Not everyone can be a vegan

BY CAITLIN PIPER

Whether it was a disapproving stare at my plate of nachos or a PETA sticker slapped inside one of my school notebooks, my vegan sister was always sure to voice her opinion on my diet in the most passive-aggressive way possible. wwI wasn’t the only one experiencing this.

While she was never hostile, my sister was known for stopping people in public to preach the evils of steak and cheese to those unfortunate enough to be carrying a cheeseburger or smoothie.

Despite our disagreements, I supported my sister and her decision to be vegan. I greatly respected her commitment. Maintaining a diet free of animal products is not an easy thing to do in a society that runs on dollar burgers and lattés.

But I believe she did more damage to her cause than any fast food marketer could ever hope to do. She only alienated non-vegans and reinforced harmful vegan stereotypes.

I could never convince my sister that being a non-vegan was not the same as being an animal-hater. Some people just like the taste of a steak or a glass of milk, and regardless of what most pro-vegan sites will tell you, maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing for everyone.

Vegans can take supplements to make up for the nutrients the majority of their diets lack, such as iron and calcium, but the cost of these on top of the already high cost of fruits and vegetables can turn some people away from a vegan lifestyle.

In the end, I do not have any issues with vegetarian or vegan diets, nor do I have any problems with eating animal products.

But I do have issues with people who try to force their beliefs on others without considering why they have those beliefs in the first place.

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