Vegans ‘need not apply’…
Lucy (more-or-less vegan): Hey Kylie, how’s it going with the vegan transition?
Kylie (kind-of-vegetarian going on vegan): It’s going alright. I’m generally avoiding most dairy but sometimes the yoghurt moment takes me.
Lucy: Fair enough. Last time we met we spoke about dating sites and how some guys write on their profiles ‘vegans need not apply’ or ‘if you’re vegan or a crazy activist, swipe left’. Or was it swipe right for no? I can never remember.
Kylie: Yep. Seen a few like that recently again. Vegans need not apply! Really? As you know I’m not a devout vegetarian or vegan but I would definitely not want to meet these people.
Lucy: Totally agree, but let me pick your brain and try to understand why?
Kylie: Well, firstly, how can they dismiss someone who’s likely to be forward-thinking and caring about the environment, and empathic toward the suffering of other beings. Secondly, they probably have some extreme insecurities and are mama’s boys. And thirdly, that kind of attitude is likely to apply to other things too.
Lucy: Haha, I like how the idea that they’re mama’s boys makes no sense but that I totally agree with it anyway. I guess it opens up the question of where all the negativity comes from – why do some people think vegans are crazy? I think it’s, in part, a result of some of the negative media that goes around. One that stuck in my mind was in Australia where those vegans chained themselves to the factory farm gates in protest. I was a bit torn by that – I totally understand where they were coming from. They feel desperately passionate about animal rights and want to make a stand about it. I can’t fault them for that, and sometimes we need to do drastic things to make a change. Think of the suffrage movement, for example. Yet, I’m not sure the demonstration by these vegans in Australia did much to promote veganism, and the farmers continued their work as soon as they were able. And the animals had to wait in confined cages that much longer before they reached the point of slaughter…
Kylie: Yeah exactly. And it’s more likely that your average vegan person is empathic to other people as well as animals, so probably would think twice about doing that. Anyway, so I think these guys on tinder/bumble have this negative image of a vegan in their mind. Perhaps they’re expecting to take you to dinner and for you to scream and cry at them when they order a steak.
Lucy: Well yeah, I would do that [I really wouldn’t].
Kylie: I now understand why you’re single.
Lucy: Thanks Kylie.
Kylie: I think that the extreme demonstrations are a factor, but you also have to consider that farming animals runs in families and veganism can feel like an attack on their family heritage. Not to mention the idea that you need to eat meat to be strong and virile.
Lucy: That’s a really good point. I’m going to speak to Andy about that, as his family were a long line of butchers. But times are a-changing…
Kylie: They are… but I generally think that if someone has the attitude that vegans are all crazy, hippy, tree-hugging hooligans, then they’re obviously a bit … how should I put this kindly?
Lucy: Close-minded, unintelligent mama’s boys?
Kylie: You said it, not me.
Lucy: So, for now, what’s the verdict with these men who tell us vegans ‘need not apply’?
Kylie: Swipe left whether you’re vegan or not.
Lucy: Got it.