Is the diet you follow ethical? Is it okay to consume animal products in moderate amounts or should we all be vegans? This debate along with the rise of social media has developed a new type of conflict. A toxic kind.
As the vegan community continues to grow in today’s world, there is a broad spectrum of opinions on the ethics behind consuming meat. Through platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, thousands of people are expressing their opinions on their lifestyles. There is a trilemma to this passionate debate with three perspectives: toxic veganism, toxic anti-veganism, and a neutral stance.
While there are some vegans who are indifferent to all beliefs, there are others who adamantly target non-vegans, accusing them of having an unethical lifestyle.
Myths spread by vegan accounts on social media display their way of life in a superior light compared to other diets, criticizing non-vegans for being “unhealthy” and “immoral”. According to the article “A Definitive List of all the Problems with Toxic Veganism,” some vegans believe that they are healthier than people who follow meat and vegetarian diets. This misconception is also shown in the following Instagram post:
This post uses ingenuine information to target and insult meat-eaters by saying that vegans are better because they “don’t eat death”. However, the health of a person is dependent on factors such as the quality of their food and their fitness regime.
Another example of toxic-veganism in social media can be seen below:
This post argues that numerous diseases around the world were caused by the consumption of different animals, wrongfully placing the blame on meat-eaters.
However, non-vegans aren’t the only victims of toxic veganism. Some vegans themselves have experienced the abusive nature of the vegan community. In the opinion piece, “Vegan Culture is Harmful and Toxic, That’s Why I Left” written by Kayla Henrikson, she discusses the reason why she left the vegan community. Revealing the negative connotations associated with the judgmental nature of some of the vegans, she explains that the most difficult part of veganism was not the diet itself, but the community. If she ever deviated from her diet, Henrikson was chastised by online vegans and even stated that:
“There is more forgiveness in religion than in that community.”