In a recent op-ed, New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo urged readers to stop mocking vegans, who they explained were right about the ethics of abstaining from animal products all along. “Many of us, myself included, engage in painless, performative environmentalism,” Manjoo writes. “We’ll give up plastic straws and tweet passionately that someone should do something about the Amazon, yet few of us make space in our worldview to acknowledge the carcass in the room: the irrefutable evidence that our addiction to meat is killing the planet right before our eyes.” Manjoo points to the hypocrisy of Popeye’s launching its new chicken sandwich during a time when Amazon rainforest is burning due to animal agriculture, acknowledging the “squalid, overcrowded, constantly-lit, 40-day life span of the typical factory-farmed, fast-food chicken.” While admitting that they struggle with eschewing animal products themselves, Manjoo asks readers to stop making fun of vegans. “I want to urge you to give vegans a chance—to love and to celebrate them instead of ridiculing them,” Majoo writes. “We need more vegan voices, because on the big issues—the criminal cruelty of industrial farming; the sentience and emotional depth of food animals; the environmental toll of meat and the unsustainability of its global rise—vegans are irrefutably on the right side of history.” Manjoo explains that omnivores classify vegans as “preachy” only because their mere existence exposes the cognative dissonance people experience when continuing to support animal cruelty and enviornmental destruction by eating animal products. “The vegans are right. The vegans were always right,” Manjoo writes. “The least you can do is shower them with respect and our gratitude, because they deserve it.” Today at 1 pm EST, Manjoo will answer questions about his column on Twitter and urges readers to contact them for a phone discussion via a submission form beneath his article, titled “Stop Mocking Vegans.”

Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur