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‘Abuse From Non-Vegans Is Constant’: Why Does Veganism Prompt Such Fury?

Sometimes our very existence is enough to invoke aggressive, irrational, flailing behaviour from some meat eaters. Like we threaten their worldview.

SARA SPARY: ‘You probably noticed last week’s top vegan news. That ended with William Sitwell, editor of Waitrose magazine, leaving his job… Within minutes of Sitwell’s email leaking – it suggested that vegans should be killed – people were making their views heard… “This is about our right to free speech,” others insisted in what has been a soya-based feast for the media and trolls. One Twitter wit coined the term “Tofu Taliban”. But why, in a nation that sees itself as tolerant and upholds the right to personal choice, does veganism prompt so much fury?…

“Sometimes our very existence is enough to invoke aggressive, irrational, flailing behaviour from some meat eaters. Like we threaten their worldview,” explains one vegan, 28-year-old Lucy Futcher from Leicester… She told HuffPost UK: “Abuse from non-vegans is just a constant thing. Whether it’s online and someone posts some hilariously unoriginal joke about bacon or in real life. Once you’ve heard the same old jokes at your expense, over and over again for years, they lose their edge. It’s not funny anymore, it’s just boring”…

But why does veganism seem to prompt such a hostile response? “A lot of it is to do with how our food practices are a really important part of how we construct our social identity, and how they’re a really important part of our home and family lives – and how we contextualise who we are and what we’re about,” Kate Stewart a vegan and principal lecturer at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Social Sciences, where she studies human behaviour and how we interpret information about food, explains…

Vegans have always been stigmatised, Stewart says, but social media has created both a direct channel and screen of anonymity for people looking to air their views on veganism. This goes for both meat eaters attacking vegans and vegans challenging each other, and gets to the heart of what makes us human: our sense of identity’. SOURCE…

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