On being vegan (and why I hate vegans)

I've been outed as a vegan. I am. But also very anti-vegan. Let me explain ...

In theory, it should be easy to define veganism - a person that uses no animal products in their life. But, like most things in life, it's not that simple. Vegans cover a spectrum: uber-light to uber-strict. So let's start with a taxonomy of vegans ...


I first heard this term from my friend Claire, a self-confessed vaguen. We worked together near a place that did fantastic falafel wraps for lunch. They were 100% vegan, but Claire simply could not resisted the halloumi cheese option. And that's what a vaguen is - a vegan with just one non-vegan thing that they cannot resist.

Vegan ordinaria

The ordinary vegan are your bog standard plant-based only lifestyle people. They do their very best to live in a vegan way, but are normally tolerant of small hiccups (such as a hot drink stirred with the same spoon as a non-vegan drink).

These two types of the species vegan are the most common. You might know some of them. You might even know some of them, and not realise it as they can be quiet folk. It's extremely likely you can have a conversation with them on a wide range of topics. Which brings me on to ...


These are the vegans I hate. They are the ones that make this joke true:
Q: How do you know if somebody is a vegan?
A: They tell you.

For VEGANS, it is not enough to be a vegan. They are on a singe-minded mission. Their mission is simple: to persistently preach, rant, and rave  to explain why everybody else is inferior to them. There is no subject of conversation that cannot be turned into their cause ...

You: Weather's a bit hot, isn't it?
Them: That's because you eat meat, so your body can't regulate temperature. [No, it's just hot.]

You: I have a cold, and am feeling a bit snotty.
Them: That's because you drink milk, and the human body isn't made to digest milk. [No, I have a cold.]

Here's an excellent example of a VEGAN (h/t @Scientits)

Prince was vegan.


Unfortunately, since they are the most vocal, VEGANS give the rest of us vegans a bad name. We're not all like that. In fact, I can go as far as saying, I hate VEGANS at least as much as non-vegans hate them. Probably more, since they see meat eaters as the enemy, but vegans that aren't as all-consumed in the vegan cause as traitors.


Herein ends my anti-vegan rant. But it wold be remiss of me not to have a bit of a rant at non-vegans. Not all non-vegans, just the ones that do these things ...

Persistently ask me what I eat

Asking in the first instance is fine. I normally answer along the lines of: any plant-based foods such as vegetables, beans, pulses, and gains. It's when it keeps going on that I get bot annoyed and confused. What follows is pretty close to a genuine conversation that followed from my previously given answer ...

What about broccoli?
Yes. I eat broccoli. And all other vegetables.
What about bacon?
No, I do not eat bacon. Or any other meat.
What about carrots?
Yes. Carrots are vegetables.
Drink milk?
No. It comes from an animal
What about gravel?
No. I do not eat gravel. It's a ... hang on, do you eat gravel?
No, but I wondered if vegans did.
... and so on until I think we'd covered pretty much every potentially edible thing.

These conversations are far more common that I every expected - and are very tedious. I am seriously thinking of playing 'animal, vegetable, mineral' with these people. For money. I'd be very rich.

People that want to argue against veganism

It never ceases to amaze me how many people are offended at my veganism. I am still confused as to why my preference for a Linda McCartney sausage over a Wall's pork sausage is so upsetting to them. If I don't bang on about your lifestyle choices, them please don't bang on about mine. Deal? Deal!

While we're on the subject, for all of those that say "if everybody was vegan, there wouldn't be any cows" - just stop. Engage brain. Move on.

You're vegan, but you smoke!?

Yes. I'm neither proud nor ashamed of either fact. But, you might want to siting down before I tell you this. Sitting comfortably? Tobacco is a plant. Cigarettes are not hunted from herds of tobacco-haired bison roaming the North American plains. I am sorry if this has come as a surprise to you.