Saturday, January 4, 2014

When Being Vegan Isn't Fun

I love being vegan.  But sometimes it actually sucks.  There are days when it seems like the entire meat-eating, dairy-loving world is in cahoots against you, as you altruistically march to the beat of a different drum.  It's times like these that you can't help wonder if you should just give in and eat that cannoli, buy a pair of leather boots, and wrap yourself in a down comforter like everybody else.  I assure you, friend, this too shall pass.

1.  You go to a restaurant and there are no vegan options on the menu.
Really, in this day and age, any restaurant that does not offer veg-friendly options is run by a bunch of jerks.  Ok, that was kind of mean, but how hard is it to have at least one vegetarian or vegan meal on the menu? We're used to the standard fare- pasta primavera, hummus wrap, a no frills salad.  You peruse the menu and realize that french fries aren't even an option.  Soon thereafter your friend nudges you and asks what you are going to eat.  You try not to be that obnoxious vegan snob, but you're actually really hungry and starting to feel anxious.  Super.

2.  Your coworker brings in donuts/pastries/chocolate cake/Godiva chocolate/something mouth-watering and totally not vegan.
The workday was already long enough without watching everyone else revel in how delicious the non-vegan dessert item is while you sit at your desk writing lesson plans and smiling while secretly shooting lasers out of your eyes while their backs are turned.  Excellent.

3.  You wake up and realize that you're out of B-12.
You won't be out of work until 5, whereupon you will be stuck in traffic, whereupon the only store that sells B-12 is Whole Foods, which is on top of a huge hill, whereupon it starts snowing and you don't have four-wheel-drive, and you're starting to get a headache.  Great.

4.  You've been wearing the same winter coat for ten years because you bought it before you were vegan and you can't find a decently warm vegan coat under $500.
You'd think animal feathers would be out of fashion at this point, kind of like wearing real fur.  You'd think.

5.  You sit down at a meal with a bunch of strangers and someone asks you to explain why you're vegan as dinner is served.
You actually want me to tell you where your chicken came from as you eat it?  Really?  I try to go with something vague like "I choose not to participate in animal cruelty."  Did I ask you to justify why you are eating meat?  No.  I did not.

6.  You find a beautiful pair of boots but they are leather.
For Pete's sake you really wanted those boots, and they're on sale, too.  Other people just go to the store and buy a pair of boots, and there's nothing complicated about it.  But not you.  Outstanding.

7.  People make idiotic comments like "plants have feelings, too" and expect you to respond as if these are logical arguments.
You laugh politely, but really?

8.  You order a purportedly vegan meal and it is served coated in cheese.
Cheese = dairy = animal product = not vegan.  Then you have to smile politely and explain that you have a dairy allergy because people don't take vegans seriously, send the meal back, and hope the waiter doesn't spit in your food before bringing it out.  Wonderful.

There are days when seemingly petty circumstances make you rethink whether living the examined life is worth it at all, when everybody else seems to be basking in the blissful simplicity of just being omnivores.  Yes, people will get under your skin, and repeatedly dealing with the same scenarios will get on your nerves.  But what about the time your friend cooked you an amazing vegan meal, or when you inspired someone to go vegan, or you discovered a terrific vegan bakery, or scored a pair of vegan boots that constantly get compliments?  Oh, right.  About that.  Being vegan is actually pretty great.

Blogger's Soundtrack
Vampire Weekend - "Unbelievers"


  1. #5! #7! & #8! UGH daily somtimes.

  2. Ain't it the truth. I am frequently surprised when I cannot get a GD thing to eat in a metropolitan city. I don't understand the state of mind where the mainstream/meat-eating society acts as if you're so silly/insane to have concerns regarding animal welfare, the environment, and human health. It is so tedious to deal with people who yell, "BACON" at any serious issues with eating animals.

  3. #2 every workday...

  4. I'm beginning to consider feigning a lactose intolerance. I guess allergic people should be taken more seriously as they could end up very ill...but its so infuriating when people don't respect vegans' beliefs.

    Great post btw, I can really relate! :)

  5. #2 has some perks though! It's fire blazing from my eyes when all the sweet treats are on display but I don't have to run 3 miles or skip two meals to shake the guilt. Delayed revenge.