Are vegans better than you? Should you hate them? Comedian Romesh Ranganathan may just have the answers. And some tough questions to consider, too.
In a video clip for BBC2, Ranganathan, whose new show, “The Ranganation,” debuted on the network on Sunday, is a vegan. And, he says, the reason non-vegans often say they “hate” vegans is because they know that the animal-free diet and lifestyle is “the right choice.” And, for many, that realization can be a hard pill to swallow.
“People hate vegans and the reason they hate vegans is because they think we’re humorless, they think we think we’re better than non-vegans, they think we’re always banging on about it, and all of those things are true,” Ranganathan said in the two-minute clip.
With a mostly deadpan approach, Ranganathan was unapologetic.
“I am better than you if you’re not vegan. In terms of my ethical decisions, I am so much better than you. I’m better for the planet, I’m better for the animals. There’s nothing worse about me apart from I’m slightly irritating to have round for dinner.”
He tackled why it seems vegans so often mention that they’re vegan — “most stuff has got animal products in it,” he said. A fact that forces vegans to ask about ingredients and vegan options, not because they want to, but because they have to.
“Veganism has been shown to be, like, one of the two best things you can do to save the planet. So why are you annoyed at me?”@RomeshRanga asks, why do people hate vegans? ?? #TheRanganationpic.twitter.com/2FQUyFjOwC
— BBC iPlayer (@BBCiPlayer) May 17, 2019
Veganism on the Rise
Despite persistent stereotypes, consumers are increasingly opting for vegan products. The vegan meat market could hit more than $40 billion in the next decade, a number spurred by Beyond Meat’s recent IPO. It was the biggest launch in nearly two decades.
The dairy-free milk market is now valued at more than $2 billion, growing more than 60 percent between 2012 and 2017, according to research firm Mintel.
But just because consumers are eating more vegan food doesn’t mean they’ve come to terms with what it means to eat animals.
For Ranganathan, that can cause a sense of guilt that often makes vegans the target of meat-eaters frustration, serving as a “reflective surface showing [their] own inadequacies.”
But he’s hopeful, comparing vegans to superheroes like the “Avengers.”
“[Vegans] are gonna save the world… why would you hate that?”