Vegan runner from Berkeley causes outrage by asking his neighbours to stop cooking meat with open windows

Runner is met with social media derision

It is interesting to see what kinds of vegan stories go viral because so often the ones that get massive global attention are rather absurd. One such is the tale of a runner from Berkeley, California who asked his neighbours to keep their windows closed while they were cooking because the smell was “overpowering” and “offensive”.

“Several nights a week I’m out running around dinnertime and when people have their windows open I can smell what they are cooking,” the request said. “I’ve noticed a sharp uptick recently in smells of folks cooking meat and it can be quite overpowering.”

“Quite honestly the odour is offensive and I’m hoping our community can have some empathy for its #plantbased neighbours by closing their windows if they are cooking meat and only putting vegetables on their bbq,” the runner added.

They didn’t want to be a stereotype but suggested people should “join the movement” should do some research on why the odour of cooking animals is offensive.

The neighbourly request which was posted to Next Door, a way for communities to communicate with each other, rather like an online message board. The post received a huge response on Twitter after being it was posted to the Best of Next Door’s Twitter account, @BestNextDoor. It has now been covered widely by global media.

The runner from Berkeley was mercilessly ridiculed and held up as an example of a vegan who wants to control other people’s actions a bit too much.

One twitter response described the runner’s actions as “performance art”.

Another posted the following comment:

Dear Vegan Neighbour runner,

As someone who is out of shape (probably from all the meat I consume) your running by my house makes me feel guilty and inadequate. It exasperates my feelings of self-loathing. So I am asking you not to run in front of my house or within eyesight.

These type of vegans do get a lot of attention which according to some reflects their own sense of entitlement. They also get this kind of attention as so many people love to have a chance to make fun of vegans. It is a truly symbiotic relationship.

If only articles which honour the lives of animals and set out the cruelty inherent in the meat and dairy industries could garner half of that attention. That would make a real difference.

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Jacobus Lavooij

Jacobus is an experienced editor and writer whose interest vegan issues began with understanding the environmental consequences of the food industry. He loves vegan food and is a passionate communicator of its benefits. He is a Dutch national and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact:
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