Vegan Jokes

After nearly a decade of being vegan, you get used to being the butt of the joke. My own father never misses an opportunity to make fun of me and my sister or wave meat in our faces at family gatherings. In my first years as a vegan this was far more infuriating, but after a while it becomes more boring and annoying instead. My boyfriend hasn’t been vegan quite as long as me though. Not to mention the jokes are a bit different when you’re a guy. Among the other things he’s not loving about his new job are the vegan jokes.

When I was telling a friend at work about Nate’s difficulties with that, she practically rolled her eyes and said, “they’re probably just busting his balls.” A nonsensical response to me. I often forget that I live in a different universe than meat-eaters. That is one of the reasons I gave up on getting mad about these kinds of jokes. It’s a lose lose situation. Most of these “jokes” are founded on a fundamental misunderstanding of veganism. If you get upset or try to educate the person making the joke, you are met with shock and more laughter. “We were just joking!” It’s pointless.

It reminds me of a transgender comedian that talked about transgender jokes. It’s not that certain subjects are necessarily off limits for comedy, but the jokes themselves must come from a place of understanding to actually be funny. Otherwise you are just being offensive. If you say something insensitive or offensive and upset someone, it’s not because they didn’t understand it was a “joke.” If you’re making fun of someone’s religion, for example, I don’t see how insisting you’re only joking makes it any better. We get that it’s a joke. It just isn’t funny.

The other aspect of “vegan jokes” that I find perplexing and fascinating is the way they have practically become their own genre of humor. Vegan jokes are everywhere. People post memes making fun of vegans out of the blue. People comment on a passionate vegan’s post about activism with, “Bacon, though.” Since when is making light of a serious issue someone is trying to raise awareness about funny? At a certain point the prevalence of these jokes starts to feel a bit pathological.

I do think there is some interesting psychological principal at play here. Perhaps it is some type of thinly veiled defense mechanism. Making light of vegans and veganism makes it easier to ignore the serious circumstances and reasoning behind the plant based movement. You don’t have to seriously confront what a vegan is saying when you can make a joke out of the person instead.

Like I said earlier, I’ve given up on getting angry or trying to make non vegan people in my life understand my point of view on the subject. If anything I just want this post to be a PSA for anyone reading this that may have vegan friends they like to “joke” with. We don’t like your jokes. We don’t find them cute or funny. And more than that, we find them painful. Not personally, make fun of me as an individual all you want. It’s painful because it’s a constant reminder that these serious, urgent issues are still just a joke to most people. It’s bad enough that friends and family won’t make the transition, but it’s gut wrenching to also have it thrown in our faces that something so important to us, so critical to who we are as a person, is just a joke to you.

Comics - Gemma Correll | Make me laugh, Funny illustration, Dinosaur funny

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