You know that feeling when you just want to delete your social media, quit the internet, quit modern living, quit society, and move your entire family to a peaceful agrarian commune because there is actually no good left in this bitter world?
... just us? Well, let us drag you down to our level with this story of a vegan who bought a crying child some ice cream, and got harassed online for it because the ice cream wasn't vegan.
You might think that buying a crying child some ice cream is, oh, a nice thing to do. At the very least, it's not a terrible thing to do (unless that child has a dairy allergy, but let's not even venture down that path as the one we're on is dark enough).
But, when social media is involved, apparently there are no nice things, as we discovered when Zara-Anne Borrelli, a 22-year-old vegan blogger in the U.K., found a little girl crying in her driveway because she didn't have money for the ice cream van.
So, Borrelli bought the girl "a nice big ice cream with sauce, sprinkles and a flake," and, as one seems to do in this day and age, tweeted about it.
Pulled up to my driveway to find a little girl crying, she didn't have money for the ice cream van like her friends did so I gave her enough money to get herself a nice big ice cream with sauce, sprinkles and a flake. She was so happy (and soon had ice cream round her mouth)— Avocadhoe Ⓥ (@itsallzara) April 28, 2018
Seems sweet, right? Borrelli wrote that the girl was "so happy (and soon had ice cream round her mouth)," so all's well that ends well and ... wait.
Who's this guy?
I usually do not do this, but I feel like this is appropriate to post since this person is claiming to be a vegan even though she admitted to buying non-vegan ice cream for someone else, defended what she did when I spoke with her privately (hoping that would make her less likely pic.twitter.com/uBOSo6qR4m— Anthony Dagher ⓥ (@7AnthonyDagher7) April 28, 2018
Enter fellow vegan Anthony Dagher, who took it upon himself to message Borrelli privately to ask if the ice cream was vegan, and post their messages after she said nope and eventually blocked him, while urging other vegans to spam her so she'd "see she was wrong."
"Wanting to help others is of course great, but we should of course be helping them without basically harming and killing non-human babies, which buying non-vegan ice cream basically does," Dagher wrote in his private message to Borrelli, according to the screen grabs he posted.
"I bought a kid an ice cream it isn't that deep fam," Borrelli wrote back.
The conversation then degraded to Dagher telling Borrelli she'd made a "severe mistake," and Borrelli telling Dagher to "lighten the f*ck up."
So, then Dagher went on a social media tear where he urged other vegans to message Borrelli on Twitter and Instagram to shame her for helping a crying child. And when that request went sideways, he then attempted to respond to each of the thousands of people who tweeted at him to stand down.
"I usually do not do this, but I feel like this is appropriate to post since this person is claiming to be a vegan even though she admitted to buying non-vegan ice cream for someone else," Dagher wrote in his original tweet.
What's to speak about though? I'm not going to give money to a homeless person with the stipulation they only buy vegan food. That's the spiteful meme most are trying to fight against.— Matthew Ⓥ (@BeerGutBarry) April 29, 2018
You win more hearts with compassion and kindess than you do with ruthless fanaticism.
So just because you're vegan means you can't make a kids day? One ice cream cone isn't gonna make the world spontaneously combust.— David Ⓥ (@VeganGenesis) April 29, 2018
Get a grip Anthony.
You can get over my post. She claims to be a vegan and valued the feelings of a child over the lives of non-human animals. She basically did mean harm by doing that, so I am in the right.— Anthony Dagher ⓥ (@7AnthonyDagher7) April 29, 2018
In the ... simply staggering ... number of Dagher's responses, he often argues that an "actual vegan" would never buy ice cream.
Well, the issue with ice cream, and dairy in general, is that the industry relies on "keeping cows pregnant and having calves to produce milk. The calves are taken from their mothers shortly after birth, causing distress. Male calves, of no use to a dairy operation, face a future as veal, or no future at all," according to The Guardian.
That thought does take some of the joy out of enjoying a sundae. Still, other vegans messaged Borrelli to reassure her that she did the right thing, and applauded her compassion.
You sound like a lovely person. That guy is a pr!ck— Jimmy Rushmore (@JimmySecUK) April 29, 2018
I'm a vegan and am shocked you have received such hate filled messages from other vegans. What many don't realise is veganism is a spectrum, with some not buying things with animal products for others, whereas others (like me) do what they feel is best for themselves.— David Beckett Ⓥ (@ADavidBeckett) April 30, 2018
I am Vegan, last year my dog was so hot, we had been out all day, all I could get him at that time was a non Vegan ice cream, does that make me less of a Vegan.....No, course not....😀😀😀 pic.twitter.com/SPxASrEqXV— John Awen (@John_Awen) April 29, 2018
Borrelli found the whole incident to be "a kick in the teeth," she told Metro.
"I've done my best for almost a year to live a vegan lifestyle with as little cruelty as possible and because I was kind to one child I was hunted pretty much. It was terrible," Borrelli said.
"Him sharing my Instagram link did in fact bring a few nasties that way. That was what hurt the most because I have photos of loved ones on there and a few unkind things were said about them too. One man told me that my partner and I 'had better not breed' as we were a disgrace to veganism and that my dog should be taken away from me."
But she still plans to embrace veganism, Borrelli said.
"I still support and love the vegan movement and will continue to be a part of it despite Anthony's protests."
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