free eating.
One is a philosophy which aims to avoid the abuse and exploitation of animals, and the other is a dietary choice – based on medical needs or other reasons.
To connect the two shows a fundamental lack of understanding about veganism – and speaking publicly about a topic you simply don’t understand is always a risky move.
Stating that the ‘majority’ of vegans are jumping on a bandwagon is a bold claim – any source for this?
Personally, I would say the attention is the worst thing about being vegan.
The constant need to justify my decision, hearing stupid comments like ‘I will eat twice as much meat to cancel out you being vegan’, and the constant accusations of judging people I don’t even know can be exhausting.
The nature of veganism means you do it for the animals – not the attention, not to be a hipster.
The ‘stress’ of your sister eating a different meal at the Christmas table is nothing compared to the fear, abuse, and violence faced by billions of animals every year in the industrial farming system.