Tip 50: Pretend to Exercise

lisa-superfitTo be a good vegan, you need to represent the vegan lifestyle in the best light. And that means you should always appear happy, pretend to like raw food, and, most importantly, stay fit.

Did I say “stay” fit? I meant “seem” fit.

“How to Be Vegan” Tip 50: Pretend to Exercise
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Tip 49: Never, Ever Wear a Plain T-Shirt

SHIRTSgoodbagIn other social justice movements, like women’s rights, we’re told that what we wear and what we look like aren’t important. And that’s true. But in animal rights, clothing choices are very important. What shirt you’re sporting on any particular day is perhaps the most crucial of all your decisions and should be given a great deal of thought. One garment can mean the difference between good and bad activism, life and death, an indecency arrest or not.

Do you A) wear message tees, or B) hate animals? If yours is Secret Answer C, that you love animals but didn’t know you were supposed to be wearing message tees, you need to read this article. Right now.

“How to Be Vegan” Tip 49: Never, Ever Wear a Plain T-Shirt
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Tip 47: Read this Post or Never Read Anything. Those Are Your Options.

Read this post or never read anything. Care about Paris or care about the other countries that have experienced terrorism. Support the troops or care about a football player who got in trouble. Show compassion toward animals or people. Be a good vegan or join non-vegans for Thanksgiving.

There are so many choices in life, and all of them are black and white. Gray areas are for chumps. Nuance is for jerks. Complexity is for butt-munches. Do you want to be a butt-munch? Probably not.

I learned all of this really smart stuff on Facebook recently, and I just had to share it with you. If we’re going to be ethical people – and perfect vegans – we have to make good choices. And by “good,” I mean all the way at one extreme end of the spectrum. Every spectrum.  All the time. Pick a spectrum and move your eyes all the way to one side. Land there. And dig your heels in! People will try to tell you that the issues facing us today are complex! They’re not! Just pick a side. Preferably my side.

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Tip 46: Extend Your Circle of Compassion to Include Animals (and Then Remove Humans)

blog-chained-dogsYou may have seen on Facebook recently a meme really similar to the one I made – on the right. Can you spot the difference? If you said, “The one on the right is ridiculous, and the unkind, judgmental one going around Facebook is awesome,” you’re right!

Wait, why is it awesome to be unkind and judgmental, you ask? Because we’re animal advocates and our circles of compassion are wide enough without including our fellow humans. It’s too hard to be compassionate toward people with different* backgrounds than us, different** cultures, different*** priorities, or different**** access to resources. We can’t be expected to use up all our kindness on humans. Get your own circle, losers; there’s no room in ours!

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Tip 45: Help People. By Judging Them.

freetogoodhomefinalYou know it. I know it. They know it. Non-vegans and non-animal-advocates need our help. They’re lost souls, meandering through life making a billion mistakes. And we need to help them – not by offering solutions or support, but by judging them.

If you see a post on the internet wherein someone is moving and can’t take their dog or cat with them, don’t offer support or solutions. Offer judgment. It’s what they really need in that moment – that moment of heartbreak, of helplessness, of already feeling guilty for not being able to care for their animals. Sure, you could offer support. You could be the bigger person and express empathy for what the person must be going through. And sure, you have solutions. You’ve networked with all the leaders in animal sheltering, and you know of a few people who might be able to take in the person’s animals and find them great homes. But save it. Just judge. Judge, baby, judge.

“How to Be Vegan” Tip 45: Help People. By Judging Them. Continue reading

Tip 44: Be Really Selfish By Refusing to Cook Animals for People

spatulamemFirst you decide to make the personal choice to stop eating dead animals, then you start in with the annoying and inevitable preachy-ness, using words like “dead animals” to describe dead animals. But now you want to go even further, refusing to compromise your morals by cooking animals for other people when they’re in your home, effectively imposing your morals on other people (when they are in your home)? How dare you? You go, girl.

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Tip 43: Ruin Every Holiday


Disgusting vegan candy. Photo courtesy of Dave Mosick.

It’s a well-known fact that vegans are supposed to ruin Thanksgiving, but did you also know that, if you want to be a good vegan, you should be ruining Halloween too?

Vegan food is gross, so it must follow that vegan candy is gross. Sure, all the kids seem okay with your Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, AirHeads, BottleCaps, DumDums, Fireballs, FunDip, Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, Pixy Stix, Runts, Nerds, Starburst Minis, SweetTarts and Twizzlers, but they’re not. Because their parents know who you are and what you’re up to. And you’re not going to get away with it.

Or are you?

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Tip 42: Adopt A Dog Who Has Some Morals

baddogA lot of vegans share their homes with dogs and cats they rescued from animal shelters. While cats are carnivores and need taurine (an acid found in animals’ bile) to be healthy,* dogs are opportunistic omnivores and can eat pretty much anything but celery.**

The problem, though, is that some dogs have a complete lack of morals and just want to eat other animals all day long. They salivate over the smell of chickens being baked and cows being roasted. Heck, they’d probably even drool at the scent of seared human flesh. Ga-ross. Bad dog.

If you want to be a good vegan and keep a vegan household, you can’t share it with a scumbag dog like that.

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Tip 41: If You Can’t Say Anything Vegan: “Ooh, a Potluck! I’ll Bring Fruit!”

veganmofoPosted as part of VeganMoFo (The Vegan Month of Food) 2014 When vegans are around, things get a little tricky – for all of us. Sometimes non-vegans get defensive or hostile because they think vegans are telling them their food choices are unethical. Sometimes vegans are! And that comes across as self-righteous and snobby.

So, I’m using the Vegan Month of Food – a month during which vegan blogs are celebrated and aggregated in one place – to provide some easy tips for non-vegans and vegans to use, so we can all get along a little better. As the old saying goes, “If you can’t say anything vegan, don’t say anything at all.”

Vegans and non-vegans who attend vegan potlucks, please stop saying (and doing) this.
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