Who’s being elitist?

Over the past many years I have talked with lots of people about why I became vegan. It usually starts off with me saying, “No thank you” to someone’s offering of an animal “product”. That’s when the question of “Why?” generally comes up. It’s at that moment no matter what I’m doing or how tired I am that I put on my advocate hat and try my best to explain why I’m vegan. Sometimes depending on the circumstances and/or how well the person knows me things go well. Whereas, sadly, other times things go horribly wrong.

By things going well I do not necessarily mean the person I was chatting with declared they were going vegan right there on the spot. Although I have had that happen, more times then not things going well simply means they heard my story and I heard theirs and no one became offended. That is, the seeds of veganism as a social justice movement working towards the day when no sentient being ever has to legally be property regardless of their species, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, et cetera were planted.

By horribly wrong, although the use of “horrible” here is debatable, I mean someone became offended and thus resorted to labeling. One such label that comes to mind is the term “elitist”. Interestingly, Dictionary.com defines “elitism” as “The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.”

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