A Vegan’s Reputation

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When I changed to a vegan lifestyle I wasn’t confident telling people about my decision. In fact, I dreaded the thought of having to explain to someone that I’m vegan because of the assumptions that went with the word “vegan”.

Now I can’t be more comfortable telling others and given the opportunity I love to explain to people why I choose to live this way!
I’ve taken a great interest in seeing their facial expressions change when having to explain why I’m the only one not tucking into the cheese platter on the table.

A surprisingly large number of people seem offended, even outraged that I have chosen this lifestyle and try to convince me that I have been brain washed by some type of cult.

Most people look utterly confused, which explains why someone asked me why I still take an interest in men if I just said I was vegan. And very few welcome the idea and accept it’s a lifestyle that serves and benefits me as well as the environment.

There are so many bizarre assumptions towards veganism that give the word a bad rep. It disappoints me to think that this is one of the reasons why I didn’t go vegan earlier and that there are many people who are discouraged and decide to turn down veganism because of social pressure from these untrue claims.

I asked a number of people who follow a vegan lifestyle to share with me their experiences when telling people that they’re vegan. Although I’m not surprised, it still appalled me when I was told great friendships had been lost when they decided to change to a cruelty free lifestyle. The reaction of others being utterly offended by a vegan lifestyle is definitely not uncommon.

While I’ve had many crazy assumptions thrown at me, the most common one seems to be the thought that a vegans’ purpose and duty is to try and convince others to follow this lifestyle; this can be done by talking to strangers and even door knocking.

This could not be further from the truth. I don’t doubt that there are people actively promoting and bringing awareness to veganism but with my experience I have never met a vegan that pressures others to “convert”. The majority of the vegan community I have met have been the most welcoming and accepting people I have spoken to.

I can’t help but wondering why omnivores aren’t given the same assumptions and reputation of trying to convert others to follow their choice in lifestyle? Although they don’t door knock I have certainly been ambushed by a table of opinions on many occasions.

Through all of these assumptions and misled claims I have learnt not take them personally or be hurt by what others say about my lifestyle because veganism feels authentic to me and this is what my journey is all about; finding my authentic self.

I don’t need to argue or keep explaining why I believe my choices are valid because regardless of who’s right and whose wrong I feel connected and at peace with myself which says more than any amount of words.

Veganism is not a “dirty” word; it is an honorable and courageous word that brings connection between you and the world we all live in.

This is a decision I have made for myself, I don’t mind if others aren’t going to follow my choice of lifestyle and I certainly won’t force anyone to “convert”; though I do love to educate others and show them how delicious a raw vegan lifestyle can be!

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Yesterday I made these little beauties for my omnivore friends and family who respect and accept my lifestyle.

This recipe is from Chocolate Covered Katie and I managed to quickly take a photo of mine while the rest were being eaten.

Now if these Oreo’s don’t clear up the thought of a boring diet of cold tofu and sprouts I don’t know what will because these are nothing less than amazing!

I did find them quite rich so I recommend using a little less cacao if you are not a hard core cacao junkie.

As always I would love to know your thoughts and your experiences when telling people about your lifestyle.

Lisa

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9 Comments

Filed under Social Pressure

9 responses to “A Vegan’s Reputation

  1. you know what, reading these lines, I felt incredibly proud to be vegan. and it made me laugh. because I have heard of those whole door-knocking crazy vegans before. I wonder if they exist. or if they are made up by the world of meat eaters.
    Hope you’re doing well!

  2. Wren

    Hi! I just stumbled onto your site today. Thank you for putting together such a thoughtful post on your experiences as a vegan. My husband and I are also vegan and we can relate to so much of what you have written about! Sometimes I’m even reluctant to use the term because as you said, with that word come so many preconceived notions… and as you put beautifully, you’re just trying to live a life that is authentic to you. It’s interesting how we all can potentially react when we come into contact with some thing or someone “different.” In my heart, I feel it a great endeavor to find the authentic Self, which I do feel and hope to be governed by principles such as love, compassion, patience, understanding, reason, etc. Then we may be less quick to react and more likely to connect, or so I hope 🙂
    Have a great day, and thanks again!

  3. I just found this and immediately thought of you and your post.

  4. I have actually had very positive responses from family and friends and even from my co-workers. One of my friends has even had a cooking night and made/cooked vegetarian/vegan dishes with me – how’s that for supportive. For me, going Vegan (and it’s a recent change) is a neccessity – I have chronic uric acid kidney stones, am allergic to the only medication that will keep them from forming, and want to stop the stones from occuring so often that my kidney function is diminished. Urologists and nephrologists have been telling me for almost 5 years that I need to go at least vegetarian. I would say right now I am 50/50 – meaning 50% vegetarian and 50% vegan – learning new ways to prepare food, and learning about options beyond hummus, carrots and salad. It’s fun learning more! I hope you find more and more people accepting of your veganism – I find more and more people all the time who are going this direction, definitely not the masses, but more folks are changing their eating lifestyle. All the best – Melissa

    • Hi Melissa,
      I’m so glad to hear that you have had such a great support group around you!

      I’m sorry to hear about your condition but I truly do believe food can act as medicine so by feeding your body the right nutrients I’m sure you will feel healthier.

      I have found that going vegan is made me eat a bigger variety of foods that I never had before. Wholefoods always taste better because they are fresh and full of flavour!

      I will be posting more delicious recipes soon, so I hope they will be helpful to you 🙂

      Good luck with your journey, here to support!

      Lisa

  5. Ohhh I am SO loving this blog! Keep rockin it vegan, girl. xxx

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