I just read the article Why I Hate Telling People I’m Vegan, and I can partially understand the frustration with the barage of questions (often silly) and nutritional misconceptions. Go play some bingo to get a sampling. When I first became vegan, I often wouldn’t have clear answers in these situations and dreaded them. Over the years I’ve read enough that I can now address many of these questions.
However, there is a passage in this article which begs the question “why are you vegan?”
Raise the beef, cut it up... sell it. Fine by me. I have no problem with what you're doing, I simply choose not to partake.
I might have said the same thing years ago, largely because I became vegan, initially, for health reasons, which makes such a decision a personal one. Thankfully within a few years I heard an interview with Gary Francione, which provided a simple and compelling reason for being vegan.
So if I were in the same situation as the author of the above passage, my thought process would go like this: “I can’t stop you from raising the cow, killing it, cutting it up and selling it. I consider this immoral behavior, and I have a big problem with it.” But saying that out loud won’t gain any friends, let alone converts, so such situations must be handled with delicacy.
But the more interesting passage was amongst the comments, by the same author:
I mean, can you imagine if meat-eaters evangelized about their diets? Vegans would have an absolute fit - sprouts and farrow flying willy-nilly out of their re-usable Whole Foods bags! Yipes!
Setting aside the dismissive, stereotyping imagery, the fact is that meat-eaters are evangelizing all the time. We are bombarded by it on every billboard, in every aisle of the grocery store, on every restaurant menu, &c. (see the Suicide Food blog displays some of the more egregious cases). I have had many conversations with meat-eaters who were clearly bothered by my veganism and were determined to find an inconsistency in hopes that they could justify their behavior and, hopefully, bring me back into the fold. In short, evangelizing. The evangelizing is such a constant part of the background noise of life, that many, like the author above, are not even aware of it.