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There's a joke almost as old as the internet itself.
'How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don't worry they'll tell you'. So here I am, telling you.
With today being World Vegan Day, it's really our time to shine. We've got a special little hashtag and it's all going off in the comment section.
Terrible old jokes aside, it's not always easy to tell people I'm vegan.
Some people get quite combative when you tell them, they bombard you with 20 questions about why and how and will attempt to challenge your morals with questions such as the inane, 'what would you do if you were stuck on an island and there were only pigs to eat?' which mainly I just can't be arsed dealing with.
This isn't the majority, though. Nothing like. Mostly people are curious, interested and pretty sound about it.
Although, people really do like to tell you that they love bacon and cheese. Thanks for that, by the way, I was dying to know.
Likewise, in my experience, for the most part vegans are just happy to plod along and don't want to lash a tin of red paint over you if you choose to wear a leather belt or show you pictures of battery hens while you're trying to enjoy your eggs on toast.
But, of course, we all know there's a strand of more...shall we say, 'outspoken' vegans. The militant ones who go on TV and cause a stir, usually providing a perfect soundbite for everyone who wants to then slate vegans en-masse.
To side with these guys for a minute, I think it's a fair assumption to make that they're very passionate animal lovers who want to open people's eyes to the horrors of the meat, dairy and egg industries.
The fact that tens of thousands of male calves are killed each year on dairy farms, because you can't milk a male cow, is more than enough reason for some people to go in two-footed on anyone who still opts for dairy over plant milks.
Plenty of vegans envision a future where we no longer farm animals, and these guys are possibly just more impatient than the rest.
Having said that, is it helpful? I'm not sure. Do people go from being hardened-meat-lovers to never touching a chicken nugget again because they've seen shocking photos of what it's like inside a chicken farm? I don't know that either.
One study found that 'aggressive' vegans were actually putting them off the idea of giving it a go themselves and I get that, because no one likes to be told what to do.
And let me tell you, even vegans don't escape their wrath. I've had someone tell me I'm not a 'proper' vegan because I live with a meat-eating partner and I've been questioned about why my cats aren't vegan. It's because they're cats, in case you were wondering.
I once congratulated a mate for going vegetarian over social media and some gobshite jumped in having a go at her for not going fully vegan.
This sort of stuff is off-putting for me, so for non-vegans it must be even more so.
Eating less meat is part of the overall aims and objectives, right? So don't @ me for having a woolly hat.
But the vegan message will only be spread by people talking about and sharing their experiences and, for me, that has been a massively positive experience.
Yes, some vegans go on about nothing else, in the same way that they go on about a new car, or that time they met a famous person, And it can be incredibly irritating.
There are undoubtedly those that do it to be en vogue, in the same way that any 'scene' gets their disingenuous hangers on.
But I'm genuinely pleased I made the switch - and I try not to bore the rest of the LADbible team with it too much. I think.
I feel better physically and I'm happier knowing that, as far as is practicable, I'm not contributing to animal suffering. And for extra smug-bastard points, going vegan is also a very good way to cut down on the ol' carbon foot print.
The good folk at Veganuary - a charity that encourages people to try veganism for one month - sum it simply: "Being vegan is being kind. And isn't that the kind of world we want?"
And, yeah, that might sound a bit like hippy, free-love and all, but if the worst thing you can pull someone up over is the fact that they're kind, then maybe they're not the problem.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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