What is the worst thing about being a vegetarian or a vegan?

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Do I have select only one? I have had my fair share of interesting experiences trying to get vegetarian food. They sound funny when I think about it, but trust me was quite a bit irritating when they happened.
 

Veganite

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The worst thing for me, as summer arrives, is going on outings where there's nothing but meat eaters and meat grilling on a BBQ. I used to like the smell once upon a time, but now I find it repulsive. Even just walking about in the neighborhood I occasionally catch smells of people barbecuing their meat, and it just about turns my stomach every time.

I get invited several times throughout the summer months to friend and/or family events. Some of them, like with family, I can simply bring my own food and sit far from the grill, but other events I don't wish to be rude, so I don't even mention my lifestyle differences. Nowadays, I often decline invitations that I know will have such things. My own family is supportive, which is all I can ask, really.

What I particularly dislike is when you go to a hardware store or some other huge retail place and they have some outdoor event or anniversary celebration, where they grill hot dogs and hamburgers to give away to the public. Then you go through the checkout and the cashier says "don't forget to grab a free burger or hot dog on your way out". Then I ask, "where's the veggie burgers? What, no vegan option?"


*
 

Kellyr

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…What I particularly dislike is when you go to a hardware store or some other huge retail place and they have some outdoor event or anniversary celebration, where they grill hot dogs and hamburgers to give away to the public. Then you go through the checkout and the cashier says "don't forget to grab a free burger or hot dog on your way out". Then I ask, "where's the veggie burgers? What, no vegan option?"


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Ha - and even if they did offer a vegan option you know they'll have cooked that veggie burger on the same grill as the beef ones and flipped it with the same spatula. So gross.

I find myself in such situations often and I just try to be polite and take it, hamburger grease and all. It's disgusting to me, but I pick and choose my battles where I want to be picky - and if it's food being freely offered to me via a company event or other social gathering, knowing these people are actually trying to be accommodating to me, I bite my tongue.

My tolerance of tasting animal grease all over my vegan food is declining however, and I may find myself just avoiding eating a contaminated veggie burger altogether and have the "sides".

I still find the worst thing about being veg*n is the knee-jerk reactions you get out of some omnis when they find out - the usual lame comments about protein deficiency, or that it's unhealthy because you have to supplement, or "plants have feelings, too" :expressionless:

I find the in-fighting in the vegan community distasteful, as well, and often feel like the meat, egg and dairy industries watch this and laugh.
 

xybernick

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Having social anxiety it can sometimes be difficult when you have to explain yourself, as if being vegan is looked down upon.
 
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Lou

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I'm the only vegan I know. Being socially impaired doesn't help me to connect with other vegans. I know of a group of vegan activist here where I live but they might as well be on the moon. I did some volunteering once and it was fun but also stressful because of the inevitable social interaction.

Vast majority of the population won't or perhaps, can't comprehend veganism one bit. At least this is the case in my social circle. All they acknowledge is the diet, maybe also the health reasons but when it comes to ethics.... Ethics, the biggest part of veganism and the most logical argument against animal agriculture, I've lost them.
So the worst part for me personally is the occasional frustration with omnivores, being an oddity in the eyes of friends and family, also this sort of loneliness.

I don't want to sound like a douhce or like I'm all high and mighty. I know it's hard for people to internally adopt the idea that what they eat everyday could somehow be ethically wrong. To them it's "just" food and they don't want to change anything because it seems difficult for them. Usually you really have to want to be vegan it doesn't just happen.
 
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Lou

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Hmm. I thought I posted something here besides the video.

Well... I'm a cheap sonofabitch and what I don't like is when I eat out.
For instance, at Subway I get a Veggie Delite. And it is the same price as the ham and cheese. They both have the same veggies. So I feel like I'm paying for a ham and cheese and not getting any ham and cheese. Not that I want any ham and cheese - but shouldn't it be cheaper?

Or at the taqueria. I get a vegetarian burrito. but have them hold the cheese and sour cream. But I'm still paying for the cheese and sour cream. I feel like I'm not getting my money's worth.

Then at the pizza place. I have them hold the cheese. but I'm still paying full price.
 

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Worse place is work. Each birthday, celebration there’s cakes, biscuits, etc. Though there is the occassional thoughtful one who at least brings in fruit too. But like others I’ll take one, not to be rude if I’m asked directly and take it home for my son who is vegetarian! It’s just not worth the hassle. But it also gives me the perfect excuse not to be tempted back - as only 2 months in. As to the vitamin deficiency, I’ll see how I am 4 years down the line!
 
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veganDreama

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I try not to think about the worst thing about being vegan.

I suppose the worst thing about caring for animals is when I read a book and it casually mentions things like going fishing or wearing fur. I wish their were more successful vegan writers around. I've only read one book called 'under the stairs' by Mary Brady that shows vegans in good light. Vegan writers better hurry up and write more books!
 
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Sax

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Definitely the alienation. Having such a different set of values compared to almost everyone else in your life is hard. Especially considering that food is and always has been a focal point of culture and human bonding. And also considering that we are so obviously right and no one else seems persuaded by that obviousness to change their behavior and stop hurting animals.
 
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Lou

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I try not to think about the worst thing about being vegan.

I suppose the worst thing about caring for animals is when I read a book and it casually mentions things like going fishing or wearing fur. I wish there were more successful vegan writers around. I've only read one book called 'under the stairs' by Mary Brady that shows vegans in good light. Vegan writers better hurry up and write more books!

I know what you are talking about. And that kind of stuff resonates with me, too, but it rarely bothers me. Maybe because a lot of the stuff I read is either historical or its Fantasy taking place in a pre-technological society. So their animal husbandry may not be kind or even ethical. but it's not abusive.
 

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I find the in-fighting in the vegan community distasteful, as well, and often feel like the meat, egg and dairy industries watch this and laugh.
In the history of the Vegan Society, coups and attempted coups of the Michael Heseltine / Margaret Thatcher variety abound. Donald Watson was not only ousted from the leadership but ostracised by people with the attitude, “We are more vegan than you.” In 1950 he was further humiliated by having his honorary title stripped away. This was not reinstated until 1988.

Can we all not have second thoughts before being unkind?

Forums seem to be like rambling clubs in that they tend to attract a higher proportion of the lost, the lonely and the attention seekers than you might normally expect to meet. Perhaps we could try being a bit more astute at recognising them? The lost we can sympathise with. The lonely we can befriend.

But the attention seekers we should steadfastly ignore. Even though they can be sooo exasperating! :)

Roger.
 

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Maybe because a lot of the stuff I read is either historical or its Fantasy taking place in a pre-technological society. So their animal husbandry may not be kind or even ethical. but it's not abusive.
The problem is there are hardly any scenes that show animals being abused in farm animals. From reading fiction you'd think all farm animals are ok. There are a few books that show the horrors of animal testing though. The plague dogs by Richard Adams is about two dogs that escape from a research laboratory and it shows some of the nasty things that happen there.
 

Forest Nymph

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Honestly for me it's being in environmental science because I expect Trump voters and middle brow, middle class centrists to be meat eaters, but THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MEAT EATING ENVIRONMENTALIST. This is not even up for scientific debate anymore the results are in, animal agriculture and especially meat are ruining land, water and threatening forests and wildlife. But tell that to "the old guard" the vaguely narcissistic Boomers and Gen X professors who still eat meat, act like vegetarianism is mere philosophy, and in extreme cases mock vegan students. Dude these people anger me extremely, their hypocrisy is vile, like a Christian preacher who preaches about money. And they are supposed to be role models? Ugh.
 
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Nekodaiden

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At this point, I can honestly say I don't view my current lifestyle (the vegan part of it) in any negative light whatsoever. That's not to say things couldn't be improved, but just base vegan, nope, I see no negatives.

- Friends/family. Usually not an issue. Most of my meals I eat alone anyway, and this suits me. My friends know I'm vegan, and by now should know it's also not just a fad diet for me, so if we're eating together and I suspect they won't be accommodating I'm filling up before I come.

- People mocking/laughing. Go ahead, I'm not obese, pay $400 a month in medical bills/medicine and have your health issues. Your scorn is more of a reflection of your arrogance and ignorance - I'm strong enough to see it comes from a position of weakness or even perhaps envy.

- Take out/restaurants. Cool, you don't have viable vegan options, you simply don't get my money. I don't get much takeaway anyway, but Subway is getting my business because their veggie sub/falafel is decently filling and they have at least a few options for animal free dressings.

Most of the rest of the concerns in my mind don't have to do with Veganism per se, but people and their pettiness, their self imposed arrogance and their stupidity. I would prefer it not to be this way, but it is, and I can say that without feeling like I'm some sort of self righteous jerk. I see and/or hear about people left and right struggling with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and almost none of them want to connect it to what they consume. I'm sorry, but this is stupid and that is the truth.
 
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I drive an hour and a half each way for work and am up before the sun, so by the time the end of the day comes I'm super tired. It would be nice to be able to go through a drive-thru on occasion and get something vegan. If I do ever opt for the drive-thru, I ask for a bun with all the veggies they can spare, but I've realized that some places use butter on their buns so I've stopped doing that. Plus, like someone else mentioned, the pricing--even if I get just the veggies and hold the meat/cheese, I get charged full price. One time, I was charged double--I asked for no meat/cheese and double the veggies, so the cashier went through and charged me for each additional veggie even though there was no meat or cheese. So now, if/when I do that, I always phrase it as "INSTEAD of the meat/cheese, can I just get double veggies?" Then they at least don't charge for the extras.

I also stopped doing fast food as a vegan because I've learned that although most people understand meat is not vegan, it seems like there are still loads of people who don't understand that cheese, mayo, butter, and most sauces are not vegan (and even when I ask for no cheese/mayo/etc, I seem to get it anyway about half the time).

On the flip side, I did have one positive experience just last weekend at a fast food place (though I'm hesitant to share, because politically I don't like the particular morals of this company). I had met up with my mom to have a day out, and she really wanted Chick-fil-A, so we went. I asked the cashier if I could just get a bun loaded with the veggies. He asked if I was vegetarian, and I told him I'm vegan. The cashier told me the most expensive part of the sandwich is the chicken and cheese, so he rang each piece up individually and then marked it as "Red Flag," which apparently in the kitchen means to ask the cashier about special instructions. He ended up charging me just $0.75 for the whole sandwich and put triple the amount of veggies they usually put, and he had them use clean gloves/utensils so as to not cross-contaminate it with chicken (I didn't even ask him to do that, he just did it for me). He went well above and beyond, and I was very grateful for that. I made sure to express my gratitude profusely, and let his manager know as well how great the cashier was.

In general, I hate that people always assume I'm going to preach veganism just because I'm vegan. I don't even tell people I'm vegan unless 1) they ask, 2) we're going out to eat together, or 3) they're cooking me a meal. Even if I'm offered something with meat, I generally just say "no thank you," without going into why. I'm very much a live and let live, and although I am always a proponent of veggie-based living and eating, I don't ever preach the way people stereotype vegans to do.
 
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Scott Joplin

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I think it's good that you don't feel you have to preach to be a vegan
 

Lou

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For me it use to be a lack of food options, but where I live things are changing and there are more options than there was 10 years ago!