Updated: Jul 10
My favourite line would have to be: "I'm vegan, but I eat eggs." From culinary cackles at the cafe I work at every time lunch comes around to politically heated party conversations, this line of mine always riles up a crowd. Simply because it comes down to the premise itself; one cannot - by the definition of being a vegan - consume an animal product and be vegan because it sets the vegan premise astray. So yeah, I'm not a vegan per say because I eat eggs, but that line seems to be the simplest explanation of my dietary preference. What is amusing to me is how people receive this information, like it genuinely seems to offend them. Who would have thought that an omnivore could be offended by a so-called vegan admitting defeat to eggs? But I wanted to delve into this, because this discussion of conflict arises so frequently. Through explaining my own personal reasoning, minority influence and a little dose of human nature; let's get this show on a roll.
Disclaimer: let this blog post not be a classic reminder of this overbearing vegan stereotype but rather a personal account and query of human nature.
So, why do I eat eggs whilst simultaneously holding this vegan title so near and dear to my heart? Okay, so I did start off as a pure bred, non-sinning vegan about a year ago. Then a few months ago I just thought about eating an egg and did it, and kind of never went back after that. Plain and simple. I guess it just raises questions about my values as it seems contradictory. Initially, going vegan was a result of watching a multitude of Netflix documentaries. I was convinced because of the benefits for the environment, the limiting of animal cruelty and health boosts that can come from veganism. But without that constant reinforcement, minus the persistent viewings of Netflix documentaries, I caved into regular egg consumption. And yeah, I kind of felt bad. That scrambled, poached, fried and boiled temptation got me. It really did. I guess my mind likes to compartmentalise eggs being seperated from animal products. Like the chickies gon' lay eggs anyway, which juxtaposes a cow being slaughtered against their will if you know what I mean. But bear in mind that ideology is through the eyes of a fake vegan, so who knows whether that validates any authenticity!
The response to my eating state is what is fascinating. Without an ounce of resistance or hardship, people fucking love a good personal grilling. And I have a theory as to why people have this supposed personal vendetta against the egg exception. Taking the vegan(ish) route is the minority choice of dining against the omnivore societal norm. Already, that means that the mentioning of veganism is challenged in face of the majority. Studies on minority influence is staggeringly interesting. The broski Serge Moscovici led the army of research in this field, and what he discovered was truly intriguing. "When an individual or a subgroup influences a group, the main factor determining their success is their behavioural style." And believe it or not, the most important aspect of behavioural style is consistency! No wonder my vegan attempt fails, one does not exhibit consistency because of the fault of literal chicken shit.
Consistency is effective in minority influence because it creates doubt among majorities, attracts attention to the minority, signals existence of an alternative norm and communicates that the minority position is to be taken seriously (shot social psychology). By me not exhibiting consistency, it encourages the majority position to actually not even consider my perspective justly. Hmm, try on that psychology for size! Other useful components of behavioural style of effective minority influence are confidence, an unbiased appearance and resisting social pressure and abuse.
Honestly though, I am used to the interrogation. Quite frankly, it entertains me as I preempt an exciting reaction from the receiver of that info. Sincerely speaking, I am out here just trying to do the best and you know, I fucking do try. I think that we all do through our own idiosyncratic means. Whatever our values and beliefs happen to be, the means to bettering oneself should consequently follow in that alignment. Criticism of others innately lies within our human nature. When our beliefs conflict with those of others'; our differing actions cultivate friction. We all need to do our part and listen to others you know. You can never comprehend the full extent of the experiences and the influences that others have been exposed to. So listen like you're wrong but argue like you are right as Adam Grant (an American psychologist) would say. So next time a fake vegan tells you that they eat eggs, hold back the laughter before listening to their 'why'. And that's my 'why' on the egg dilemma.
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