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OK, so the title is misleading. I wouldn’t accuse anyone of being a “bad vegan” because we are all in this together, trying to help animals, trying to ease egregious environmental destruction, trying to be better people. But, as fallible beings, we make mistakes. It is important not to judge people when you become a vegan because if you do, people don’t want to listen to you or pay attention to your greater message. Below are not knocks on you as a person, they are merely signs that you should be aware of. If you do any of these things, please rethink how others perceive you, or else people won’t want to become vegan.

1. You hate everyone who eats meat

When you go out to an omnivorous eatery, do you glare at people? Do you feel hatred swell up inside you? If so, then you may want to reconsider. Don’t be Mr./Mrs. Grumpy Gills! Just because your parents or your friends or your significant other(s) eat meat, doesn’t mean you have to secretly or overtly loathe their sheer being. That’s not healthy! Instead of wallowing up in your hate, tell those who eat meat why you don’t. Preaching is not good though and just makes the situation worse. Be nice about your conscious choice to be vegan, and only talk if people welcome your opinion to avoid awkward situations. All in all, don’t be Mr. Scrooge about meat eaters! God bless us, everyone.

2. You buy anything that says ‘vegan’

Marketing is evil. It makes products seem like they are fantastic even though they may be environmentally toxic or unhealthy. Take the label ‘vegan’ for example. Usually, vegan products have cute little graphics on them or have an earthy color scheme which makes them seem harmless and yummy. To your untrained eye, you throw it in the cart, and you think about when you’re going to eat whatever is in that plastic wrapper or cardboard box. But, now that you’re reading this article, you will not have to face this situation. You will come out victorious the next time you battle your prime adversary, Impulse Purchase. Think Deceptacons! Be as Clark Kent, and take off your coat and button down shirt. Put on your stretchy Pants or spandex, look Megatron (Impulse Purchase) in the eye and scream that one-syllable word, NO!  Other shoppers may think you’re crazy, and concerned parents will tell their kids to look away, but don’t let them bother you, for you have just defeated Impulse Purchase! Megan Fox would be proud.

3. You lecture everyone about your diet, but you secretly cheat

Hypocrites are the worst. Striving to change your diet is great, but don’t lecture people about your diet when you aren’t in on it all the way or having troubles with it. Smoke what you sell, like Smokey the Bear. If you do cheat on your diet while simultaneously scorning others for their dietary pitfalls, then you are lying to yourself. Don’t put other people down just because you’re screwing up yourself. That’s just wrong and hypocritical. Don’t be THAT guy!

4. You cave into others’ blasphemy and berates about your diet

You don’t have to take other peoples’ comments to heart and, as aforesaid, you don’t have to hate people for not agreeing with your choice to be a vegan. It’s your own choice to change your dietary habits, so don’t let others coerce you into changing back when you really don’t want to. If you do cave into their impulses, though, don’t feel ashamed. Know that I won’t call you a bad vegan, but I will expect you to really look at why you changed back. Realize that you can change back again: like Forrest Gump says, life is like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you’re going to get.  Who knew that there was so many uses for shrimp? Wait a minute, shrimp isn’t vegan.

5. You write or say scathing comments, reprimanding those who are “part-time” vegans

Most people try their upmost when adopting a vegan diet, so don’t wage a war against those who slip up sometimes or occasionally fallback on meat or dairy. There is an ideal, yes, but it should only be that, a platonic ideal that you should strive to achieve. Most of the time when you’re browsing the Internet, don’t cyberbully a blogger that recently said that he/she quit being vegan. It’s his/her free agency as a rational being to make choices, even if they don’t agree with your own. To quote Buckaroo Banzai, “wherever you go, there you are.”

Image Source: Bixentro/Flickr