Americans, nay, people in general, are hard to please. Go on any post on Facebook, seriously any post. It can be about saving puppies, giving life-saving medicine to babies, eating healthy, or a group of musicians, it doesn’t matter. You will see that at least half the people who comment on it hate it. HATE IT.
Puppies living? Hrrumph…Maybe we should care more about people. Life-saving medicine for kids? They’re faking it! Eating healthy? Don’t tell me what to eat! Nickelback. Well, that one vexes me. I have no idea how a harmless group of musicians became the posterband for collective hate and rage of our online society, but hey, that’s the internet for you.
Trust me, I know all about the haters. All of my blogs, all of them, have been maligned online by people sure I’m the devil, all that is wrong with the world…oh, and a terrible mother. They aren’t shy to condemn my entire collection of atoms because I have the audacity to humorously lament some of the less glamorous parts of parenting. Off with her head!
It’s literally insane. Everything, and I mean everything, is up for debate and hateable. Puppies, for the love of god. There is no topic pleasing enough for people to escape the zillions of jackasses sounding off in the comment section like they have been personally attacked and wronged by the thoughts of others. If it wasn’t so incredibly disturbing, it would be flippin’ hilarious.
I happened to read a post the other day with an article about Vegans having a lower risk of cancer. I’m not a vegan, but I don’t eat meat or want cancer, so I was intrigued. I read it. It was a nicely written article about a study that examined blood samples and found vegans 8x less likely to get cancer, or something like that. Interesting stuff. I have a friend who is freakin’ beating cancer at this very moment and she’s gone vegan and honestly having some incredible results. So, it’s something to think about, right? I mean, me giving up butter is almost laughable, but I enjoyed the read and information because I’m really trying not to get cancer or at least want to put it off until my 80s when I think I’d have more time for chemo and less concerns about my hair falling out. I thought it was a harmless, not even smug or judgy, article providing some possible insights into nutrition choices.
Then I read the comments.
Oh, boy. Let me just say, Nickelback, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief. You are no longer the most commonly hated group of humans on the planet. It’s vegans. Holy shit, was it a blood bath on there. People, grown adults, were spewing so much hate for Vegans I was starting to think I was missing something. Was there a vegan-linked 9/11 conspiracy theory? Were vegans torturing puppies? Organizing to take away someone’s rights, freedoms, dare I say it…guns?! Were vegans the anti-Christ ringing in the apocalypse? Were vegans funding ISIS? Were they dressing in scary clown costumes and asking kids if they want a balloon? Dear lord, were vegans Comcast customer service reps?
Nope. They were just people who ate different stuff than the other people, which believe me, turns out to be a fucking crime. I wonder if the researchers were hesitant to publish their findings for fear of starting a controversy that would pit neighbor against neighbor and require them to hire body guards. Because shit was going down on this post!
First there was a ton of, I know a million vegans who died of cancer. That contest of who knew more people who died of cancer and everything they ever ingested was a good time party. Then there were people legitimately angry that people might not eat dairy or meat…and they weren’t even like farmers or slaughterhouse owners or anything. Just people, sitting around their house, super pissed off about what other people, strangers they don’t know, eat. And then there were my favorites, the “Don’t tell me what I can eat” folks, lot of them, furious that this article was forcing them to give up meat and dairy.
Apparently, when vegans aren’t busy ruining the fabric of our society with their pompous eating of vegetables, fruits and nuts, they are writing articles that tell people what to eat. No, demand what they can and can’t eat. No, stand in their kitchens and bat food off of their forks. Not on my watch, Mr. The article wasn’t even written by vegans, by the way, they just had the bad luck of their blood showing less chances of cancer growing in their bodies and now must pay the ultimate price…societal hate!
The other thing that really struck me is how many people out there in the land of Facebook feel so powerless about their lives that they think a vegan, or a study, or an article of words about those two things on Facebook can make them do something they don’t want to do. They are like so freaked that just reading the headline means they can’t eat their cows and chickens and drink their milk and eat their eggs anymore. They are yelling at the article in angry defiance that they won’t be made to eat vegan, dammit! They are planning a rising to fight the evil, I don’t know, researchers or vegans, or both? They are brandishing pitchforks and torches and organizing a rebellion. “I’ll eat whatever I goddamn want. Death to vegans!”
I wish there was some way to let these very scared and paranoid meat and dairy lovers know that an article on Facebook can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. That you can eat all the meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, grains, whole or otherwise, and no one gives a flying fuck. To explain to them how words and thoughts work. How collecting research and trying to figure out the mystery of the human body and digestion and the prevention of a deadly disease, and sharing those findings is not a some evil plot to ruin their barbecues. But then, what’s the point?
If grown-ass adults with enough money for a computer and intelligence to set up a FB account and type comments don’t understand the difference between information and a forced diet at gunpoint, I’m not sure there’s much hope.
I should mention that there were people on there who had intelligent things to add in the discussion about nutrition, but they ended up mired in these ridiculous back and forths with idiots trying to defend vegans and assure the wackos they weren’t coming to take their bacon. God, if I wrote for South Park I’d write and episode where Vegans went door-to-door confiscating bacon! Who knew that was an actual fear people had?!?
When I first started writing blogs, I never once thought I was saying anything controversial or hate worthy. Boy, was I wrong. I had to learn to never read the comments when my blog is picked up and goes viral. Because I’ve seen some of them and know that people spend their entire day online expressing how much they hate me. I mean, I’m not talking Nickelback or vegan hate, yet, but I have been told I should die because I wrote a sarcastic letter to my kids about their lazy ass summer behavior. True story.
It’s like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do what you feel in your heart is right…for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Truth. And since the online hate doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, I can only hope an article comes out with research finding that people who use sarcasm, listen to Nickelback, and don’t eat meat or dairy are immune from cancer. And anyone who reads the headline will be forced to adopt the same lifestyle. We all have a dream.