Who is the angry vegan?
The angry vegan is always furious and shocked
that people are not making the same decisions
as the angry vegan.
The angry vegan has forgotten
that the angry vegan used to make
many of the same decisions.
The angry vegan has no patience
or understanding of cultural norms
or the time it takes people to transition
to a more thoughtful lifestyle.
The angry vegan makes statements like
“Nobody ever changes.”
The angry vegan has unrealistic expectations
and shows constant disappointment and contempt
when those expectations are not met.
The angry vegan is more focused on
cursing, name-calling, and wishing ill upon people
than listening, inspiring, supporting, and resolving.
The angry vegan dismisses anyone who disagrees
and only talks to the choir.
The angry vegan makes statements such as
“I wish all meat-eaters would die”
even if most of them have never learned the truth
about animal agriculture
or been given the opportunity to process it and change.
The angry vegan doesn’t know how
to channel energy to impact reforms
so the angry vegan spends countless hours
venting disgust in public forums.
The angry vegan fails to understand
the difference between activism that alienates
and strategic advocacy that motivates.
The angry vegan is combative and sad
and looks to engage in wild rants
where there are no winners.
The angry vegan rarely ever celebrates small victories for animals
or congratulates people for making incremental progress.
For the angry vegan, it is an all or nothing proposition
often presented in all capital letters:
“STOP MURDERING ANIMALS MOTHERF*CKERS!”
The angry vegan scoffs at heroes for the cause
like Ellen Degeneres, Pink, and Paul McCartney,
and rather than commending them for using their fame and money
to promote kindness to animals to their millions of fans
and cheer them on to do more
seeks to find fault with their imperfections
and demonizes them as traitors and impostures.
The angry vegan agitates prospective vegans
and fuels them to make comments such as
“I’m going to eat more meat because of you.”
Conversely, the thoughtful vegan does not get goaded
because the thoughtful vegan understands
the importance of rising above the fray
when the opposition’s sole purpose is argument.
The angry vegan becomes irate and critical
when other vegans do not attend a protest
or donate to a cause
whereas the thoughtful vegan
expresses gratitude to everyone
who attends an event or makes a donation.
The thoughtful vegan knows when to engage
when to disengage
when to smile
when to ignore an inflammatory comment
when to move on
and when to offer praise.
The angry vegan is dismissive.
The thoughtful vegan is considerate.
The angry vegan demands.
The thoughtful vegan listens and helps.
The angry vegan has enemies.
The thoughtful vegan has followers.
The angry vegan tells people to love while hating.
The thoughtful vegan shows compassion to breed compassion.
The angry vegan posts comments such as
“Go vegan or go fu*k yourself.”
“Go vegan or kill yourself.”
“Wishing all humans death in the New Year.”
“Kids killed at an elementary school means fewer people eating animals.”
The angry vegan feels satisfied and justified
making these comments
but does not consider
how the public receives these messages.
The thoughtful vegan has no less
anger, frustration, or determination
but the thoughtful vegan understands
the importance of channeling it in a positive way
that appeals to the masses
to achieve measurable performance outcomes
to benefit animals, people’s health, and the environment.
The angry vegan finds fault with
most everything the thoughtful vegan does
because it’s never enough
and pits one vegan against another
rather than working together for a common cause.
The angry vegan will read this commentary
and get angry and defensive.
The angry vegan will lash out with comments
that dismiss diplomacy, legislation, and reason
and insist on immediate change
without a prescription to make it happen.
The angry vegan will make comments such as
“You’re damn right I’m angry”
without realizing that the angry vegan can be angry
while advocating thoughtfully.
The angry vegan will demand a vegan world now
and continue being an angry vegan
until one day perhaps the angry vegan recognizes
the wisdom of the thoughtful vegan.
Andrew Kirschner is a volunteer grassroots animal rights advocate and the organizer of the 2013 Florida March Against Cruelty to Animals. He writes for Kirschner’s Korner to help raise awareness about issues affecting the global community to make the world a more humane place. To receive new articles via email, enter your email in the “Follow Blog Via Email” link at the top right of the blog.