Food Stories: Vegan


I became vegetarian when I was in high school and living with my parents, so they provided most of my food. that was easy enough for them to deal with. They would eat meat at home occasionally, but didn’t mind making veggie meals for me and eating the same thing. Fortunately for them, I became vegan after I was living on my own, because they seem to have a harder time coping with that. It’s not a problem here and there when I visit, but if they had to prepare vegan food for me daily, I know they think it would be a struggle.

For the most part, people are fine with it. I have many friends that are vegetarian, and a few that are vegan. There are always people that are dumbfounded and think all I can eat is salad and tofu, but those are generally not the people i spend much time with. There are also the occasional people who take offense to it (or just feel guilty on their own end and don’t want to admit it), and like to make jokes about eating a big juicy burger in front of me, but its easy enough to ignore them.

I get a lot of “I don’t know how you can do that” which is both positive and negative. People admire the “restraint” I have when I turn down a box of milk chocolate and ice cream, but people also think it’s crazy and “why would you do that”. Some people think I must be sickly and pale. Other people think I’m probably the healthiest person they know.

Natasha, Vegan for 5 years

Usually the more positive comments come in the form of questions from people who want to know more about the vegan diet (”oh, does it improve (insert health issue here)?), or comments from fellow animal lovers, even if they haven’t been able to make the switch yet. Negative comments tend to be more passive aggressive, such as “oh, I can’t give up protein” (which of course, is a major fallacy, since there is more protein than even needed in the vegan diet) or “I could never live without ‘such and such’!

Chuck, Vegan since 2008