The conversation is really not that new. Back in 2016, The daily meal published an article addressing the validity of the joke: “How can you tell if someone is vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll make sure you know.” The few vegans they interviewed objected to the extreme caricature of the idea, but accepted that veganism‘s otherness might make it appear that way.
In 2020 the BBC examined the bias towards vegans. Make a similar point manufactured by Duff Goldman, Hank Rothgerber, a social psychologist at Bellarmine University, explained that while we can usually ignore the “cognitive dissonance” between affection for animals and eating meat, the presence of vegans causes people to notice it. However, vegetarians may be even more concerned, as they agree they shouldn’t eat animal meat, but vegans believe they expose animals to farming practices to drink their milk.
Of course, vegans sometimes declare themselves vegan. As Rebecca Jones explains in a column for The guard“Once you open your eyes and have that aha moment [of animal cruelty]it’s hard to watch the rest of the world eat their cheeseboards and burgers without feeling like something should be said.”