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7 Struggles of Being a Vegan

Table full of non-vegan desserts on plates
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Being vegan isn’t always a waltz through the vegetable garden, especially in such a meat-loving culture seemingly obsessed with wrapping everything in bacon. If you are vegan, chances are you’ve experienced some of the struggles that go along with it.

1. Turning Down Sweets

Let’s all take a moment of silence to honor the brave vegans who have had to turn down delicious desserts because of milk and/or butter content. There’s nothing like showing  up to a holiday get together to find a plethora of goodies you can’t have.The worst part about this is watching everyone else indulge while you sit in the corner resenting your Grandma for baking her famous double chocolate fudge brownies. You just wanted to have a good time, and now you have to practice self-control and remind yourself why you are vegan. Don’t even look at the brownies, it will just make it harder.

The worst part about this is watching everyone else indulge while you sit in the corner resenting your Grandma for baking her famous double chocolate fudge brownies. You just wanted to have a good time, and now you have to practice self-control and remind yourself why you are vegan. Don’t even look at the brownies, it will just make it harder.

2. Explaining What it Means to be Vegan

This becomes a struggle when people aren’t actually interested in veganism and just want to argue with you about it. We all have that one extended family member that just can’t wrap their head around the fact that someone would willingly choose not to eat animal products.

We’ve all heard the remarks. “God put animals on this earth to be eaten” or “Eating meat is necessary for health”. It is as if they just want to get a rise out of you. In these situations, it’s best to remain calm and stress the fact that it is YOUR choice, and you aren’t trying to convert anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for spreading awareness, but there is something a bit disheartening about being stared at like you are from another planet as you explain veganism for the 67th time that week.

3. Making Time to Cook Meals

When you get home from a long day at the office and want to just curl up in bed, you still have to make time to cook a meal for yourself. This is both a blessing and a curse.

Sure cooking can be lovely when you have the time and energy to do it, but when you are exhausted from the daily hustle it is that much more draining to go through the whole process of preparing a meal. You have to struggle to safely chop vegetables while fatigued and debate seasoning them with the salt from your tears.

4. Cheese is in Everything

This cheese-tastrophy makes buying groceries a bit of a struggle. As vegans know, we have to be hyper aware of all food we buy… even in the health food section! Before going vegan I didn’t pay much attention to the looming cheese content of most packaged foods, but now it is damn near inescapable.

Instead of quickly grabbing groceries, you have to take the time to read the long list of ingredients on the back of the packaging. This isn’t bad, and I encourage people to read the labels on food, but this isn’t exactly ideal when you are running low on time.

Not to mention all the other masked animal products companies sneak into foods. Turns out the “natural flavoring” in those fruit gummies is actually the secretions from a beaver’s anus — excuse me while I go throw up and cry myself to sleep.

5. No Vegan Options

If you plan on a road trip, you better be sure to pack your own meals because there is about a 0.001% chance that gas stations or fast food joints have anything substantial that is vegan-friendly. If not, be prepared to eat yet another garden salad because this is quite literally the only vegan option many restaurants have.

If you plan on a road trip, you better be sure to pack your own meals because there is about a 0.001% chance that gas stations or fast food joints have anything substantial that is vegan-friendly. If not, be prepared to eat yet another garden salad because this is quite literally the only vegan option many restaurants have.

6. Pre-planning Meals for Social Gatherings

If you are going to a work party or gathering that involves a meal, chances are you will have to be “that person” and make special arrangements with the party host. This always has the potential to be awkward because you don’t want to seem pretentious or force others to make special arrangements for you.

Sometimes it is easier to just prepare your own meal and bring it along with you, which presents a new set of struggles like explaining to your prying co-workers why you brought your own food, or pretending to laugh at another light-hearted vegan joke at your expense. Can I please just eat my tofu wrap in peace without having to defend my life choices?

7. The Inevitable Protein Question

When some people find out you are vegan they become suddenly concerned about your nutritional health. They hit you with a “You must not get enough protein” and you force a smile and explain that our bodies are actually able to absorb more protein from plants than from dead animals.

People who make remarks like this tend to equate meat with protein and have a complete unawareness that many veggies are packed full of it. We end up having to spout off our memorized list of protein rich foods like spinach, beans, whole grains, tofu, and hummus. Yes, we are getting enough protein!

Last modified on February 21st, 2017

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