Don’t Feed the Troll!
Social media can be a really great place for vegans. We can share recipes, hilarious cat memes, raise money for important causes… Really, the good stuff outweighs the bad stuff 99% of the time. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore that there’s some pretty ugly stuff that happens on the Internet. Let’s take a minute and talk about trolls.

Trolls. Those crazy, crazy people who have nothing better to do but try to get angry on the Internet. Don’t these people have jobs? Or hobbies? I’ve just never understood it. Sure, when you have beliefs that aren’t mainstream, there are going to be people who disagree with you. I’m not talking about a little healthy debate. I’m taking about people who just won’t accept that there are people who don’t agree with them, and think the best way to deal with it is by throwing a huge temper tantrum. People who say mean stuff just for the sake of being mean.

In the vegan community, you typically see two types of trolls. The first, are people who are just horribly offended by veganism. They take it personally that you don’t eat bacon. They post “ewww that looks DISGUSTING!”on your tofu recipe. These types of trolls are best left alone. They want attention, so if you ignore them, they typically go away. These people aren’t interested in hearing opinion, they’re not open minded, and trying to get them to listen is impossible. So for this type of troll just ignore, delete, and block away!

The second type of troll you see are vegan trolls. Sadly, not all vegans can play nice! Some vegans are so holier-than-thou that they like to go around the Internet nitpicking everything. These aren’t true trolls in the sense that they’re typical not rage-y commenters, but they tend to go around knocking down everyone who isn’t up to par with their standards. They may comment on your page that you’re not a “real vegan” because you use palm oil. They may complain that someone isn’t doing enough for the animals unless they’re fostering 15 homeless chihuahuas, baking organic fair trade brownies for a bake sale, protesting the circus, and growing their own kale. Or they may put down someone for being “just a vegetarian” and not taking the full leap to veganism. Sadly, I see these types of trolls far too often. They really make me sad. Veganism should be about supporting others on their journey, not putting them down every time they make a mistake.

Maybe you’ve seen these vegan trolls. Maybe you’ve even been one from time to time. Maybe you’ve been a little too snarky, or chose to be sarcastic instead of supportive. Let’s stop the trolling, plant eaters. We’re all vegan because we’re trying to make the world a little better. Instead of putting people down because they are an Oreo or haven’t given up cheese yet, try boosting them up. Say, “hey, I’d love to share my recipe for raw cacao oreos with you!” Or “I know, it was hard to give up cheese! But check out my vegan nacho recipe!” Be a friend. Not a troll. Let’s do better.