Words by: Freya Hall
A lot of people I know don’t know I’m vegan. Why? Because I don’t tell them. Why don’t I tell people? Because the people who do know say things like this to me:
‘Lol but how good is bacon tho?’
When did bacon become a ‘thing’? I swear every fifth Buzzfeed article and probably every tenth meme is about how ‘good’ bacon is. Cara Delevingne even has a tattoo of the word ‘bacon’ on her foot coz like bacon 4 lyf yo #trendy #model #bro #greasy #food #chill #memes.
Also, is bacon even that good? I feel like it is very resistible. The fanfare and bandwagoning surrounding bacon definitely appears to be part of the counter-fitspo movement. Like ‘hey look at me I’m a chill as fuck girl/boy/other who likes gaming, eating pizza, and drinking beer.’
I get that some of you may genuinely love bacon, but what about other foods? What about the humble but ever so comforting potato? The supple smoothness of almond milk? The sweet caress of a ripe mango? OPEN YOUR EYES. There is a whole world of food out there that doesn’t cost the earth, and maybe more convincingly, tastes hell good.
‘I would be Vegan but I like leather shoes/bags too much’
Hey, all you forty-something women out there who have said this to me, this one is for you!
I don’t even know how to respond when people say this to me. It is such a weird thing to say and people always say it to me completely unsolicited and it catches me off guard. My thought process basically always follows the same pattern:
‘Are they just trying to make conversation? I think they are just trying to be friendly. Look at them smiling at me waiting for me to respond. Do they realise how trivial they sound? Should I say that to them? No, then they’ll definitely think I’m a bitch. I want them to like me. Dear God, they’re still smiling at me. I can see the lipstick on their teeth. Keep laughing awkwardly. Oh shit, now I’ve been laughing for too long. Abort. Come up with an excuse to end the conversation. Say you need to go to the toilet. Say you’re busting. Say you’ve got a UTI. Anything. Gtfo’.
P.S Pamela Anderson is making a vegan shoe and bag range for Opening Ceremony, all of Stella McCartney is vegan, and Dr Martens make vegan shoes. Also, if you genuinely are interested in kewl vegan swag check out these websites: The Good Guys, Freedom of Animals, Matt & Natt, and Bambi and Tramp.
‘I would be vegan but it’s so hard/expensive’
It isn’t. I should really leave it at that because the Internet exists and with a flick of your fingers you could figure that out for yourself. I mean it literally doesn’t need any more explanation. It just isn’t that hard or expensive.
That money you’re spending on meat and cheese and milk? I’m just spending it on other stuff.
Too hard? It’s 2015, and boy, what a time to be alive! Vegan food can be found down almost every supermarket aisle these days. Look and you shall find young padawan.
‘Omg you’re way cooler than other vegans’
Many of my best friends have said this to me. I know you mean this as a compliment, but it is actually really backhanded.
The stereotype of the ‘preachy’, ‘know it all’ vegan is mean and misinformed. You don’t go around saying ‘hey you’re actually a pretty good driver’ to your female friends. Well I hope you don’t because that’d be rude as fuck.
And really, how many other vegans do you actually know? FYI Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Al Gore, and Woody Harrelson are all vegans. If they aren’t cool then I don’t know who is.
‘Vegans can’t use anything with animal by-products’
- Now you are being a know-it-all. Vegan is a blanket term and everyone applies it differently. Some people are very strict, most just do their best. ‘Can’t’ implies I don’t have a choice, or that if I do accidentally use animal products I’m not vegan anymore. Well, newsflash, that isn’t your decision.
- It is literally impossible to avoid all animal by-products. It is about harm minimisation. For example, bike tires contain stearic acid, which is taken from animal fat. Does that mean you should drive your car everywhere instead of riding a bike? Clearly not. You will always have to weigh up many complicated factors.
- If you unwittingly use something with animal products you are not a terrible person. I accidentally ate something with traces of egg in it. Now, you reasonable people out there might think that my moral compass began violently and erratically spinning until I imploded. Alas, life kept going. I’m here to tell the tale.
‘If you were stuck on a desert island and you had to eat a snail/quokka/your pet dog to survive would you do it?’
I would eat it. I would probably eat you too.