I didn’t bring a dish to share with others that I knew I could eat.
I’ve been vegan for quite some time now, and I made the assumption that my family member would have my needs covered. You know what they say about assumptions. Instead of making an ass out of myself (and taking the risk that my host might feel like an ass) I made the difficult decision to eat…..
Fruit. A lot of it. Oh, and some cucumber slices!
I was STARVING.
My sister suggested that I go ahead and ask for some toast or something. Sure, at first that idea sounds reasonable. But:
I really didn’t want to point out that there was literally only two items veg friendly.
I didn’t want my host to go to any extra trouble.
I really really really didn’t want there to be any extra fuss over MY needs.
The party wasn’t about me. The party was being held to celebrate someone else’s milestone. I would much rather be uncomfortable for a few hours than add discomfort to my host and the guest of honour.
And, lets be honest-I really didn’t want to be THAT vegan person. You can read more about why people hate those vegans here.
This is one of the main reasons why it can be so bloody hard to go vegan and then stay that way.
The world is not set up for our kind yet.
Consuming animal products remains natural, comfortable, typical and enjoyable for the vast majority of people we interact with on a daily basis and unfortunately, majority always wins.
Dr. Melanie Joy has an amazing Ted Talk devoted to the psychology behind eating meat that I found to be incredibly insightful and helpful. Please have a look.
So in a sense, yes, the food is the main barrier to going vegan successfully. But, it’s NOT because it’s too difficult to make, too expensive, or too exclusive to get a hold of.
I’ve made many posts showcasing simple recipes and ingredients vegans and non-vegans absolutely love to eat.
The main problem is the awareness and level of normality society places on vegan food in general.
Vegans and vegetarians often have to go against social norms in order to live in a way that is consistent with their morals, values and beliefs. We often face criticism from others for not complying with the way society has been set up.
If going vegan or even simply reducing your animal product intake is something you are interested in pursuing it’s important to know a few things about the food:
1. It is absolutly delicious
2. In most cases it’s healthier than the meaty or cheese laden counterparts
3. It’s very accessible when you are the one in charge of your meals
4. It is affordable on every budget-and I would argue actually LESS expensive than an omnivorous diet
However, the pressure put on you to act in a way that is in line with how others view the world is immense and this can hinder your success.
This is not a post meant to complain about the challenges vegans face. I just want to give some perspective to those of you who may be considering making the switch.
Are you vegan? Have you experienced trouble fitting in? Let me know what burning questions you have!
Megan Kerry is a Vegan Lifestyle Educator and Licensed Practical Nurse. Her content focuses on vegan recipes and ethical living. She is a mom of four children, a long time vegan, and an even longer time foodie. She loves veganizing any and all dishes and sharing her recipes and lifestyle tips with all of you!