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*Slight rant ahead*

So many diet trends fly round social media these days like they’re the latest fashion statement, and more often than not, that’s how they come across. ‘Gluten-free’ this, ‘soy-free’ that, seem to be all the rage, and for a very good reason (if you’re actually intolerant). For some other reason, however, as soon as the word ‘vegan’ gets thrown into the works, everyone FREAKS THE F*CK OUT.

Now I’ll clarify before I delve any deeper into this topic that I’m not a vegan, as much as I would like to be. I still eat pizza and chocolate and one day I would like to cross those two final things off the list. And I’m sure that this will provoke many-a-question with regards to my sanity, cause trust me, I’ve heard it before:

“So, what do you actually eat, then?”, “how are you alive?”, “I couldn’t live without my bacon!”

And nope, it’s not just a phase or fad diet.

One thing which really does grind my gears is how much stick vegetarians/vegans get for having chosen this lifestyle. Of course, if you’ve been raised eating meat, there’s going to be some questioning. But, then, why does the vego community receive so much backlash, when it has no direct impact on the meat industry? And especially as it’s always going to be a more compassionate way to live? I don’t mean to be biased or a straight-up dick, but it’s fact – veggies simply aren’t living creatures. You wouldn’t eat a horse, right? So why a cow?

Back in the day, I was also a meat-eater! I lived off sausage butties, scrambled eggs every morning, takeaway burgers, the lot. The thing which made me effectively reverse my lifestyle were two simple things: the first, perspective. I started thinking about where the meat on my plate actually came from, and was disgusted. If you’re raised that way, you simply don’t think any differently until you begin to question it and fair enough.

The second thing that made me go veggie was awareness. If we are going to ignore all the awful things that go on in farms and slaughterhouses, then we’d all sleep better at night. Having seen distressing and truly upsetting videos pop up on Facebook of what happens to the poor animals behind closed doors threw everything into fresh perspective. So many people are unaware, and therefore makes it so much easier to mock vegetarianism.

Admittedly, yeah, it is tiring listening to veggies harp on about how ‘meat is murder’, but, at the end of the day, they’re just giving a voice to the animals who have no way of defending themselves.

As much as you probs don’t want to, just think of this for one second:

  • The planet is deteriorating a hugely worrying rate because of the meat industry – it produces more harmful gases more than all the boats, planes, cars, jets, trucks and trains COMBINED.
  • If over-fishing continues at this rate, your grandkids probably won’t be seeing any fish in the sea, as the oceans are expected to be empty by 2048.
  • And, I don’t want to bombard you with horrific images, but like Paul McCartney put so very well, if slaughterhouses had glass walls, we’d all be vegetarian.

There are many misconceptions about this lifestyle, that it’s a hipster trend and a great way to get more likes on Insta, but it’s simply one which is so widely misunderstood. There’s also the common stereotype that vegans are just raging bellends that just want to shove a load of green shit down your throat – but the one thing we just want is awareness – this planet isn’t going to be around forever.

If you take anything away from this article today, just spare a thought for the lives behind the packaged meat and milk you pick up on the shelves, and think of the SO very many alternatives there are which are cruelty-free. Yeah, it’s hard to avoid animal products (not just in food) in this day and age, but it’s just as easy to choose a more compassionate way to eat – and tofu doesn’t taste that bad, come on now.

(Also, if you’re curious about the actual facts, definitely watch Cowspiracy)

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