Check off your dietary census box: carnivore, vegetarian, omnivore, pescatarian, and perhaps the least understood and most maligned of the food-type groups, vegan. Why do people seem to hate vegans, or mock and disparage the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle?
Vegans, who don't use or eat animal products, like any group of people who are passionate about a cause, endure plenty of stereotypes, in their case related to health, political persuasions, personalities, and ability to savor life. The late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, in his book Kitchen Confidential, wrote that “vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn... [They] are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food." Ouch.
Food and enjoyment of it (and meat in particular) is so central to the human experience that perhaps non-vegans just can't comprehend a lifestyle that limits dietary choices. Or maybe meat-eaters feel they're being judged and lash out as a defensive tactic. Or perhaps it's a backlash against celebrities who advocate for animal rights. Whatever the reason for the disdain, vegans are sick of hearing the same old stereotypes - and they aren't sick or unhealthy. If you're a vegan, flex your muscles (which are fed plenty of protein, thank you), and vote up the myths about your lifestyle you wish would go away.