Drawing by Leslie Goldberg

What is a “Vicious Vegan?” And who is a Vicious Vegan? And I’m sure you’re wondering, “Do I qualify?”

Here’s a little test to help you figure it out:

1) Have you ever suggested to someone just diagnosed with cancer or diabetes or someone who’s recently had a heart attack that you wish they had changed their diet like you told them to?

2) Have you ever suggested a vegan diet to an overweight person you know?

3) Have you ever tried to get someone to read a vegan book (instead of a booklet)?

4) Have you ever wanted to send hate mail to the Heifer Project or actually sent it?

5 Have you ever gone to a restaurant or to someone’s home and refused to sit in a leather chair?

6) Have you ever told someone they were “addicted” to animal foods?

7) Do you have a “Meat is Murder” bumper sticker or more than two animal rights bumper stickers on your car?

8) Have you ever gotten into a screaming match over animal food consumption at Thanksgiving or Christmas?

9) Have you ever gotten into a screaming match while handing out Vegan Outreach booklets?

10) Have you ever discussed factory farming at a meal while people were eating animal flesh or animal secretions?

11) Do you regularly use the phrases, “animal flesh” and “animal secretions?”

12) Do you snub vegetarians?

13) Do stay awake at night trying to figure out how you could get this one particular person to go vegan?

Even one “yes” can qualify you as a Vicious Vegan. It’s fine to be a Vicious Vegan, but it’s likely you could be a more effective Vicious Vegan, if you learned some vegan manners. Unfortunately for vegans like me it’s easy to forget vegan manners, which can result in some missed opportunities as well as some knock down, drag out fights.

There’s quite a bit of debate about how to best approach the animal eating issue. Should you be nice or should you be an asshole? I’m voting for “nice.”

If you listen to one of my favorite Vicious Vegans, Dr. John McDougall, the author of a lot of great vegan health books, what we vegan activists need to do is “get in their faces” and “tell the truth!” We need to buy a dozen copies of his newest book, “The Starch Solution,” and hand it out to friends and family. If I did that, there would be 12 books in the recycling bins the next day.

I have to say, “The Starch Solution” is a wonderful book. It really is. It’s probably the best vegan diet/health book I’ve ever read.

Another one of my favorite Vicious Vegans is the artist Sue Coe. Have you ever looked at Sue Coe’s work? I’m guessing no. Have you seen Dan Piraro’s art work? I’m guessing yes.

Piraro is also a Vicious Vegan, but he’s been tamed. He’s been schooled in vegan etiquette. Sue Coe is a freaking genius and a pioneer, but geeze, her books sat on my shelf for almost a year, before I could actually look at them.

This is important stuff, Vicious Vegans, we’ve got to stop alienating people with our viciousness. And we’ve especially got to stop alienating vegetarians. They’re almost with us. They’re the last people we want to insult! I think it’s our mistaken belief that they’re family and we can just let ‘er rip when we’re with them. Wrong.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —

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