Despite the many good qualities of veganism, there are some emotional issues that often go unaddressed. If you want to try veganism just to reap its acclaimed health benefits, that is all right- insofar as you don’t judge all non-vegans who are in ill health. A superiority complex or tendency towards isolation are easily developed traited of vegans and vegetarians.
Many of us have heard about the positives and negatives of a vegan diet. Maybe you are vegan- maybe you’ve tried it and failed, or maybe you haven’t tried it at all. But despite all the benefits you’ve heard about, related to animal cruelty or better health, there are other issues a person must deal with before adapting a vegan diet.
The Superiority Complex
What tends to happen to a person who becomes vegetarian or vegan is that they feel that their diet is more superior to others. Whether it’s because of its acclaimed nutritional value or because of the compassion it shows to animals, vegans often develop a prejudice against meat-eaters. This in turn leads to social isolation or the tendency to befriend only vegans. In a way it is similar to the ethnic separation seen in metropolitan areas. People with similar lifestyles are drawn to each other.
The major problem in this scenario, is that vegans may miss out on many opportunities to make social ties to people because they are different. They may go so far as to avoid social events at which animal products are served. This shows that they have very little tolerance of diets different than their own, and furthermore, they may believe that befriending a non-vegan is akin to promoting a non-vegan diet.
An Obsession with Diet
Another problem that vegans tend to run into is an obsession with vegan food. They may become extremely interested in cooking (if they weren’t already), or they may start reading the ingredients in all foods incessantly looking for animal products. Although this may seem harmless at first, it often takes away from time that used to be used for socializing or other productive efforts. The vegan may find that he is closer to his cookbook than to his partner. Friends often complain that this behavior seems to really change a person’s character, usually making them a lot less fun to be around.
To Tell or Not to Tell?
Whether or not a vegan decides to tell other people about his lifestyle depends on a variety of factors. Reasons to tell others of your lifestyle do not include the desire to intimidate them or show your superiority to them. This reason is directly tired to the superiority complex.
Sometimes a vegan may claim to be shy, thus convincing themselves not to tell others of their lifestyle. This is just as bad as the aforementioned case. The vegan is usually afraid of rejection, or the difficultly in getting along with non-vegans. This in turn leads to social isolation, and the inability to tolerate others.
Veganism may or may not be for you- only you can make this decision for yourself. But before you take the leap into a new lifestyle, you may want to put your character into perspective. If you are searching for the meaning of life, or trying to prove yourself worthy of something, perhaps this diet is not for you. Sorting out you emotional state of affairs is a must, before you try veganism. So is having an open-mind, an open heart, and an accepting attitude.