10 Amusing (or Otherwise) Scenarios All Vegans Can Relate To
If you know what it’s like to reveal you’re vegan and suddenly feel as if you are sticking out like a sore thumb, you’re certainly not in the minority. This is something of a rite of passage all vegans go through, which to a certain extent (and in certain circles) never goes away.
Instead, you simply get used to it, gradually replacing an initial sense of awkwardness with beaming pride. Once you have settled into a plant-based way of life, nobody could persuade you to go back in a million years.
Nevertheless, there are still those who (frustratingly) see the whole plant-based thing as a fad. Worse still, something that is fashionable to follow, rather than a genuine lifestyle choice.
The popularity of vegetarianism and veganism in the UK is at an all-time high. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 1% of the entire adult population now considers itself to be vegan. Even so, this still means that anyone who chooses to go fully plant-based will always have the numbers stacked against them.
New Attitudes and Understanding
Mercifully, most people these days not only accept the plant-based way of life other choose, they appreciate and even admire it. There are thousands who routinely say they’d ‘love’ to go plant-based if they could, but they don’t have the willpower to do so.
Others cite the apparent financial issues associated with veganism, having made the assumption that going plant-based is expensive. It isn’t, but attempting to persuade them as such is even more difficult than giving up animal based products in the first place!
In any case, it is always refreshing when you meet those who actually understand veganism and plant-based lifestyles for what they are. Elsewhere, going 100% plant-based inevitably means having to deal with situations and scenarios only a vegan would understand.
With this in mind, here’s brief rundown of 10 surprisingly common scenarios most people following plant-based lifestyles will almost certainly relate to:
1. When the shock on other people’s faces is an absolute picture
In some instances, the response you get when telling people you eat a plant-based diet is no less than hilarious. You may as well have told them you’re in the process of applying to steal the Mona Lisa, for the look of sheer shock on their faces.
This is something that counts double for those who previously ate animal products, subsequently revealing they plan to go vegan. You’ll see faces pulled you’ve never seen before in your life, which if nothing else can be hugely entertaining!
2. When it’s assumed you can still eat vegetarian food
Some people seem to have the most difficult time understanding the distinction between vegetarianism and veganism. As a result, they fall into the trap of assuming that what’s good for a vegetarian is clearly fine for someone who eats a 100% plant-based diet.
A cheese pizza, a cake made with a dozen eggs and so on - all perfectly fine menu choices for a vegan. Particularly when animal-based products are used relatively sparingly in a dish, they genuinely have no idea why it’s not suitable for a plant-based lifestyle. More frustrating than entertaining, but inevitable nonetheless.
3. When everyone who orders a meat dish feels the need to explain themselves
This is something that almost always happens when dining out in a mixed group, where some eat meat, and some don’t. For the vegetarians and vegans in the group, it’s simply a case of ordering and enjoying their meals. For the meat eaters, menu selection paves the way for a long, boring and pointless explanation as to why they eat meat.
Some meat eaters understandably feel awkward around vegans - particularly those with strong views about animal welfare and exploitation. However, most would prefer their meat eating counterparts to simply get on with eating their dead animals - not attempt to justify why they believe doing so is the right thing to do.
4. The joy of seeing a wide range of vegan dishes available
Speaking of restaurants, there’s nothing quite like walking into an eatery for the first time and seeing a long list of menu options that contain no animal products whatsoever. Better yet, a restaurant with plenty of vegan specials that are offered on a regular basis to keep things interesting. One that doesn’t attempt to fob you off with the usual token soups and sweets you could happily go without for good.
The fact alone that they are clearly acknowledging and respecting plant-based lifestyle is enough to have you coming back for more. Though of course, the appeal of a decent selection of vegan dishes is fairly obvious. Where a restaurant that isn’t specifically vegan offers plenty of creative plant-based options, you’re onto a winner and it’s worthy of your money.
5. The despair at seeing there’s little to nothing you can eat
At the opposite end of the scale, you have the restaurants who barely toss a bone (figuratively) to vegans. Not only do they have little to nothing that’s 100% plant based on their menus, but the vegan options they have are just about as uninspiring as it gets.
For these kinds of establishments, they’ve basically added one or two vegan dishes to their menus as an administrative ‘box ticking’ exercise. And you could almost certainly rest assured that behind the scenes in the kitchen, they’ll be using the exact same hardware to cook their vegan dishes as they use for the rest of their menu.
6. When it’s suggested you can ‘pick out’ the offending items
Sticking with the restaurant theme, all vegans need to be prepared for the moment when they encounter this hapless individual. It could be one of your fellow diners, though in some instances could even be the waiter or waitress who served you.
To these folks, picking out the lumps of cheese (or worse still lumps of meat) from a non-vegan dish is just as good as having a vegan dish prepared for you in the first place. It’s hard not to feel extremely offended and let down when this happens, but the fact that they clearly don’t get it means all the ranting in the world probably isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference.
7. Being asked regularly if you are ‘still’ vegan
This is another display of ignorance and a complete lack of understanding, courtesy of those who do not get what plant-based lifestyles are all about. On occasion - if not on regular basis - you will encounter those who ask you if you are still vegan. And when you say you are, they react with some kind of artificial pleasant surprise like you’ve achieved something unexpected.
These are the types who see veganism as a phase, a fad or a fashionable lifestyle choice you will most likely ‘grow out of’ eventually. Even after years eating nothing but plant-based products, you will still encounter those who genuinely believe you’ll switch back sooner or later.
8. When people are terrified to eat meat around you
Just because you follow a plant-based lifestyle does not mean that the very sight of meat turns your stomach. Even if it does, you’re unlikely to be pretentious enough to tell other people what to do, or to react with disgust when they make their menu choices.
Nevertheless, a sizeable portion of meat eaters think there’s nothing worse on God’s green earth you can do than eat meat in the vicinity of a vegan. In reality, most really don’t care - they’re more concerned with enjoying their own meals and feeling good about their positive lifestyle choices.
9. When someone eating a steak claims to be predominantly vegan
Going plant-based is seen by far too many people as something of a badge of honour. To such an extent that you’ll find plenty of dedicated meat eaters who stake claim to being partially or predominantly vegan. Hilariously, they will often tell you as such while eating a huge hunk of meat, in a vain attempt to justify their menu choice.
Truth is, you’re either vegan or you aren’t. You can choose a lifestyle that combines plenty of plant-based meals with the occasional addition of meat, but in no way, shape or form does this constitute veganism. And to attempt to claim it does can actually be quite insulting and offensive to those who strongly believe in the importance of avoiding animal-based products entirely.
10. When people think it’s funny to try to tempt you back to meat
Last up, anyone who falls into this bracket is not somebody you should be dining with in the first place. There will always be those unfortunate types who think it’s funny and clever to try to tempt vegans into eating meat. Or if not, then simply parade their meaty meals and animal products in front of their faces, more or less teasing them for excluding them from their diets.
This illustrates a level of ignorance and irresponsibility that’s pretty much off the scale. It also tells you all you need to know about who you should be dining with, and who is probably better excluded from all future arrangements!