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Coming Out Vegan, Hateful Comments & Fake Fur? | Q&A

In today's Q&A we talk about “coming out” as a vegan when you may be the only one in your class, at work, et cetera, how to deal with hateful and mean comments, and about whether fake fur actually serves to endorse real fur. [tweet this]

Q: Max Power asked, “How do you react if you out yourself as a vegan in front of many people who are offended by that.  For example in a new school class and you are the only the in the room.” [tweet this Q&A]

A: So I guess personally, I have never been super concerned in school and stuff about what people thought of me.  I have always kind of been the weird kid and just accepted that to a certain extent.  But it can be challenging, especially when you're in middle school and high school, which is a rough time in life.  I think it can be really helpful to have confidence in your decision, or faking confidence in your decision because I've done that a lot.  It's kind of “fake it till you make it.”

You don't have to be aggressive about it. Honestly if you're not comfortable yet,  saying that you're vegan, I don't think you have to lie, but I don't think you have to make it a huge deal and announce it unless you want to and you’re ready to.  I think that there's something to be said for growing into your veganism.

You know when I was younger I had a really hard time finding my voice about it. It took me a lot of time to figure out how to best express myself.  That's something that you're just going grow into, so I would have patience with yourself.  You know maybe talk to people who are supportive of you first and start to get that comfort.  And then you can you can bring it up in smaller situations and then start to become more confident and more comfortable.  The more you do it the better it's going to get. It might always still be scary.  But it gets better.  So I hope that that's helpful.


Q: Sstffl asked “Do you have many of vegan friends? How do you deal with mean comments?  I'm often afraid to say I'm vegan because of the criticism and the stupid questions.  I went vegan eight months ago mostly because of your videos. Lots of love.” [tweet this Q&A]

A: Number one thank you for going vegan–that’s fantastic and I'm honored to have any part in that! “Do I have that many vegan friends outside of online?” No, I do not. I never really have.  I didn't grow up around anyone who was vegan.  And the only vegan friends I've had in real life are ones who went vegan after knowing me for a very long time.  It wasn't an instant thing by any means.  And I don't even live near them anymore.  I’ve typically lived in areas that are not very vegan friendly and lived around people who are not vegan.

“How do you deal with mean comments?” I don't if you mean in real life or on YouTube or both because they're all over the place.  But I think again staying true to who it is that you are and why you've made these decisions.  Keeping that close to your hearty–you'll know the truth about your intentions with that.

A lot of times you're going to have people be rude or you're going to have people saying mean things and not always, but a lot of times, that just comes out of their own fear.  Most of us when we're afraid become defensive and  sometimes we say things to make ourselves feel safe again.  It's a defense just to feel to feel that security. So knowing that a lot of times what people say is often about what they're going through rather than than who you are as a person.

Q: KawaiiDollie asked, “Do you think that wearing fake fur perpetuates the idea that fur is OK or kind of normalizes it. As fellow vegan I never wear fake fur because of this reason I love to hear your thoughts.” 

A: So I can see both sides of this.  Honestly.  I do understand the fact that having fake fur or fake leather could make it seem permissible.  That sometimes is an issue with wearing leather shoes that you might have had before you went vegan and you know give people the impression that you're OK with it.  But I think fake fur, fake leather, and for that matter fake meats and cheeses do more good than harm.

They open up veganism to people because as as humans, we resist change.  Especially when it means changing a lot.  And the less people have to change or alter about their behaviors to be vegan, the more likely it is that they will be in vegan. The more  that we can still wear what we want to wear, look the way we want to look, eat what we want to eat, the far easier it is for us to go vegan.

The animals don't really care what we eat or what we wear as long as it’s not them and the planet doesn't really care as long as it's not destroying the planet.  I do see that side of it seeming permissible but it can also be a billboard for the fact that, if in fact people can't tell the difference, then we don't really need real fur. You can you can do without the cruelty and still have the same aesthetic.  So for that since I do think that they can be a good thing but I do understand the other side of it.  And I think that it can be a bit of a double edged sword.

Hop that was helpful!  Feel free to ask your own questions in the comments for a future Q&A!

See ya next nugget!







Resources & Featured videos:
More Q&A!
How to Talk to Non-Vegans About Veganism
Dealing With Non-Vegan Friends & Family [Gary Yourofsky]
Being Vegan in A Non-Vegan Household [Colleen Patrick-Goudreau]
How to Find Your Voice As An Activist
Everything Wrong With Environmentalism 

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  1. Linda on October 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I think if you are worried about what hateful things people may say, just remember people say stupid and hateful things when they don’t understand or fear something new to them. And remember all the good things being vegan does, for health, the planet and for the animals. Plus if your feeling alone there are tons of us online. :)

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on October 10, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      yep! that’s the essence of my answer- it come out of their fear, as many of our defenses do :) and yes, we are all over the internet! ;D

  2. sally anne hubbard on October 9, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I would think this would be hard for children and young people when they become vegan. I am a adult and I have had my share of stupid and ignorant comments. But my one thought is the suffering of the animals who suffer far worst then I do.
    I don’t like the idea of fake fur, besides how would anyone know that you are wearing fake fur and not real fur.
    I just love Oobe, I am sending her a soft pat.

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on October 10, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      thanks so much for your thoughts and the Ooby pat :) and yes, for kids it can be rough, which is why I say there’s no pressure to declare it from on high if you’re not ready :)

  3. louise on October 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Good points,workers forced,tortured n die more than coal miners,includes children,see child amputees groups,4*-H clubs,child labor in foster or orphanages n public schools even,pregnant women n new mothers,all kinds of institutionalized persons,war refugees in Brooks ALberta,n,Brandon,Manitoba,Japanese,German n Italian people in concentration camps in Canada,forced daycare Nesle infant deaths of non white babies,all animal industries rely on repeated rape of female animals ,but vitamins Vs available in health u gut flora,destroyed by fruits sugars n acids, n lack of green leaf trees linden,etc,so book Into the forest censored this info ncaused fear campaign against vegan mothers,,heroines should hv stopped their tomato n fruit diet,n eaten wild lettuce n more nuts

    • Linda on October 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      I don’t understand your comment about 4-H clubs. I was in one as a child and all we did was sow and cook and do projects. The out in the country groups did live stocks. But for the most part 4 H is good for children, it better than sitting at home watching TV or with their faces down in a smart phone, they take part in real life projects and interact with real people. And 4 H don’t segregate by sex like boy and girl scouts. Should 4 H go vegan? Yes, and someday I think there will be vegan 4 H group (probably out in California).

  4. Melanie Edwards on February 2, 2016 at 6:40 am

    I’m a vegan and I resisted faux fur and faux leather for years ,but I’ve changed my Mind . I think with fake leather it’s more a case of the skin of the animal which is grotesque going through a lengthy process and turned into a fashion item . On its own it’s not . Fake leather doesn’t go through a process of change from one thing to another . Ok fake leather is copy , but really if leather was never fashioned this way in the first place then I’m sure imaginative designers would have created the same look . I think with fake fur it definitely completely negates the need for people to kill animals for fur . Any barriers to faux fur on the grounds that it promotes real fur is perpetuating the murder of animals . Vegans should be encouraging change and wearing these garments . Humans as observers of the World around us can pay homage to the beautiful animals of this planet and wear comfortable faux fur that keeps people warm and vegan companies should be involved so that it is sourced in the right way . Vegans eat vegan burgers and hot dogs . What is the difference ?

  5. Ashlyn on February 4, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Emily,

    I recently read some articles stating that a lot of faux fur has real animal fur, such as coyote or raccoon. Do you know any information on this? All I could find were the few news stories claiming this.


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