Why Meat Eaters Laugh at Veganism
I realized something when I was a smoker. I had smoking friends who would joke about getting lung cancer. Seriously. It isn't just non-smokers that call cigarettes 'cancer sticks'. Smokers also do it. As well, when I recall a bunch of us outside smoking right after warning labels started appearing on labels. With a french accent, a friend read aloud the french side of the pack. "Le cigarette causent le cancer"! Everyone, except myself laughed.
It seemed to me that my group of smokers were all to happy to pretend that lung cancer was a joke.
Here is how I viewed that scenario. So long as these smokers could laugh about cancer, they didn't have to think about the devastating effects. They didn't have to take the subject of smoking seriously.
Humor can be a form of denial.
I wondered if this kind of mentality also exists in meat eaters.
After I decided to become a vegan, I signed up on a couple of vegan Facebook pages.
It wasn't long before I discovered a resounding theme among the topics discussed. That theme was that vegans were often made fun of and laughed at.
This caused me to be a bit perplexed. I mean, we are talking about grown adults who are belittling others because they have strong convictions about the treatment of animals and don't want to ingest them. It makes little sense that they are made fun. Some might be long past the fifth grade mentality, however, the urge to belittle another still, sadly, follows far too many people long into their adult life.
While most would not overtly ridicule the meal choices of another, especially publicly, those who have more compassion and class may still laugh chuckle silently to themselves as they picture a human being eating grass - a bizarre image and another resounding theme that seems to exist in those who ridicule vegans.
I couldn't help but believe that the same reasoning might hold true as it did with my observation of smokers - that humor is a form of denial. That so long as you can laugh about it, you don't have to take it seriously. You don't have to think about it, study it, and contemplate it. You can 'laugh it off' as they say. You can keep the image of a human eating grass in your mind and decide that this kind of meme adequately captures the concept of veganism.
I suppose that most people who are compassionate and still meat eaters can also take comfort in the fact that the majority of humans are also still meat eaters, therefore veganism is still in the minority and need not be considered, however, another fact remains - veganism is on the rise.
But back to the subject of humor, I did a little bit of research.to see if my theory that humor can be a form of denial and came up with an interesting article from Psychology Today about the topic. Interestingly enough, the author used the subject of eating meat as an example of this.
".....you can't enjoy your succulent "drumstick" or "coq au vin" unless you kill Chicken Little first. We thrive on an orgy of slaughter, thrice daily."
The article continues, "It's a joke and not a joke. A riddle and not a riddle. You know what the sentence means, but its paradoxes may also leave you with a sense that there are puzzles you could go back and examine again. Denial is a process, not a destination. It opens into the largest questions about who we are and the strangeness of being alive."
I could not have said it better. The joke is there, but there is a puzzle there also, that could be examined again.
If you're a vegan you have gone back and examined the puzzle. You've stepped out of your denial, become educated and changed.
When struggling with fifth grade level ridicule, try to find compassion for those who are still immature that they feel the need to make fun of you for your convictions. They are 'stuck' at this level of maturity and choose to remain in denial. But that doesn't mean they will remain stuck forever either.