Freud explains why people hate vegans

People hate vegans. It’s weird. You wouldn’t think that avoiding chicken nuggets would warrant the abuse.

Vegans are one of the last remaining minorities that can be made fun of, marginalized and ridiculed publicly and have it be socially acceptable. Obviously vegans do not have it as bad as truly persecuted people like minorities, homosexuals and women, but the world is not vegan friendly. Freud pioneered the concept of defense mechanisms, and I think they explain some of the irrational hate vegans receive.

If you are vegan, you probably avoid mentioning your dietary habits at all costs. The truth always gets out, and when it does get ready for an onslaught of sensitive meat eaters. There’s the mocking, having your masculinity, sanity and/or intelligence questioned, the annoying jokes and even more annoying questions. There’s the smug superiority you’ll encounter. Oh, and bacon will be brought up, lest you forget that it is literally the greatest thing that a human can experience.

There’s this silly stereotype of the hostile, preachy vegan. I have never met one in my life. Only 2% of people in the USA claim to be vegan. Vegans are a minority, and people hate vegans. This leads many, myself included, to try to keep it mum mum as much as possible. The V word stirs up a lot of emotion in people.

Why though?

I think there is an explanation, let’s start with the a relevant definition:

From Wikipedia:

Defense mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind[4] to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses to maintain one’s self schema.


People are fundamentally good, or they want to be. They don’t want to hurt other people, animals or the planet. So, to do terrible things, people must be divorced from reality in some way. Defense mechanisms are the morning train to delusionville.

Think about how awful an average factory farm is. EVERYONE has to have some idea of how bad it is. Imagine the thought of killing an animal and it’s screams of agony. Just think of how damaging factory farms are to the planet. Imagine the nightmare that awaits us as our natural world’s systems collapse. This stuff is HORRIFYING.

What you are saying is scary, therefor it is not true.

See how easy that was. Now we can watch a vapid reality TV show and sleep easy at night. That’s how defense mechanisms work. Let us break down a few defense mechanisms and how they are responsible for a lot of the vegan hate, ridicule and general opposition.

Reaction Formation

The basic definition of this defense mechanism is as follows: Anxiety producing emotions and thoughts are mastered by exaggerating the opposing tendency.

  • Meat is murder, tasty, tasty murder
  • I’ll eat all the animals you don’t
  • Mmmm, let me fetishize bacon to prove how anti vegan I am
  • I hate vegans, meat is soooooooooooo good

People don’t want to contribute to the horrors of animal factory farming. That terrifies them. People don’t want to think that they are immoral. That they are harming sentient beings and distroying the planet. This gives them so much anxiety that their egos swoop in to protect their notion of self. Well, the one they find acceptable. Their ego doesn’t want them to believe they are a bad person for participating in these terrible things. It does what it can to avoid the thoughts. It hides the anxiety producing truth and then exaggerates the opposite. That’s why vegans often hear the over the top, omni stupid, pro-meat comments.  Suddenly meat is the greatest fucking thing on earth. They have to mention dead animals or make a joke, every goddamn meal, as though vegans never ate meat in their lives. (And people hate vegans… )

That’s why bacon is the sensitive meat eater’s banner. It is their call to arms. It symbolizes the decadence, the gluttony, and selfishness. It directly opposes the selflessness, impulse control and sacrifice that vegan’s strive for.  Bacon is gross. No really, it is. It’s a slab of fat that’s either drier than a college student’s bank account or all chewy and miserable. It’s sliced of off filthy animals that wallow in their shit all day. Those animals are also as smart as a three year old. Think of what bacon represents though, there is subconscious symbolism at work; Bacon represents the id.

People are selfish to the core and don’t like change. This is especially true when it means making a sacrifice or delaying instant gratification. We humans are essentially selfish cowards. We all hide, some just do it behind burnt pig flesh.  The social confirmation behind bacon fetishizing helps people’s guilty consciences stay quelled. It’s proof that they aren’t in the wrong. This is at the root of why some people hate vegans. Salmon or chicken isn’t used as their war cry. Veal could be, but the symbolism isn’t hidden as well as the actual baby calfs are, and it’s a tad bit too real.

There was a study that showed conservatives will avoid products that are good for the environment. That’s the reaction formation at work; And so is the fetishizing of bacon.

Remember this defense mechanism the next time someone tells you that they wish they could wear a meat hat and eat it all day and move to a state where they can marry a bacon bride; as they laugh about how much they hate vegans.


Louis C.K. is one brutally honest guy. Check out this short clip.

Louis C.K. probably sums up how many omnivores feel, even though they’ll never get close to being as honest. This behavior is a defense mechanism called Isolation. Isolation involves separating emotions from ideas and events. When people want to do something, but they know it is wrong, it is really easy to remove inconvenient emotions.

Who cares that animals are being tortured and killed? And so what if factory farming is killing the planet? Meh. Who cares about sweatshop labor? Who cares about starving people in Africa? They shouldn’t of had kids…

Ever see this stuff in real life? Of course you have. The people who fall prey to isolation like to ridicule or even hate vegans. Why? Vegans represent a personification of the emotions people are trying to separate themselves from.

It is really easy for people in a position of power to use isolation. It allows us to not have to change any behavior and to do exactly what we please. We all do this. Rest assured that when you walk past a homeless person, the same behavior is taking place. It makes life so much easier. Why worry about global warming, genocides, people starving in Africa and animal rights? It’s so much easier to simply not care.That’s why many hate vegans, those stupid people who care too much. When you believe that you don’t care, it’s easy to ride a meh-horse and ridicule the people who actually face the truth and allow themselves to feel it.

Look at the state of the world. Maybe the reason so much horror exists is because of the billions of us who stand on the sidelines, unable to cope with a terrible truth. And those who speak the truth get marginalized and pushed out of society’s consciousness. Any representations or personifications of the repressed emotions are mocked, even hated.  Just remember that when you encounter these people,  the truth hurts them so much that they can’t take it, so have compassion. They can hate vegans, that’s okay. It’s okay to hate vegans.


Ever get confronted by a sensitive meat eater who randomly starts mentioning something about cave dwellers and their dietary habits? Yup, of course you have.

How about, “It just tastes good.” Of course you have heard that one.

“Everyone else is doing it. Everyone eats meat.”

How about something about the bible and god giving people all the fowl of the earth? Yup, count that one in too.

Ever been reminded of the fact that humans have canine teeth and front facing eyes. Or how about some nonsense about a deserted island?

Rationalization: Avoiding a hard truth, people will rationalize behavior with all kinds of nonsensical bullshit.

People will use all kinds of nonsense to make sure that they do not have to make any sacrifices or change their behavior. When bested with critical thinking, logic or non fallacious arguments, their energy can turn negative very quickly. These people hate vegans for illustrating the truth. No but seriously, if you were stranded on a deserted island and had nothing but a sony walkman, would you eat a East-Polynesian sand rabbit?

Vegans hear all of the ridiculous leaps in logic and silly arguments used above, it’s not a joke, this is a norm for many. Let’s just break them down for a second.

First of all, how the hell do random people magically become experts on cave dwellers? Is there some sort of online curriculum that people take that allows them to speak with such confidence about prehistoric man? And why would the dietary habits of a caveman have anything to do with modern man? It’s a line of thinking similar to the noble savage fallacy. It’s an ‘appeal to nature’ fallacy. The idea that it’s more natural to eat meat, that’s why it’s okay, is nonsense. I’m pretty sure cavemen didn’t have toilets, cotton socks, air conditioners, vaccines or iPhones.

Similarly, the nonsense about humans being hunters and having canine teeth and forward facing eyes is just as irrelevant.

  • Better randomly mention something about the food chain, that’ll convince my ego that i’m not in the wrong!

Can humans be healthy and survive on a vegan diet. Yes. Okay, all those ridiculous arguments are moot.

  • It tastes good

Oh okay, fuck the planet, your taste buds are the most important thing on earth. You can see the level of effort the subconscious put into that argument. It’s just a notch above, “meat be good.”

The bible excuse is just bizarre, but that’s a whole different conversation. People have been using the bible to justify just about any behavior for two millennia, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

Another great one is where people yammer about how unhealthy the vegan diet is. Oh, please tell me more, there’s no doubt that you have researched what you are talking about and aren’t simply pulling stuff out of your arse.

People often hate vegans just because vegans usually have done the slightest amount of research. It makes the uneducated look stupid and they turn to resentment.

It is said that when a narcissist is confronted by someone they feel inferior to, they will try and out that person as a hypocrite.

  • Oh, but do you use antibacterial hand sanitizer? Ha ha ha. See, I got you, stupid! God, I hate vegans.

I once heard Joe Rogan mention that he isn’t vegan because small animals can be killed by the large farming machines that harvest fruits, vegetables and grains. Yup, that’s some productive logic. Better not wipe your ass because you may get some shit on your hand.

  • I was raised on a farm and am used to the killing of animals

Oh, you’re not biased at all. That line of thinking is just another appeal to nature fallacy. Just because you were raised around something and have done it your whole life, doesn’t make it right. Many farmers were and still are racist homophobes, that doesn’t make it right.

A form of rationalization, that leads a great many people to hate vegans is magical thinking. People have this idea that if they simply believe something, it magically comes true; How wonderfully convenient. Oh, wow,  people’s beliefs are also strongly correlated with their selfish desires? Oh you!


Hypochondriasis is an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness. Wondering how hypochondriasis makes people hate vegans? Ever meet someone who’s worried that eating meat will make them feminine? Well, when super “masculine” dudes, who are definitely not closet homosexuals stifled by religion and an homophobic culture, claim that eating meat is manly, they are exhibiting classic hypochondriac symptoms. They are worried that they are going to suffer from massive masculinity drop syndrome  (MMDS) by eating beans. Of course, eating meat, 78% of which is literally shaped like dicks, is so much more macho than eating legumes.

In all seriousness, there is nothing more boneheaded than attributing diet to masculinity. These same people vote, drive and raise kids… and hate vegans.

I’m obviously joking about hypochondriasis, but there is this deep seeded, homophobic belief that meat is macho and vegans are wimps or gay. On a personal note, I’ve had people want to fight me when they found out I was vegan. That was so offensive to their masculine sensibilities they reacted violently by storming across the workplace to see if it was true and wanting to fight me. Oh human beings, how they hate vegans. How they hate vegans so.


Ever hear someone ramble on about the philosophical legitimacy of animal suffering? When someone focuses entirely on the concepts surrounding an idea that causes anxiety, in an effort to avoid the real issue, that is intellectualization. People will yammer and go on and on about all kinds of bullshit, so long as they feel no guilt and get to continue doing whatever they please. People, with their half baked philosophical arguments, can become condescending and hostile. They hate vegans just as well as anyone.

I have had people argue that animals are not sentient beings. That they can’t feel pain. People will do their best Nietzsche impersonation just to avoid the truth.


  • Animal cruelty cases are isolated incidents and aren’t indicative of the average factory farm.
  • Animals do not feel as much pain, fear and suffering as humans do.
  • Factory farms don’t contribute to the poisoning of the earth.
  • Cows bred for meat don’t create a massive amount of methane contributing to global warming. Hell, global warming doesn’t even exist.
  • Meat does not contain all sorts of growth hormones and antibiotics.
  • Meat is necessary for human health and survival

Well, I guess Cleopatra wasn’t the only queen of denial.

It’s easy to hate vegans when they constantly drudge up all these repressed emotions and thoughts. Obviously, there is so much more to the story, but I believe this explains a lot of the hate vegans receive.  Although I will say it is getting better. Just like legalizing cannabis and gay marriage, public perception of vegans is at an all time high. Anecdotally, social media sites like reddit seem to be much more tolerant of the idea; the public’s perception of vegans seems to be improving.



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