Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Should Austin Vegans Shut Their Mouths?

Being a vegan often means walking a delicate balance between supporting all causes vegan and having an opinion about them. Of course, every vegan wants the best for their fellow vegan, and supporting vegan businesses and vegan-owned business is a form of activism that could potential turn many over to the vegan side. To qualify that statement, however, nonvegans who have positive vegan experiences are more likely to be moved by their experiences. Having a negative experience could reinforce preconceived notions about veganism. Does all of this mean that vegans should not express their views when they try a dish at a restaurant, positive or negative? Recent aggressive stances by Austin vegan business owners try to equate any negative comment as almost evil. They say that people should say only negative things directly to them and never publicly on social media platforms or via other means. I presume they are in favor of only positive views being expressed publicly. I think this is the wrong attitude to have and can potentially affect veganism negatively, too. We live in a world of active social media. That social media needs to be embraced and engaged. Owners need to learn to interact with people in nonthreatening ways on these platforms. For better worse, this is how people often communicate. Making people feel threatened by the fear they will be outcast from their community by expressing a negative viewpoint is almost as bad as someone making an unfounded malicious comment on a social media platform.

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