Vegetarianism & Alienation

“Vegetarianism allows more people to have more food with less impact.” – Hank Green

 

Coming from someone new to the vegetarian scene, the video “Why Are Vegetarians Annoying” by Hank Green is incredibly awesome and important. In a nutshell, Hank argues that while vegetarianism and veganism are both very valid and even preferred eating habits due to ethical and environmental reasons, no one is perfect. It’s easier to eat meat in our society than to not eat meat, and that’s totally okay.

There are a lot of different ways to do good in the world and no one can do them all, nor should they be expected to. I’m a firm believer that not only do the little things all add up to matter but that they are usually the only way to go. When people start working out, one of the most common pieces of advice is to take it slow. Don’t jump into working out 6 days a week and don’t go 100% on day one. The only thing you’ll do is burn yourself out, just like with any lifestyle adjustment.

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“You can only do so much breaking with culture before you become extremely uncomfortable. It’s very hard to find self worth, it’s very hard to find connection.” – Hank Green

This is where I’m torn. I would argue most people who actively try to do good, in whatever way it is they’ve chosen, feel an increase in self-worth. There are also pretty incredible communities online, if not in your region, committed to all sorts of do-gooder things like eating less meat or animal products, feeding starving children, improving literacy rates, helping the poor, etc.

The real problem comes in when people are so passionate about their cause, they look down their noses at others and alienate them instead of politely invite them to join the cause. This includes repeated harassment; no means no. One big thing that’s easy to forget is that in most cases, you too were once confused and unsure about whatever is so clear to you now. Give your friends and family the same doubt you would’ve wanted, and know that even if they don’t actively support your cause, doesn’t mean they’re a threat to it.

I want to know what your thoughts are. What makes you feel most annoyed and alienated by groups who are trying to do good? How do you check yourself to make sure you’re not alienating others?

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2 Comments

  1. Yes people looking down their noses at others can be very common when they think their “better” choices had made them somehow “better” (thinner, younger, fitter, healthier, stronger, etc). I remember I used be very insistent with my family and friends about buying organic food until my brother told me to stop. “I wish I could, but I can afford it”. I felt really bad. Since then I try really hard not to harass people

    • I’ve definitely gotten better over the years but as a teenager I’m sure I drove my parents insane making comments about the way they eat. Everyone gets to be happier, myself included, now that I can accept that everyone has different battles and we all have to choose which ones to fight.

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