If nothing else, these past four years have been entertaining. Veganism is a topic that a lot of people seem to have very strong opinions about without actually knowing much about it.
It’s worth making something clear at the outset. There are three main reasons why most people become vegan.
(1) The ethical argument
(2) The environmental argument
(3) The health argument
However strongly you want to believe that we’re doing animals a favor by eating them, I’d say the ethical argument is pretty clear. The environmental argument too is pretty irrefutable — it’s almost 2021 folks.
I’ll admit that the verdict on the health argument is still out. Some experts say eating animal products is healthy; some experts say eating animal products is unhealthy. Couple this with the fact that as individuals, we react to different foods differently and have unique nutritional needs; I can’t argue that being vegan is conclusively healthy. But don’t try to convince me that it isn’t, because you can’t possibly know that.
For some people, it’s just a phase. Some people become vegans because they think it’s guaranteed to make them lose weight, or because they just want a challenge. Whatever your motivation, that’s fine by me.
However, I can guarantee that most people who adopt a vegan lifestyle, or at least the ones I’ve met, have done their research. It’s not something they decided on a whim; it’s a pre-meditated decision. This might come as a surprise to you, but most people don’t want to risk their lives for a fad.
And what’s most ironic is that the vast majority of non-vegans don’t actually know anything about nutrition, or their health. Until you start experiencing symptoms of something, you assume you’re in good health, and since you’re eating ‘normally’, you also assume you’re eating the right things.
I’m not trying to convince anyone to become vegan. I’m not a doctor, or a nutritionist, or any form of scientific expert, so I can’t possibly have a strong opinion about your health and your lifestyle choices. But I’ve been amazed over the past few years by other people’s strong opinions about my diet.
Here is a collection of ridiculous questions I’ve been asked over the years, either by friends, on dates, at work, and even by people I had literally just met:
1) How do you get enough protein?
Hold that thought for a hot minute and let me ask you a question. Do you know how many grams of protein you should be eating per day? Do you get those? Do you care? — No, don’t tell me, it was rhetorical. This is your interest, not mine. I’m gonna go hug a tree whilst you Google.
2) I only eat humane meat.
That’s like saying I only kill healthy people.
3) I couldn’t be vegan, I hate tofu.
Well, tofu hates you.
4) Plants are alive too.
Do I really have to explain this?
5) I could never date somebody vegan.
6) Being vegan is bad for your health.
Thank you, both for your concern and for your expert opinion. Could you be more specific? How is it harming my health? Why isn’t this something my doctor told me?
7) If we don’t eat meat, animals would over-populate the earth.
Yeah remember that time we all stopped eating meat for a week and we had to dodge all the cows in our house?
8) Why are you doing this to yourself? Try a piece, go on.
Honey, this isn’t painful for me.
9) It’s not good to be extreme.
Mate, sometimes it really is. It’s objectively better to never snort cocaine than to do so on occasion. I hate to be so extreme but I’m gonna pass just in case.
10) What if you regret it?
It’s not a tattoo.
11) What do you eat? Lettuce?
Is that really as far as your imagination can go?
12) You’re not hurting the animal when you’re eating it.
No no, I’m very aware…
13) All vegans talk about is being vegan.
Trust me honey, I avoid conversations like these like the plague.
14) What if someone was holding a gun to your head? Would you eat meat then?
Someone please, hold a gun to my head.