So in my time as a vegan (a little over two years now), I think I must have been asked just about every question in the book. And, as my fellow herbivores know, answering these plant-eating questions is somewhat of an art form. You want to be understanding and informative, but not condescending. But for some reason, people really like to come at vegans — so it can be hard to remain patient and kind.
Here, you’ll find some of the questions I’ve been asked most frequently — and honestly am just tired of answering — about my dietary choices, complete with answers.
1. “But — are you actually vegan?”
I’m kind of cringing as I type this because really, what sort of question is that? If I say that I am, I am! But I guess it’s becoming more of a trend for people to be kind of vegan (?), so I guess they’re just clarifying.
2. “Wait, so that’s like the same as being vegetarian, right?”
At this point, I feel like most people should know what veganism is — especially in such a vegan-friendly city like Philly. But I get it: It’s not on everyone’s radar.
3. “But … why?”
Ah, another cringe-inducing question. Do you actually care or are you trying to engage in an argument? Either way I typically say something along the lines of: “I first became vegetarian for ethical reasons and then decided to transition to veganism for my health.”
4. “But don’t you miss (insert bacon or burgers or other meaty item here)?”
I am able to eat those things, I just choose not to for the sake of the animals involved and my health.
5. “Can you eat chicken? Or what about clams? What about flour?” And it goes on …
“Do you eat clams or mussels? They aren’t technically animals!” people ask. Well, have you seen them alive and swimming around? No, I don’t eat them. Then come the equally confusing questions like, “What about flour? … Sugar? … Olive oil?” (Seriously.) Yes, I can eat all of those things and do so frequently.
6. “But HOW do you get protein?”
(Internal thoughts: do you actually care or are you just being a jerk?) Real answer: Lots of places! Tempeh is basically my life partner, beans, nuts/oats and — gasp — some vegetables even have protein.
7. “Can you even eat anything here?”
Everyone is always worried about what I can eat at a restaurant — some are even kind enough to read every vegan/vegetarian option aloud to me. And don’t get me wrong, it’s very very kind. But I’ve been at this for some time now, so I can usually figure it out pretty quick — I make a few modifications or substitutions to a tricky menu and I’m good to go.
8. “Do you ever wish you weren’t vegan?”
Honestlyyyy, not at all.
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