It's disappointing today to see so many vegans who, for perfectly valid ethical and environmental reasons, use guilt and shame to firstly, defend their own food choices and secondly, beat-up on meat-eaters.
Why do this? To feel morally superior? Many remind me of certain Christians who are 'holy' for 2 hours on a Sunday, then go home and beat the kids. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and all that.
All you do when you become an ideological vegan is turn eating into warfare and become paranoid about everything you put in your mouth. Food should be eaten in an atmosphere of calm and peace. I know what I am talking about because I was an 'insufferable vegan'. Cringing whenever I saw someone eat a prawn cocktail.
It is spiritually wrong to instil shame and guilt in others. No good comes from polarizing opinion and driving meat-eaters away, making it harder to get them back. When you condemn others you also bring hatred into your own psyche. How does this benefit you?
I run detox and healing retreats. There is juicing, blending and raw food. Fruits and veggies are cleansers and regenerators. No animal protein. The transformations I see are amazing. Even after many years, I still get a buzz from it.
Do you see?
Sell the BENEFITS of a vegan diet. Tell your story of how it transformed your life. This is a much better way. And if people still eat meat, don't condemn them. Idealism is all well and good but most people cannot afford, or find, uncontaminated fruit and veg, grown locally, tree-ripened, picked in season and eaten immediately. They may find it tasteless because they are habituated to sweet, sour or salty; don't thrive on raw food; live under 6' of snow for much of the year; or wish to remain (pardon the pun) 'pig ignorant'. If you weigh 300lbs and live in California, fantastic. If 140lbs, living in Alaska, forget it.
In reality, many vegans wash out after a few years. In the meantime they are 'ideologically insufferable'.
Author of 'Fire Your Doctor Cure Yourself' and founder of Antarana Health & Wellness Retreats