Aggressive vegans

Apparently 26% of British meat-eaters claim the attitude of vegetarians and vegans has put them off considering a plant-based diet. I think that’s a bit silly. I’m sure there are some aggressive vegans with a bad attitude just as there are some aggressive motorists with a bad attitude and some aggressive police officers with a bad attitude and so on but it’s wrong to reject that entire point of view simply because you don’t like someone you met in that group. It’s like meeting an arrogant, self-centred arsehole who likes chocolate and then deciding you won’t eat any chocolate because the self-centred arsehole likes it. You’re missing out on all that chocolate for such a silly reason! Chocolate, I might add, comes from plants and is vegan.

On other matters my sweet peas on the pavement outside our house are now taller than I am. Do I look like an aggressive vegan with a bad attitude in this next photo? I can’t seem to convince Daniel that it’s summer in Scotland and he insists on wearing his winter jacket even on the not-so-cold days.


Some of you may remember the horrendous time I had in Spain recently trying to order vegan meals in regular restaurants. At one place I was given a plate of burnt artichokes.


In the news this week was another vegan who had a similar experience in Spain except that she got a plate of tomatoes and raw onion. And people wonder why we’re aggressive and have a bad attitude.

30 thoughts on “Aggressive vegans”

  1. Yeah, it’s pretty sad that so many respondents thought that they were entitled to make such sweeping judgements.
    Daniel has a really nice jacket, I’d wear it all the time if I were him too.

    1. It is a nice jacket and it keeps him warm in winter. He doesn’t like changing his outfits between seasons – he likes to wear the same clothes all year round.

  2. I’ve been surprised at the number of East Asian restaurants that have a problem with creating vegan dishes. The influence of Buddhism and Hinduism on the continent encouraged the invention of tofu and mock duck/gluten faux-meat. Still, even when I ask for just vegetarian entrees (making an exception for eggs), I often get a pile of sauteed onions, shredded carrots, cabbage and maybe eggplant if I’m lucky. It’s kind of sad and frustrating; it makes me not want to eat out at all, unless the restaurant advertises specifically that it’s vegan/vegetarian friendly.

    1. That is very surprising. South-east Asian food is very plant-based. I was born in Thailand and my Thai nanny said that when she was growing up they ate mostly plants. Meat was very rare and expensive so her diet everyday was plants. I usually find Asian restaurants pretty good for vegan food so I’m surprised to hear that’s not the case for you.

      1. Asian restaurants in the US tend to feature meat. Maybe that’s to cater to the meat-heavy diets of most Americans, though my very Japanese mother would get angry if I served a meal that didn’t have meat as the main dish. A friend from Hong Kong told me that vegetarian meals are regarded as “for poor people” and “religious fanatics” (Buddhists, I guess) while affluent Chinese serve meat daily, partly as a status symbol. But ethnic restaurant food tends to be very different from what people cook for themselves at home/on a daily basis. When my daughters were in a service project in Honduras, the school they were at served beans, rice and tortillas daily. On the rare day they got meat, it was such a tiny piece the American kids thought it was a mistake. Meanwhile, the Honduran restaurant in my neighborhood has an all meat menu. When I ordered just beans, rice and tortillas, the waitress gave me a bemused look before saying, “Aren’t you hungry?”

      2. It’s so backwards isn’t it? And so depressing. But I think there’s reason to hope. Developed countries are starting to give the message that we need to reduce our meat consumption and eat more plants. I think the change is also coming from the higher socio-economic groups in society – although I haven’t actually looked into this but it’s what I suspect. Smoking started out as a symbol of wealth and now it’s the opposite and is more associated with poverty. The same is starting to happen for meat consumption but it will take time for developing countries to catch up.

  3. In my experience (we have two veggies, and a coeliac in the house), people will make all sorts of excuses. I think on the whole a lot of places are getting much better at dealing with dietary needs – particularly in the UK – but both France and Spain are pretty hilariously bad. My other half consigned herself to omelet or bread and cheese in France twenty years ago, and the story hasn’t really changed much.

    1. The UK is really great for vegans – it’s probably one of the best places in the world to be vegan. I can go to any restaurant and there’s always at least one thing I can eat and if not they’ll make me something which is always much better than a plate of artichokes. I agree that France and Spain are dreadful.

  4. “Don’t judge veganism by vegans, judge it by logic and ethics” comes to mind. I definitely feel like the movement is rising and options are growing, perhaps that is living the UK though.

  5. I agree it’s silly, but if we want real progress we need to redouble our efforts to make the vegan community to appear as welcoming as possible 🙂

  6. I found that when I first went vegan I was all excited about it so talked about it with friends but even that seemed to come across as preachy! I have found that now its best to live by example and then, when someone asks, I can have a gush about how much I love it!

  7. Oh dear. That’s pretty much what I’d get if I tried to find a vegan meal here at home (Interior of BC, Canada). I don’t bother, as I’m not about to order at $16 bowl of lettuce.

  8. I love these comments. I was once served mashed potatoes with tomato sauce and maybe 3 small pieces of zucchini as a vegetarian meal (I wasn’t even vegan yet!)! Ever heard of pasta? Anything is better than….mash potatoes in tomato sauce (WHAT THE??!?!?)

    1. Mashed potatoes in tomato sauce sounds pretty dreadful. It’s amazing how embedded meat is in our culture that they find it so hard to have a meal without it.

  9. You’re so right. Since going vegan I have found it to be a case of meat eaters shoving there ideas in my face than the other way around. Of course we all want to promote veganism, but I have ye to come across a vegan as pushy as the many meat eaters constantly asking “but where do you get your protein” Great post!

  10. It must’ve been about four years ago (almost one year as vegan then, when we were served up an eerily similar platter of tomatoes and onions, with a few bits of lettuce thrown in. Four years later, VegNews is touting that brewhouse chain for its vegan (cheeseless) pizzas, including deep-dish. Perhaps another four years and these chains will be open to serving dairy-free cheese.

  11. Haha. Poor you, those artichokes do look a bit burned. I’m sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience. It is usually possible to find a few vegan options among the classic tapas here, even in more traditional places. That said, I am also often annoyed at “veganized” bocadillos (sandwiches) which are basically just the lettuce and tomato garnish with nothing added to replace the actually tasty stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s