Friday, January 30, 2015

How Not to Be an Annoying Vegan?

College Education Fail? 

Hot on the heels of her article from November called "How to be a vegan without being annoying", Castleton State College's The Spartan's own staff writer Jorah McKinley has offered up yet another badly-written rant to serve as filler for her paper. In an attempt to drill home the point to all that standing up for yourself (never mind standing up for other animals) is annoying, McKinley copied and pasted her previous article into a new document to submit to her editors who, in turn, managed to prove that either 1) Castleton State College's journalism program is in trouble, or 2) The Spartan is in desperate need of a proofreader with a minimum elementary school education. McKinley omits the first sentence from her previous article to update her reader that she has apparently been "a vegan" for a whopping eight months now. 

Of course, she misrepresents veganism as a diet, self-identifying as having herself "adopted a vegan diet", so at least it's clear that she's writing about vegans from the outside looking in. (Although it may explain some of what seems to be her animosity towards vegans, it neither excuses it, nor does it excuse what's ultimately just poor writing all 'round.) She begins by introducing her reader to all kinds of hostile stereotypical caricatures of vegans (whom she lumps in with vegetarians).
I realized that there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians who are just terrible. We all know the type. They’ve got their condescending tones and their upturned noses and their crunchy vegan granola. Nobody likes these people, no one. Don’t be one.
It's sort of amusing that she should use the term "condescending" to describe tone, given the tone of her own article. Worse, though, is that she actually encourages her non-vegan readers to pass the article along to non-vegan friends. You know? To help them not be annoying. It's pretty simple, McKinley tells her vegan and non-vegan readers. She writes that the "one rule" that's not meant to be broken lest you become one of those awful creatures is that you never talk about veganism. In case you might not get it, she spells it out in caps for you: "DON’T TALK ABOUT IT!" It's not meant to be discussed in your "everyday life", she tells us. It's a "personal choice" she repeats to her readers (while reiterating that she interprets veganism as being a "diet").
They [sic] way you choose to eat is a personal choice. Not every single person you come into contact with needs a full description of the moral high ground you think you’re standing on. So DON’T talk about it unless someone asks, which they probably won’t, because no one cares.
Because obviously saying anything about veganism is preachy and awful and should be kept to oneself unless someone asks. And if they ask? Then for the loving sake of pete, don't have the rudeness to give someone an honest answer! You can either (according to McKinley) 1) be an asshole and freak out on them, or 2) keep it to yourself. There's really no grey area, McKinley makes clear. You're either a stealthy vegan or you are condescending scum, "[p]ushing you’re opinions on innocent and unsuspecting bystanders".

This is the message McKinley not only seeks to deliver to those she would view as her "fellow" vegans to more or less shout them down, but the message she wants to make clear to all of the non-vegans at her school, to spread her own animosity by fostering it in the rest of Castleton State College's students. What a true hero she is to her school's vegan students, staff and faculty, no? (Ssssh!)