Has everyone seen that article, 10 foods vegans can’t eat? Go read it.  Seriously, I’ll wait.  I’ll be right here….did you read it?  Good.  Because, I don’t want to talk about a list of things I/we can’t choose not to eat.  Instead, I’d like to talk about why I think vegans should choose to talk more about why we are vegan rather than listing out foods we can’t eat.  For vegans, it isn’t about can’t it’s about won’t. And people really need to understand why.

From the comments section of the above article, strangely named “from the community…”

vegans are pussies

Top of the food chain

Vegans make me puke

Vegans suck

vegans are hypocrites

God made companion animals

honey is not vegan

what would eskimos eat if vegan?

Not milking a cow is cruel

Vegan kills farming industries

Vegan is extreme

Vegans hate starving children

Animals are dead anyway

can vegans feed babies breast milk

Do vegan mothers breast feed?

See? Lot’s of different ideas about what it means to be vegan and not one of them is true. Do vegan mothers breastfeed?  Sure, if they want to.  Is it hypocritical to use your own breast milk to feed your baby?  Of course not.  There is a difference between slaughtering an animal and providing your child with breast milk.  Similarly, just because you care about the lives of non-humans doesn’t mean that you don’t care about starving kids or children forced into sex-trafficking.  And bees are animals, making honey not vegan, simple as that.

My point is that vegan folks spend a lot of time talking about food.  A lot of time.  And I get how important that is, don’t misunderstand me.  But it’s also important to talk about what veganism really means- why we choose not to eat honey or drink milk.  The article on Yahoo! had over 2,000 comments on it the last time I checked.  That’s a lot of discussion, mostly incorrect, but a lot of discussion none-the-less.  How great it would have used that opportunity to talk about the “10 Principles of Veganism,” rather than starting the article out on a negative (what we can’t eat).

And lest you think I mean that vegans should run out and start preaching, well- I don’t.  But in a way, I do.  To preach simply means to, “earnestly advocate a position,” that’s all- and it’s not a bad thing.

Full Disclaimer: I do not think that vegans need to yell, holler, scream, act out, or become verbally or physically abusive with another person for any reason- regardless of anyone’s position on veganism.  You can earnestly advocate a position with respect, dignity, and intelligence.  That’s all that needs to be said about that.

Hey vegans, you don’t have to be perfect in this journey, but you don’t have to compromise your values or ethics either.  And you shouldn’t.  There are people out there with all kinds of wrong ideas about what being a vegan is all about.  Let’s fix that- one blog post, one conversation, one email at a time.