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Why does the word 'vegan' unleash the online trolls?

PUBLISHED: 11:01 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:29 27 September 2019

Ed Sisto, of Necton, received a vegan breakfast (pictured right) of orange juice, raisins, apple sauce and milk during an 11-hour flight from Los Angeles to Manchester. Picture: ED SISTO.

Ed Sisto, of Necton, received a vegan breakfast (pictured right) of orange juice, raisins, apple sauce and milk during an 11-hour flight from Los Angeles to Manchester. Picture: ED SISTO.

Archant

I can pretty much predict the majority of reader comments every time I see an article online about veganism.

The politer ones include anything from 'get a life' to 'just eat a burger', while others are far too scathing to print here.

So when the story about Ed Sisto - the passenger who received milk with his vegan meal on a flight to America - appeared online, I braced myself for the tirade of unnecessary abuse that was about to be unleashed.

Like every other passenger on that flight, Mr Sisto was well within his rights to order any meal that was offered. He chose the vegan continental breakfast. He didn't have to explain why, fake an intolerance, or justify his choice. It was an option on the menu that any passenger - meat-eating or otherwise - was perfectly entitled to order without question.

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If you asked for a jacket potato to be served without butter, and it arrived covered in it, you would be well within your rights to complain. You may be a vegan, have a dairy intolerance, be on a diet, or simply don't like butter. Whatever the reason, you should expect to be served what you have ordered.

Quite frankly, it isn't anyone else's business why someone decides to be vegan. No more than a child-free person explaining why they don't have kids, or a university graduate explaining why they've never used their degree.

We all have food preferences and some of us have specific dietary requirements - whether that's by choice or for health reasons.

But whatever the reasons are, people shouldn't feel they need to justify their food choices.

According to The Vegan Society, the vegan trend has quadrupled in the last five years (between 2012 and 2017) and receives almost three times more interest on Google than vegetarian and gluten free searches.

I simply cannot get my head around why the issue of abstaining from the use of animal products automatically brings with it an army of haters. If the main issue here is that people want to 'just eat a burger' then let's do just that! But this time, can someone bring along the bean burgers too, please?

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