If I hear one more vegan say: "I am not a vegan anymore because vegans are mean and militant...", I am going to lose it.
Let's say all together now: "We are not vegans so that other human beings can cast judgement on us...we are vegan for the Earth and its animals...including our fellow humans."
Who cares if other people say you are not a 'real' vegan? So what if you slipped up and accidentally ate something that was not vegan?
You don't automatically lose your status of this secret club and now have to start at the bottom again to get enough points to enter the doorways of the promised land.
Human beings enjoy criticizing each other: that has nothing to do with veganism. It happens in corporate environments at work, in religion, in school and at home. The majority of us love to be right - it feeds our egos.
But when we stop worrying about what others think, and just get on with being the best, most compassionate person we can be, we can effect real change.
There is no perfect vegan: being vegan is a mindset, it is a set of active choices you make every time you eat and every time you buy something.
In my opinion, you will never get people to listen and understand your view if you are going to behave in a way that doesn't respect others' position, circumstances, and individuality.
I advocate for being patient and leading by example. Being vegan is about respect. Respect to all living beings. Not just the cute and cuddly ones. The ones with feathers, or fur. Or the ones who can bark or meow.
All sentient life on this tiny little speck of a planet is a priceless gift, and we should be working very hard to cherish and protect it. One day, our children will look back, and see the damage, the dead forests, the poisoned rivers and the plastic filled oceans. They will look at us and say 'what did you do to stop this?'.
Perfection is impossible
I would ask my fellow vegans to please just lay off other people we believe are behaving imperfectly: we are all imperfect.
Encourage them and help them see why what we are doing is something good and it's not something to fight over. We need to stick together if we are going to shift the paradigm of our species from one that is destructive to one that is sustainable.
We have it in us to turn this bus around.