Monday, June 17, 2013

I can't be vegan because....

The longer one is vegan, the more reasons you hear from people as to why they cannot be vegan.

Mike and I talk about this a lot because we hear it a lot. Some of the reasons are ones I have been hearing for the entire 17 years I have been vegan. Others are new and trendy. And then there is the one that gets us the most.

We'll get to that one in a second.

Yesterday someone said to me that they couldn't be vegan because they do not have the will power that I have. We had a sweet conversation after that comment as I educated them around the fact that I do not possess any serious amount of will power. Just look at me at Beet Box, Sweet Action Ice Cream and Nooch Market. The best example is when I am in all three places within one day! No, will power has nothing to do with the ability to be vegan. I want to do the least amount of harm while I am here. I do not want to be part of the violence towards animals that happens just for them to become a meal.

I could never give up cheese! We all hear this one. I get it. People love cheese. Then they realize that is has pus in it and it doesn't taste as good. Then they realize that the dairy and veal industries are tightly connected and that cheese becomes even less tasty. I honestly do not remember what dairy cheese tastes like but have been super excited with all of the new soy, tapioca and nut cheeses out there these days. They are delicious, and no cruelty.

I can't be vegan for health reasons. Because I am not a nutritionist, dietitian or physician I can't say too much about this one. I can say that I have seen many people go from unhealthy to healthy because they went vegan. And I have seen many athletes completely rock it as vegans.
I don't care about animal cruelty. I don't hear this one too often but in essence there are many people who are eating meat because of this. Their taste buds cannot be inconvenienced by the fact that the animal suffered to hit their plate. I really don't have much to say to these folks.

Finally, the one that gets us the most! Ta da!!!

I can't be vegan because I grew up in the South. Or Texas. Or Iowa. You get the idea, a geographic reason. This one just doesn't fly. It's an excuse of convenience. We do not have to be the person we were growing up. We do not have to hold on to ideas taught to us that no longer serve us and especially ones that we just do not want to be a part of. This doesn't just mean veganism, it includes everything we were taught growing up. So no matter where you grew up, you too can be vegan!

Thanks for reading this post!

18 comments:

  1. "...because I could never give up cheese." I totally, sincerely empathize with this one. I tell them, "I couldn't give up cheese, either..."

    The single thought that helps me most when I do crave an animal product is "this isn't food."

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    1. Amen! Thank you for reading, and sharing!

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  2. Sometimes I feel like my life is so boring because when people find out I'm a vegan this is ALL they talk about.
    --Megan
    www.myveryveggieblog.wordpress.com

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    1. Megan! I'm sure your life is AMAZING! Thank you for posting!

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  3. I still remember the first time my older sister told me we couldn't tell my oldest niece (then age 6) that what she was being served for dinner was pork. We had to tell her it was chicken because she had met a real pig and fell in love and she would freak out if she found out she was eating one. Boy, did that start an argument.

    This was years ago, before I was vegetarian. You see, even when I ate meat I acknowledged where it came from. This was before I knew a person could live a healthy life without meat, but I have always believed that if something is going to die for my supper, I damned well better say Thank You at the very least.

    Now I know those animals don't have to die for me to eat, and I refuse to play along when my siblings hide the truth from their kids. It isn't beef, it is a dead cow. It isn't "special chicken", it is a dead pig, one just like Wilbur in "Charlotte's Web". If you can't stand to think of where your food is coming from, then you're eating the wrong food.

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    1. Kathryn! Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  4. I can vouch for the health problems that may arise as a vegan. I was vegan for 1.5 years and mostly vegan for 3 years before that. I developed a problem with low stomach acid and I wasn't digesting my food because of it (which was extremely miserable by the way!) However, it cannot be blamed on the vegan diet alone. It is the combination of the vegan diet and my chronic low adrenal function. It's really hard but I've had to add a few fooda back to my diet and am struggling with it. I'm now pescatarian but eat mostly vegan.

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    1. Sarah, thanks so much for posting this. We get that this is the case for a very few, and totally appreciate your comment!

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    2. Thanks, Dan! I'm really glad you wrote this posting. Vegan is a great ideal, but I think you can still eat responsibly as a non vegan if you have to. Maybe in California we are spoiled with sustainable everything! But that may be difficult in other parts of the country. Do you agree?

      I think meat is gross, period. I've added fish back because at least I can stomach it!

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    3. Hi Sarah. Thanks for another reply! For me, vegan is the only way, and it all depends on what one's definition of "eating responsibly" means. I do agree that everyone is on their own path, mine includes not being able to stomach eating any former living being. I also think that no matter where one lives (and I know this from our readers who live in very small towns to huge cities) one can be vegan. I really appreciate your support with our blog!

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  5. The "I could never give up cheese" argument makes me so sad. That extends to "I could never give up bacon," "I could never give up ice cream," etc. If someone REALLY can't give up an animal product, they're either completely heartless or, more likely, just unaware of the goings-on in the meat production industry. Both options are heartbreaking.

    I don't *agree* with the excuse that someone can't be vegan because of where they're from, but I can walk in the shoes of the people who use it. I'm from a very large, traditional, Midwestern family. And I love them, I do! But at parties and other gatherings, the table is ALWAYS meat-centered, and to try to explain to anyone that I am a vegan would mean dealing with severe of judgement of my character. "She doesn't eat meat? Is it because she went to college on the East Coast and became a hippie??" Sigh.

    If anything, choosing to be vegan in a location that isn't used to veganism can bring about change--even if that change is extremely gradual. It's worth the work!


    PS -- I had to use my Google ID to leave this comment, but that ID is pretty old. I actually blog over at eatwellpartyhard.com now.

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    1. Thanks Claire! We can completely empathize!

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  6. "I couldn't give up my cheese"! Have you guys seen the video, by that same name, just released by Vegan Smythe? Very funny and particularly cute because it features the voice of my 4 year old daughter. ;)

    You can see it on YouTube.

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    1. Hahahaha thanks for letting us know about that video, I just went and watched it. Now I want that guys' t-shirt.

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  7. I've heard all of these before too. All of them, I can understand where they're coming from, relate, and explain how I overcame that as well, except for one. "Well who cares about the animals?" is the one that always gets me. I have to work very hard to remain calm and not get angry. After I became vegan, I was explaining to my cousin why I was happy to give up dairy an her response was "Wow. I guess you really have to like animals a lot. I don't have to worry about that." I know she was joking but it stung. I wanted to get angry because damn it, I do love animals! Instead, I responded with "It's not so much about the animals as it is about loving life. Life is so beautiful I hate to deny any other living being their right to enjoy it as much as I am," in hopes that that struck a chord with her. Who knows. I completely understand your frustration, though. :-)

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  8. Yup, definitely have heard all of these. Even the "I don't care about animals" one. Usually that excuse is also followed by their love affair with bacon. *sigh*. I am happy to hear that you let the one person who said they didn't have the "will power" that it is not about will power. Vegans are not superhuman, nor are most of us vegan from birth. It is important that people see that so they can start to believe that it is a lifestyle that they are capable of living.

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  9. The "I don't care about animals" is really the one that makes me think "well, you're an asshole" and just end the conversation to get away from that person.

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  10. The stuff that really breaks my heart is when folks try to be jovial about it, saying "I respect what you do, but, haha! I could never be vegan! Coudn't give up cheese/fried chickens/cheeseburgers/whatever." As if I do what I do because of food.

    Veganism, at its roots, isn't about food or food choices. It's about making a lifestyle decision that aligns with your morals and ethics about how living creatures and our planet should be treated and respected. For someone to laugh off the idea of becoming vegan - even though I'm sure their intent isn't to hurt - is very much hurtful. Here's what it feels like hearing: "Aww, wow, you don't eat cheese. I don't get it, but good for you, I guess! Haha, I could never do that - that sounds insane!" The inadvertent laughter at and dismissal of my deeply-rooted ethical convictions. That's the hardest part to hear. :/

    But I suppose this just means that we trek onward as the "vegan ambassadors" and educate people about WHY we don't eat X, Y, & Z. <3

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