Conscious Living is a series which takes a closer look at living a life full of thoughtful choices and conscious decision making in order to live a life full of meaning, self-love, and respect for ourselves and the world around us.

Me wearing the offending coat in question

For those of you who may be new to LFB, I have previously written about my relationship with veganism and vegetarianism, especially as a person who has many allergies and stomach complications.

It’s definitely worth a read, but suffice it to say, the moral of the story was that all we can expect to do on this earth is give the best that we are able to give at that point in time. As long as we are truly doing our best, we should not consider what we are unable to do a failure. In addition, because everyone is on a different journey and has different obstacles to overcome or that may block certain options, we should not place judgement on others.

In addition to this, even if an individual knows right from wrong and has the capacity to do the right thing but chooses not to, we do not have the licence to pick them apart and shame them. We can strive to educate and try to open minds, but we cannot force our views down other people’s throats. We should also refrain from morally attacking others just because they do not live life the way we think it should be lived.

Sadly the vegan community often does just that. Many vegans are rigid and unwilling to try to understand grey areas. While I can understand the overall thought process and why many vegans take such an extreme stance, to me this kind of mentality does more harm then good; it is dripping with intolerance and lack of understanding – for those with allergies against the primary vegan protein sources, those who may not have the income and access to a pure vegan diet, other cultures and customs, etc – and also has the opposite unintended effect, oftentimes permanently turning people off to the idea of a full or primarily plant-based diet and animal rights.

I was recently attacked online by zealous vegans who tried to shame and bully me into submission because they assumed a coat I had thrifted in Berlin for 30 Euros was real fur. I got called a bitch and basically was told I should die. Now here is the thing – I am strong enough for such kind of things not to personally affect me, but it makes me so sad to see these kind of actions as to me this goes against what veganism is all about.

(For the record, I bought the coat thinking it was fake fur and the friend who I bought it with and I are still 99% percent convinced the giant coat pictured above is nothing more than synthetic fibres. I also promote living with intention and despite my host of allergies strive to eat as vegan as possible. So it’s kind of ironic that I was targeted in the first place.)

Here is the thing – Veganism is about compassion. Compassion for creatures. Compassion for life. It’s understanding that humans are not the only creatures that suffer. But for many who decide to pursue a vegan lifestyle, it becomes an unyielding dogma. Such adherents to this extreme form of veganism tend to use intimidation, scare tactics, and name calling to bully people into submission. But how is this okay or acceptable to treat your fellow man with such disrespect, when your cause promotes compassion for ALL living things? To me this is the worst kind of tunnel vision – to be on a mission for compassion but in the process to forget the basic forms of politeness for your fellow man.

You do not have to agree with what everyone else is doing. You are allowed to have an opinion. You are also allowed to speak your mind. But if I were to encounter someone who I thought was doing something I was morally opposed to, I would first try to inform myself about the person and what may had lead to the actions they have taken. I would then offer alternative ways to solve the “problem” for lack of a better word, if I thought the person was receptive to hearing the information and that by offering alternatives I was not crossing any boundaries. I would not use my keyboard as a weapon and deface another human being.

For those of you who are fighting for the rights of animals, I salute you. And I implore you to keep on doing so. But remember, when trying to educate other people about their actions, please keep in mind the life circumstances of the person who are attempting to educate and do so with respect and humility for this fellow living and breathing creature. Intolerance and angry words more often than not have the opposite effect. It is with love and compassion that we have the strength to change the world. Not through hate and intimidation.

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Stay conscious, Rae


Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • That’s just so rude and mean that someone would come up to you like that and call you names ! So sorry love

    Beauty Candy Loves

    • rae

      It wasn’t done in person (I don’t think people like that have the balls to try this kind of behavior in real life) but on facebook, but was totally unacceptable! Thanks, Candice!

  • This post is so refreshing. Veganism actually scared me for the longest time and that was mainly due to the way I’d heard some vegans preach about it in a very pushy and unfriendly way towards those who weren’t on board with the idea. I completely understand a person’s passion over something that they believe strongly in but as you say, there’s a right way about going to get people on board with your beliefs and people are more likely to listen to you when you’re being polite (it’s completely out of order that you of all people got attached over wearing that coat by the way)… More recently I’ve come across a number of Vegan bloggers/vloggers that I love to listen to because they have such a friendly and positive approach and for the first time it has actually started to make me think more about my actions and what I consume more than any pushy/angry attitudes ever did (I used to just ignore them). Although I’m a long way off yet, it has definitely changed my approach to certain things and it’s been slowly but gradually prompting me to make better lifestyle choices.

    Thanks for sharing a great post.


  • Daniel Poon

    I love your hair so much!! x

    Instagram: danielpoonvignez

  • Nicely stated! With thoughts and intentions to encourage and informative situation or someone rather than attacks with insults … Perhaps it is with love and compassion we all can change the vision! :)

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  • this was really well said. i was vegan for a while but it’s more difficult for me to keep up with now, although i do still agree with everything behind it and would love to try again one day. it’s a shame that vegans tend to get a bad name because of the few that feel the need to criticize and shame others’ choices.

  • I can’t believe people would do or say something like that to you :( I am a big believer in whatever good you can do, whether it is viewed by others as big or small, is still good and should still be done. We have no right to pass judgement on what others are doing, but we do have the right to do what we believe is right and we should focus on that.


  • Vaida Tamošauskaitė

    I love you, Rae.. Yes, this is my coming through and quite a statement, I know. But I love reading your posts, seeing how honest and tolerant you are. I’m not vegan, neither vegetarian. But I truly get your point and support you on that! I guess the only thing I disagree with the veganism and vegetarianism is that most of these people, groups, companies, you name it, are forcing others to turn vegan or vegetarian. And they are doing it in not such a great and nice way.
    I don’t like being forced. I don’t like when people are trying to commit you on something, or putting their points of view, opinions, even choices to your head. That’s not right. We all choose our own ways. They might not all be great, but I believe that we shall all be free to decide on these kind of things ourselves. And these people who have reached to you in such a cruel way – they are soulless, and I don’t think that they are honest with themselves.
    You’re a star!
    Vaida @

  • Oh wow I can’t believe people actually hated on your for something they didn’t take the time to read or understand! It’s crazy how quickly the internet assumes things and set out lynch mob style to “set it right”, it’s disgusting. Glad you’re writing this post and brushing it off; I think sometimes especially people with strong beliefs get caught up in their cause and completely forget why they got in it in the first place. Great message about compassion and understanding; this is key!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

  • Elizabeth Hisle

    Well said! I think when any group gets militant, it’s easy to judge groups instead of individuals (believe me, it’s election season in the States so I’m quite aware lol), so here’s to you standing up for yourself and those around you! You never know someone’s story. Even if the coat had been real fur… what if it was your great grandmother’s and you had no other coat to wear nor the money to buy one? I mean, that might sound far fetched, but you never know people’s reasons for doing what they do. At the end of the day, we’re all trying to do our best. No need to get malicious.

    Even when we do make bad decisions – being an asshole will change no one’s mind. To approach with kindness and an offer to assist in anyway you can is the right choice.

  • Great article! It’s very refreshing to see somebody trying to bring about awareness for such a wonderful cause! <3 xxx

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  • Caliope Couture

    Great post! I totally agree…veganism should be about compassion. I’m very passionate about animal rights but I believe that noone should be victimised or attacked! The coat does actually look like fake fur to my Biologist’s eye by the way, at least from afar.
    Christina ♥

  • Nina

    What a great post.


  • Amen, Rae! Wonderful and wise words.

    xoxo Ira

  • I think the types of people who gave you a lot of hate give other vegans a really bad rap. I don’t care how other people choose to base their diet, but I do have a huge problem with them trying to change my mind or convince me that somehow my diet/clothing choices are wrong. Hating on someone and attacking them because you don’t agree with what they are wearing is both immature and disrespectful. I think it is important to be open to the views of others, to have conviction in your own, and to discuss it without it being an outright attack on another person.

  • Such a different post, I love it. I completely agree!! I would love to be a vegan, I just don’t think I have the willpower at the moment, but I hope to be one day. Everyone should stick to what they believe/want and not force their opinion on others

    Lauren x |

  • megsiobhan

    What the heck? They told you to die? Urgh, some people! At the end of the day, that is immature as hell. You are living your diet in the way that’s best for you, and it’s so silly of them to assume it was real fur! And I totally agree with you on the way you’d try to approach a situation with someone. A lot more mature and peaceful compared to those who seem to think hiding behind a keyboard allows them anonymity.

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

  • i’m so baffled on how it’s easy for people to offend and attack something that they perceived as negative instead of ask first and actually telling in good manners. moreover in cyberspace where it’s easier to judge-and-run. where the hell is kindness these days? i hope this won’t let you down :( stay positive, rae /sends hugs

  • Jovana

    Very different post and so beautiful. I love your hair color, she is amazing… kisses

  • Ada

    I like how eloquently you’ve raised awareness that being kind to each other is just as important as our compassion to animals. Glad you don’t let uneducated opinions upset you! Anyone who has read your blog for more than 3 seconds will know you wouldn’t mean any harm. Stay kind!

    Ada |

  • The problem with any extreme – progressive left included – is that it always seeks other extremes. From a scientific point of view extreme views work a bit like ferromagnets – the bigger the disturbancem the easier it is to switch other people’s opinions. They feed on controversy and work always in opposition, that is: you’re not with us, therefore you’re our enemy. No point fighting it, just ignore it and make sure they have no real power / they cannot cause you any real harm.

  • deasynoel

    Hear, hear. I feel like awareness is the biggest reason a person would change their stance on something. If a person doesn’t know what they’re doing is wrong, then they’ll continue to live life as they normally would. But if enough people speak out against it, and in an understanding way instead of shoving it angrily down people’s throats, I think more people would think differently.

  • Wonderfully and compassionately written. I know I am often guilty of snap judgements and intolerance, and this post has reminded me once again of the importance of being kind and empathetic.

    On an unrelated note, this photo of you is beautiful!

    xo Sarah |

  • Aisha

    I’m vegetarian and it’s my personal choice. Mine ! If you want to be vegetarian or vegan too it’s ok, I’m glad for you. But if not, there is no probelm. I hate when vegans/vegetarians attack others because they’re murderers.. or if they attack us because we will die if we don’t eat meat.. seriously???

  • I hate when people hate on others and try to stuff their views into other people’s faces! Like back off! I love how elegantly you’ve written this post in such a mature manner, and I find it unfortunate that people are so quick to attack others, when in fact they should take a deep look in the mirror first…

    Pop over to my blog!


  • That’s just utterly horrible! Why some people feel the need to impose their views and lifestyle choices on others is beyond my comprehension. There’s this tendency in our society to pull out the pitchforks without looking at what’s actually going on, and this saddens me. We could accomplish so much more together if we respect each other’s life choices and understand that what works for you, doesn’t necessarily work for me. I’m glad you’re able to turn this situation in a positive and informative message.

  • What a beautiful message that this post promotes. Love and compassion has so much more value and worth than intolerance. Well done for taking the abuse you received and turning it into a positive message ! L x

  • I’m vegetarian and I wear vintage fake furs all winter long because they’re super warm and they look boss af. I assume most furs I look at on anyone these days are fake because unless the person is really into vintage they’d have to be pretty wealthy to be able to afford a new, real fur coat. And while I personally wouldn’t wear a vintage fur that was real, if the animals were killed 30+ years ago and someone is still making use of their fur then that’s not the end of the world to me. That said, I still wouldn’t buy a real fur just because it’s very easy to find fake ones and they cost less and still look just as good. But my point is I would assume one is fake before I would assume it’s real because fake ones are pretty common and a lot of people have a moral objection to real fur even if they’re not vegetarian/vegan.

    Vegans and vegetarians are some of the most dogmatic groups of people around which is so ironic considering how open minded they’re meant to me. And the same goes for people who are really passionate about being athiests, sometimes they’re more preachy about it than Christians. I think some people just have a really narrow view of the world and of how others are allowed to live their lives and even if they align themselves with less conventional groups/ways of life like veganism it unfortunately doesn’t change the fact that they’re close-minded people.

    jessica –

  • Last week I wrote an article about my quest to go cruelty free, and I dove into my feelings hypocrisy. When I made the decision to switch all my cosmetics to cruelty-free brands, I wondered if it were “fair” to make this choice without becoming a vegan or vegetarian. And would it be OK to still use cleaning products that I grab from the shelf in the supermarket? Although it didn’t take me long to follow through on my decision, it did make me wonder.

    I used a Dutch cruelty-free beauty blogger’s post as an example (who very clearly stated any difference is better than no difference at all, and should be respected and supported) but I have to admit I am very happy to have come across your article. Although I myself never ran into these rather counter-productive “measures of motivation” (let alone as awful as yours, you have my sympathy!), the general pressure to ‘go all the way’ or ‘do everything right’ from the more inner-core of animal-rights activists generally makes it harder for regular old consumers like me to make positive life choices, one step at a time. Thank you for voicing this so clearly!

    Nathalie |