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Vegans With a Beef

By: Kendall Hemphill, San Angelo Live

OPINION — After a column I wrote about vegans recently, I received a few notes from people who wanted to let me know, in the kindest possible way, that I’m a horrible, bloodthirsty neanderthal who is destroying the planet, torturing animals, and destroying the planet, in that order. They also informed me that, because I eat meat, I’m at greater risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hemorrhoids, and I should stop to improve my health. Plus they want me to die. Painfully and slowly, if possible. Twice.

But the column wasn’t about all vegans, it was only about veganistas, which is a different bunch from your average, everyday, garden variety vegan. Yes, that was a pun, since pretty much all vegans are garden variety. I apologize.


Most vegans, I think, are probably nice folks who mind their own business, choose to avoid meat and fish and dairy products for their own reasons, and don’t get their cotton socks in a wad when they happen to run across a barbarian like me, who requires an animal sacrifice to obtain a meal. And I have no quarrel with such people, especially since I can leave a bacon sandwich unattended in their presence without fear of losing it. But some vegans go a little overboard, in the sense that David slightly damaged Goliath.

Veganistas aren’t vegan just because they think it’s healthier for them. They’re vegan because they honestly believe people who eat meat are causing global warming, torturing puppies, depleting the ozone layer, drastically raising air pollution levels, filling the oceans with non-biodegradable plastics, wasting millions of gallons of water annually, burning way too much fossil fuel, and littering. Their attitude is offensive to me on a personal level. Because I don’t litter.


These folks don’t just think the world would be better off if no one ate meat, they think it’s absolutely essential that we stop, or else everyone on earth will die. Veganism, for veganistas, is not a preferred lifestyle, it’s a religion. And not a normal religion, where you quietly worship as you choose, and respect the right of others to do the same. Veganistaism is a cult, and if you eat meat you’re Satan, with a little Trump thrown in for good measure. Or maybe the other way around, depending on which one they think is worse this week.

To veganistas, eating a steak is the direct equivalent of cannibalism, ranching is enslavement, and dairy farms are literally Auschwitz. Not figuratively. They really believe humans and animals have the exact same value, including those little dogs that look like they ran into a closed door too many times. Pugs? I think they’re called pugs. The ugly ones with the mashed-in faces.

Anyway, I decided to do a little research, to see if I could figure out how someone gets to the point they don’t see any difference between a puppy and a child. So I started following a couple of veganista Facebook pages, which I figured might be fairly painful. It turned out to be marginally excruciating. One is called The Hopeful Herbivore, and the other is called Totally Vegan Buzz. I can honestly recommend either, if you need a good laugh and a good cry at the same time.

Scroll just a little bit on either page, and it becomes obvious these people have a major chip on their shoulder. It’s an all-natural, gluten-free, air-baked chip, of course. None of those evil, hate chips fried in animal fat for this bunch. Their posts don’t just support the vegan lifestyle, which would be fine, they make it clear how much better they are than you, and how you surely hate the planet and everyone on it if you don’t agree with everything they claim about veganism. They believe they’re not just healthier, saner, better looking, and better adjusted than you, but actually superior individuals, morally, ethically, socially, environmentally, politically, and every other lly you might think of. And they’re smarter, too. If you were as intelligent as they are, you’d be one of them. You’re just too dumb to realize how dumb you are, you pathetic loser. No offense.

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One post made fun of people who claim that, if we all went vegan, animals would overpopulate, since no one would be eating them. That’s evidently a ridiculous idea. So I politely asked why the animals wouldn’t overpopulate. I got blasted as an idiot for the question, but no one could answer it. I’m just supposed to believe it because the smart people say it’s true. And I have to admit they almost convinced me just by the impressive amount of profanity they used to make their case. I had no idea smart people cussed so much, but there you go.

So now I’m vegan, because I don’t want to be remembered by history as the man who singlehandedly destroyed western civilization through cannibalism and chronic halitosis, not to mention hurting peoples’ feelings. But I’m doing veganism my way. I’m a second-hand vegan. I only eat animals that only eat plants.

Hey, if Bruce Jenner can create his own reality, so can I . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and minister who likes his vegan ribeye medium, thanks. Write to him at