Personal Development

3 Ways to Overcome the ‘Vegan Effect’ (aka Negativity) in Your Life

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
562 Articles Written
Happy woman raised hands up on the sky at sunset

The “vegan effect” is this idea where people tend to get irritated at the choices that somebody else is making. Why do we do that when somebody around us goes vegan? Why do we naturally want to lash out at that person?

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

I’m not saying we want to go beat them over the head with a bat. What I’m saying is it irritates people when somebody makes a better choice for their life.

Now, can we be honest here just for a second?

Don’t we all generally, probably, deep down believe that going vegan is actually probably healthier. It’s probably healthier; you’ll probably live longer. I think there’s enough information out there that it’s probably a little healthier.

I know what you’re saying! The “vegan effect” is kicking in! You’re saying, “I don’t want to go vegan.” Or, “What about protein?!”

And if you’re vegan like my brother, you have a lot of really good responses.

Now, I’m not vegan. But why do I get irritated around vegans sometimes?

It’s because when other people make a choice to better their own lives, it makes me reflect poorly on my own decisions. I become a villain in my own mind, and our own egos don’t like us to be the villain. We don’t like to believe that we are doing less than perfect things or less than ideal situations.

So, instead of looking internally and asking, “Am I really eating healthy enough? Am I really doing everything I can to optimize my my body?” Instead, I turn it around and want to lash out or react to somebody else’s choice and explain why they’re the villain not me.

Because here is the truth: Nobody wants to be the villain in their own story. So, we tend to have to make somebody else the villain. Otherwise, we’d have to admit that we’re the actual villain.

And it applies across all different things.

The ‘Vegan Effect’ Impacts Real Estate Investors, Too

Specifically, I'm a real estate investor. I love real estate, love buying rental properties. I love flipping houses or buying mobile home parks right now. I have a fund. I have all this stuff within real estate and I love it.

But when I first got into it, the “vegan effect” caused a lot of people around me to not be very enthusiastic about what I was doing. A lot of people around me said, “Well, you know what? If you get into real estate, your tenants aren’t going to pay rent, and you’re going to lose everything.” Or, “Yeah, you know, my uncle Uncle Bob tried or Uncle James or Uncle Whatever tried real estate and lost his shirt.”

Somewhere out there, there’s like a million uncles with lost shirts from real estate.

And it’s not necessarily wrong. There’s probably a lot of people who have failed at real estate investing. I’m not saying that’s NOT the case. But why do people, when you decide to make a better choice in your life, react negatively?

It’s because of the “vegan effect.” It’s because we look at what other people are doing, and it forces us to analyze ourselves, to hold a mirror up to ourselves.

The reason this might be so important to you is because you’re just trying to get into real estate or really any business thing at all. You might be noticing that people tend to come at you with a lot of negativity.

“Well, you sure you really want to do that now? You know, you got a pretty solid job right there? You sure want to quit that job? You sure you want to do it?”

Remember, a lot of that negativity has nothing to do with you. It has to do with the mirror that those other people around you are now looking at themselves in. And they don’t want to be the villain in their own story.

Instead they make you the villain. They find reasons why they’re not NOT taking action on their life. They’re not NOT improving their life because they’re lazy. No, no, no. They’re not taking action because Uncle Bill lost money in real estate.

Related: 5 Surefire Tricks & Tips to Overcome Naysayer Negativity

They don’t want to admit that it’s their lack of action that’s really holding them back.

So, when you’re getting into anything, again, you’re going to have people around you who are naturally going to be against you. Or people who are naturally going to criticize you, or naturally going to put you down. Or people who are going to come up with all the reasons why it might not work. This is all because the “vegan effect” is making them look at themselves—and they don’t like that.

Let me give you three tips on how you can overcome that “vegan effect” in your life.

How to Overcome the ‘Vegan Effect’ in Your Life

1. Surround yourself with other vegans.

I’m not talking actual “vegans,” of course. I mean, surround yourself with other people who are already drinking the Kool-Aid.

If you’re around other people who are drinking the Kool-Aid, you’re going to be much more excited and not get that negativity. And I’m not saying you need to delude yourself or live in some delusion, but get around people who are actually doing what you’re trying to do. Then, they’re not going to be looking down on you. Instead they’re going to be helping you up—they’re going to give you a hand up. They’ll be saying, “Here, come up to this level!”

The same is true for CrossFit. Anybody know any CrossFit people?

How do you know if somebody’s into CrossFit? They’ll tell ya. Right? That’s the joke.

But the thing that’s interesting with CrossFit is everybody I know in CrossFit is really in shape—like really, really in shape.


And so when somebody tells me they’re in CrossFit, what’s my first reaction? Well, you know, people get hurt in CrossFit. You be careful with those CrossFit things! Right from the beginning, the “vegan effect” takes effect.

But CrossFit people are known to build solid relationships with other CrossFit people. This is because you get around others who are all building each other up. That’s why it’s so important to associate with people in real life and online.

I mean, if you’re on the BiggerPockets Forums, you’re going to naturally get other people who are helping you and building you up. If you are going to local real estate clubs or local real estate meetups, you’re going to find yourself surrounded with people who are wanting to build you up.

So tip No. 1 is to surround yourself with others who are accomplishing what you’re trying to accomplish.

2. Recognize that the process is what gets you the results.

You might not see it right away, and you might start questioning your own choices.

For example, if you decided to go vegan, you know for two, three, or four days, you might be like this is really hard. I’m not really enjoying this. I really want to eat a steak.

But if you went and just jumped back into a steak, you’re never going to get that progress. You’ve got to get through that. And so the way you get through the difficulty, the difficult times, is to remember that results don’t happen overnight. Results don’t happen from a one-time thing or a three-time thing or a 10-time thing. Seeing results happens through the process.

Related: 5 Reasons a Positive Attitude Makes Winners in Real Estate Investing

I like to say, “Progress happens through process.” And process takes a long time.

It might take you weeks and weeks of learning to be able to pull the trigger on analyzing some real estate deals, and it might take dozens or even a hundred times of analyzing a real estate deal before you feel comfortable to be able to make an offer. But recognize that all results are just a collection of choices and processes, and trust the process that you're doing—trust that you will get there.

It’s the same thing if you trust that by going to the CrossFit gym every other day you’re going to get the results you want. If you trust that by going vegan, you’re going to lose the weight that you want or be healthier or live longer. Trust the process.

Don’t just look at the immediate results. That’s how you can get through others’ negativity.

3. Don’t try to convince those who are negative toward you otherwise.

You don’t need to convince anyone otherwise. Don’t try to convince them why real estate is actually the best thing ever or why your quitting your job was a great idea. Instead prove it to them by the results. Show them what you’ve done. Let your results speak louder than your arguments.

Use their negativity as fuel to go in and dominate in your new investment or your new business or your new adventure or your veganism. Use the results.

So, full transparency: my brother has lost a ton of weight. He looks amazing, and he’s super healthy. His skin cleared up, and he’s doing awesome since he went on the vegan diet. Whenever we hang out now, I’m a little bit less likely to make fun of him, because I can see the results of what’s happening. His results are speaking louder than any kind of logical argument might.

So those are my tips for you today on overcoming the “vegan effect” in your life.


Did you enjoy this post or the video above? 

If so, comment below or give the video a thumbs up on YouTube.

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has tau...
Read more
    Terry Lowe
    Replied 7 months ago
    Great article! It’s so difficult ( at least for me) to not get defensive. Terry
    John C. Investor from New York, NY
    Replied 7 months ago
    Great advise! In a word: Jealousy. They are jealous of what you’ve achieved. And: fear. They are afraid to do what you do. Also: laziness. They are too lazy to even start. 😉
    Steve T. Real Estate Investor from Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Replied 7 months ago
    Good points as it relates to investing... but not so sure about the vegan analogy. Anyone can cherry pick a study to support their views. Some very recent studies even show no longevity gains by going vegan, and in fact show a 20% increase in rate of stroke. I wouldn't claim any of it as absolutely definitive. After all, for years the "science" claimed salt, whole eggs, and whole milk were nothing less than direct implements of death. You would be hard pressed to find any current articles supporting those claims now.
    James Free Rental Property Investor from Fort Collins, CO
    Replied 7 months ago
    I agree that the benefits of veganism are at best controversial. At the same time, Brandon's point can be understood without agreeing with veganism.
    Tami Russell from Las Vegas, Nevada
    Replied 7 months ago
    I have found this to be very true...I have relatives who have very strong opinions about real estate investing and how it should be done. They are confident that I am either uninformed or doing it wrong. Of course, I'm the one who has been doing it for several years and they have done it - never! And there are those friends who are frustrated with their dead-end jobs and seem to resent stories of my latest project or plans for the next one. So I support them all in whatever plans (or lack thereof) in which they participate and continue to enjoy the challenges and rewards of what I am doing!
    Michael Baum from Olympia, Washington
    Replied 7 months ago
    I have always thought the vegan argument was off base. I don't disagree with the overall premise, just the vegan thing. I don't ever hear anyone say much about someone GOING vegan. But I get never ending grief from vegans who think I am terrible for eating tasty animals. It gets very tiresome.
    Sonny Rodriguez Investor from Corpus Christi, TX
    Replied 7 months ago
    Your brother sounds like a cool dude. No joke, when we started buying real estate we heard every bad story that’s out there, 3 short years later because of our rental income having a job is optional and people now are asking how did you do that so fast. Brandon, just like doing real estate, going Vegan is such a big life upgrade, be it health, environmental, financial or fitness, and the animals will greatly appreciate it too. 9 years Vegan
    Vanesa Gonzalez Rental Property Investor from Miami Beach, FL
    Replied 7 months ago
    Loved reading this article. Never thought about the going vegan effect in RE but it does apply to both. A happy vegan RE investor here!
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied 7 months ago
    Is veganism really that healthy though?
    Sonny Rodriguez Investor from Corpus Christi, TX
    Replied 7 months ago
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied 7 months ago
    Better than the average American diet, probably. You know I've seen radically different takes on veganism, including friends who are in the "body builder" vegan people and say it made them feel incredible. On the other hand, I've seen videos showing a series of what amounts to emaciated corpses looking 20 years older than their actual age preaching the benefits of veganism. And a lot of testimonials of ex-vegans with bad things to say. Studies seem to have a similar mixed result. Here's one on stroke risk being higher in vegans: But others show improved health (at least versus the average American diet). But on the other hand, the testimonials I've seen on diets like Paleo (and my own experience with it) have been almost universally positive. And at the very least, it looks like the studies on low-carb diets produce better weight loss than low-fat diets: My (somewhat educated but still a laymen) verdict is vegetarian diets are healthy although probably not quite as healthy as Paleo. Vegan diets can be healthy if you supplement well, which many (perhaps most) vegans don't. Otherwise, it's not healthy and possibly even dangerous.
    Steve T. Real Estate Investor from Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Replied 7 months ago
    Agree. Bottom line, eat what you want and don't look down your nose with an air of superiority because you think your way is better... Because you think your way is healthier, more environmentally friendly, or any of the rest of it.
    Dave Rav from Summerville, SC
    Replied 7 months ago
    Good article. I get it, and I agree. I just don't agree with the "Vegan" example. I get irritated with Vegans for different reasons. It's not that I am ashamed I should be doing what they're doing. It's more that, they're making the process of having a meal complex and challenging to join. Take for instance Thanksgiving - no turkey? Really? My point is made
    Sonny Rodriguez Investor from Corpus Christi, TX
    Replied 7 months ago
    It’s really not “complex” at all, a Vegan Turkey and Ham takes 1.5 hours to cook, and can be bought at most large grocery stores. As far being difficult to join, traditional Thanksgiving meals are near impossible for several religions and millions around world to join, compare that to the Vegan alternative. We can easily give thanks this Thanksgiving without turkey on the plate.
    Tom Fisher Rental Property Investor from Charlottesville, VA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Insightful. RE investing, and the phobias and reactions it brings up, is a great playground (or menu) for discovering what holds one back in both life and financial freedom. A vegan investor.