This eve I found myself on the verge of a facebook fight. I admit it was pretty thrilling, even if it never eventuated. The topic was vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and the apparent 'types' of people who live them. The initial source of the discussion if you can call it that was a status a friend posted about signing up to greenpeace yet still being a meat eater. I jokingly suggested she just stop as a solution to what she questioned as being a contradictory action.
A day later, things had developed. Oh, the people! How they got involved! What I personally read them to be saying was that vegetarians, vegans and people from greenpeace are crazy whereasssss what I think they really mean to say is that animal liberationists and environmentalists are passionate people who will do their best to try to show why they believe what they believe to be true and beneficial to their cause. Not every vegetarian or vegan has an interest in animal lib. Some have medical conditions or a dislike for the taste of meat. Similarly, I wouldn't claim that every environmentalist is necessarily into animal liberation. They are connected in my mind but not in everyone else's.
I found these people to be ignorant and defensive. Once they come up against something they have little knowledge of, or perhaps they have grown up in an environment of predjudice, they attack that thing instead of trying to understand it. I think people are scared of what they don't know. Trying to know could require such an output of themselves that they turn on the defensive because it is easy and safe. Of course this is part of the human condition, but that doesn't validate it to me. Being an ignorant coward is nothing to admire or to be desired and a closed mind is unhealthy.