This Is Why Australia Doesn't Like Vegans

Because they’re difficult to cater for.

Because they’re holier-than-thou.

Because they’re always telling you they’re vegan.

Because even vegetarians think they go too far.

Because they disrupt our morning commute with protests.

Because they’re trying to make Veganuary -- a month where you trial a vegan lifestyle -- a thing.

Because, in the sardonic words of an obscure Australian song, they’re “deeply committed people -- better than you and me!”

Veganism isn’t easy. It requires discipline, commitment and endless questions about whether you miss the taste of hamburger. In a world built for the consumption of animals and animal by-products, the onus is on them to ask what’s in this, to do the research, to uncover the renamed ingredients that don’t sound like “lips and hooves”. In other words, it’s a pain in the arse, in pursuit of a lofty goal.

And we don’t like it. Nothing else explains the level of vitriol pointed at these poor people whose only cri de cœur is maybe we shouldn’t torture other creatures for sustenance if we don’t have to.

A message delivered on a day of several vegan protests around Australia. (Image: Twitter)

For that, they’re subjected to quasi-jokes and abuse from the alarmingly fragile carnocracy. People who can’t handle the thought of someone else not necking eggs resort to rubbing haloumi on the meat side of the BBQ. They revel in bacon as some sort of conceptual counterinsurgency. They gargle the blitzed fat of some unfortunate beast to own the libs. They dig up research that shows the cost in animal lives for each adult vegan, because of the land-clearing and farming requirements. They point out that everything isn’t so black and white to feel better about how that sow they devoured this morning spent her short time on this planet.

It's bad enough we have to extend humanity to other races, they seem to be saying, we have to care about other species too?

There’s a misconception that vegans get offended when other people eat meat, which would of course mean they’re in a constant state of offence. Eating KFC in front of a vegan protest, as one man appeared to be doing last week, might be disrespectful and deliberately provocative, but on the other hand it’s your arteries being clogged, not theirs. Even if you do hate vegans, eating the Colonel’s produce should be a source of shameful self-loathing, not a joyous source of pride. Unless you’re angling for a lifetime of free nugs, I suppose.

Last week, a man ate KFC at an animal rights rally. (Image: TikTok @kenjakelamar)

I know what you’re thinking. This is sounding pretty pro-vegan for a bloke who wordlessly necked a bacon’n’egg roll and white coffee this morning because he was hungover. So let me redress the balance: not drinking cow’s milk doesn’t make you an angel. There are plenty of villainous vegans we can gesture towards. No movement is a monolith, so it’s easy to dig up examples of lunatics who have taken things too far. The parents with the malnourished toddler. Or the woman who went to the police because she was tricked into eating chicken by some arsehole mates. Or the bridezilla who banned meat-eaters from her special day. (They are, naturally, in descending order of lunacy.)

But even if you do bring up these isolated examples in argument against a vegan lifestyle, it’s as a tactic, not a deep-seated belief. Aside from butchers worried about losing their livelihood to the oncoming green wave, there’s only one real reason to hate vegans.

Because they’re deeply committed people -- better than you and me.