This is a question I answered about 3 years ago on Quora. At the time, I was a vegetarian and found my vegan friends very annoying. But now I have a different opinion on vegans and why others find them annoying. Following is the original answer I gave. I took it down from Quora today because I no longer believe in it.
I am a vegetarian, and I have vegan friends. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was a kid because I don’t like meat, but I don’t condemn anybody for the way that they eat.
Most of my vegan friends developed the lifestyle in their twenties or thirties. Along with that change in lifestyle came a higher opinion of themselves (as well as a really weird ‘hippie’ attitude to be honest).
Not all vegans are like this, but it is the feeling that they are doing something better than most people that makes them act as though they have some sort of knowledge that everyone else should believe.
It all boils down to strong beliefs. Anyone who believes their way is the only way becomes unwilling to see things from another perspective and, therefore, becomes anal, pestering, and downright annoying!
Ok, so I had some annoying vegan friends. That was definitely true. They were loud and opinionated. They also smoked weed and were dealing with some serious self-esteem issues. Combined together, that made them annoying.
Most vegans I know are not annoying. They are loving, educated, strong, and happy.
I became vegan not because I don’t like meat. That was why I was a vegetarian. But I went vegan for my health, and stayed vegan because of the abuse and suffering animals go through and for environmental reasons. And, each day my conviction on why people should be vegan grows stronger.
I’m not anal, pestering, or downright annoying. I’m just vegan and want to promote it because I believe in the lifestyle.
You Can’t Be Ignorant Once You Educate Yourself
I went vegan after watching the documentary ‘What The Health’. So, it really started for health reasons.
But, once I went vegan, I stopped shutting my eyes to how dairy and meat end up on the table, and soon animal treatment and lives became a huge part of why I was vegan.
Now, I try not to watch the neglect, abuse, and suffering of animals because it just makes me depressed about people and what they are willing to do to living beings. But, sometimes things pop up on my Twitter feed that I wish I didn’t see. It makes me sick, mad, and sad.
A Lot Of People Won’t Educate Themselves
I get it because I spent years ignoring videos, rants, and articles about the meat and dairy industry because I didn’t want to hear it. I loved dairy and I didn’t want to stop eating it, so I chose to remain ignorant and live in blind bliss.
Now, I do feel like I have some sort of knowledge that other people just don’t seem to understand or care about.
For instance, since we went vegan, my parents have had to eat vegan dinners when they come over for our monthly Sunday supper. At first they were skeptical, but now my dad has said that if meat dropped off the planet, he would be fine knowing that he likes vegan meat and dishes without meat. My dad loves animals. He knows meat comes from animals. But, he’s ignorant to how animals are treated in the meat industry and he won’t educate himself on it or allow it to create change in his diet.
Why won’t people educate themselves? I don’t know. Besides not wanting to give up meat or dairy (because they know they might if they educate themselves), there’s not a lot of logical reason behind it.
I assume some people feel that it’s ‘in their blood’ to be meat eaters. I’ve heard this argument before.
I’ve also heard some pretty ridiculous responses to people who explain why they’ve gone vegan to others.
For instance, I know of one vegan woman who told her family that she had watched a documentary on how animals were actually being treated, and her family member said, “Well, that’s your fault for watching.” In other words, if you don’t see what’s going on, you don’t have to acknowledge it.
I Have Strong Beliefs About Being Vegan
The point is that I’ve developed strong beliefs, and I’m OK with that. I’m not loud and in people’s faces. But, I do believe that being vegan is the most awesome thing I’ve ever done and other people should jump on board too.
It Becomes Annoying When Vegans Express Their Beliefs Loudly
If I were to answer the question on why a lot of vegans are so annoying now, I would say this:
Vegans have strong convictions around why they won’t eat meat and dairy and they have to watch people ignoring facts on a day-to-day basis. Some vegans don’t vocalize their frustration. They are fine knowing that they are doing what they can and living a cruelty-free life. But, other vegans can’t help but speak up. They are not willing to sit back and watch ignorance rule. They want to educate other people and they sometimes do it in drastic and in-your-face ways, which is annoying to anyone who doesn’t want that kind of person in their face. Especially when they don’t want to hear about why they are eating a diet that is hurting animals, themselves, and the planet.