Friday, May 3, 2013

Random Things That Only Other Vegans Will Be Able to Innately Understand

Did you know that vegans possess: Superior knowledge? Uncanny intuitive abilities? A new emotional spectrum? The ability to perform feats of uncommon cunning? Being a vegan in this world is a little like being a circus performer in that we have quirky little idiosyncrasies that are uniquely ours, though ours are adapted by swimming against the current in our culture. Some traits are impressive and useful, others are simply bizarre and perhaps annoying, but all of them are interesting.

As a vegan, you alone understand...

* The concern that you may actually be creating a new lung disease from inhaling too much nutritional yeast.

* That feeling of being super-excited when someone tells you that she is thinking about giving up meat but you feel like you have to sit on your hands to not start jumping around in excitement so instead, you pretend to be all blasé while you’re mentally checking off every link you are going to send her.

* When you go to your first all-vegan event and you know that you can eat anything there but you still can’t stop asking if everything is vegan because you are so used to having to do that. Oh, and then you end up eating every speck of food you can get your hands on just because it’s vegan.

* You sometimes want to tell the rest of the world that vegans totally knew kale before everyone else did.

* You are the one who your co-worker goes to when her cousin wants to ask some questions because her ex-tennis partner is considering going vegan but is worried because she heard soy will kill her.

* You learn about a new vegan cheese that’s just The Best! and you’re all “Z!O!M!G!how-can-i-get-some?!” and you spend all day trying to track some down unsuccessfully but it’s all forgotten when you hear about the new vegan Butterfingers-style candy bar and then you spend another day in fruitless pursuit of that instead. You console yourself knowing that tomorrow there will be something else you can’t get until the novelty has worn off.

* When your best friend breaks up with the “last hetero vegan male on earth,” you listen to a Colleen Patrick-Goudreau podcast together over a box of tissues and some Fair-Trade chocolates before helping her create a new profile on a vegan dating site.

* The anxiety you feel when dining out with a group of meat-eaters and the idea to order ”family style” is brought up.

* You have a habit of scoping out someone else’s animal product-free grocery cart (“cart snooping”) when you’re in the checkout line and then trying to figure out a non-creepy icebreaker to find out if he’s vegan. You're not even sure why you need to know this.

* You can skim a label, a menu and a recipe like you’ve graduated magna cum laude from the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics program. Relatedly, you can look at any recipe and see within moments how easily you can modify it to being vegan.

* Upon hearing that a celebrity is vegan, you’re all like, “Yeah, right. Not falling for that one again. Next!”

* The first thing you look at with a pair of shoes you like is not the price but the manufacturer’s tag inside it. (I don’t have to explain this because the vegans will understand.)

* You align yourself with the Abolitionists and you are not even a Civil War reenactor.

* The server at your local Thai place automatically repeats back to you, “Tofu, no fish sauce, no eggs,” before you even order.

* You consciously route out your trip through the grocery store so you won’t have to pass the corpses.

* If you are a freelance writer, you refer to animals as “he” and “she” and this is duly noted by your editor but whatever. She can take out your pronouns but you won’t.

* The first thing you look at when you visit another vegan’s home is her cookbook collection, which might even be more impressive than your own, you note with awe.

* Your egg salad sandwich that supposedly tastes “JUST like eggs!” probably won't to omnivores but that’s perfectly okay. (Similarly, when we say, “You can’t taste the difference,” about anything we make, well, that’s probably not true but, again, perfectly okay.)

* You understand that if you arrive at the vegan potluck even ten minutes after people start eating, all that will be left for you to eat are some oily craisins at the bottom of a bowl so you always arrive early to, um, help set up.

* When you see children eating red popsicles and you know that in addition to the high fructose corn syrup, they are eating tiny cochineal insects.

* You possess an encyclopedic knowledge of every way in which humans abuse other animals.

* You understand that building excitement as you are reading the ingredients on a label but then the crushing disappointment when you are 3/4 of the way through reading it and you see the words “whey” or “lanolin.”

* You bring your own food when you visit your parents, even if you’re only there for a couple of hours. You also find yourself in the rare role reversal of admonishing your parents to eat their vegetables.

* When the only item a restaurant offers is a hummus wrap, it feels like an act of aggression against your very person.

* When you and your vegan friends talk about someone you know who is an ex-vegan, your somber, hushed tones makes it sound like you’re talking about somebody who has died in a horrible accident. Conversely, it may sound like the person is an axe murderer.

* You automatically can name a couple of vegan restaurants in practically every major (as well as some minor) U.S. city whether you’ve been there not. You may even be very familiar with the menu, weekly specials, and Yelp rating.

All this and more...


  1. As usual - You don't disappoint!

    The cart-snooping thing... When there *are* animal products present at the check-out: I try to (in a noncreepy) way mention the alternatives. It's especially easy with cow's milk as I always have a carton of almond milk handy for label comparison. In less than 2 minutes I can (hopefully) get them to doubt their choice. Once I even had a woman switch with me - Well worth the walk back to get my replacement too! ;)

    Ex-vegans have died. Their hearts stopped functioning in a horrible event of their own making.

  2. We should totally get this list going:

    345.- You laugh at the conception of a "vegetal sandwich".

  3. That's awesome, Bea! I love that you do that. <3

  4. We should, Ergo! That sounds terrifying, like vegetable skeletons or something. :)

  5. I do have an awesome vegan cookbook collection.

  6. The mental high five feeling you get anytime you hear someone talk about their horrible food poisoning from seafood or chicken. Dodged that bullet :-)

    Also I don't like people to suffer in any way, but it's like you think "thank god I don't eat seafood".

    Also the paranoid feeling that your random leg itch might be a sign of B12 deficiency so you proceed to take that extra dose 'just in case'.

  7. Nadine, any time I am at all forgetful, I pop a B12 as if that will immediately help. :D

  8. Not to mention the "I don't want to sit there"-frustrated-mourning-look on a leather couch in someone else's house. :D

  9. Ugh! I know that look all too well!

  10. You can recite by heart the top 15 "arguments" carnists make against veganism, beginning with "Mmmm, bacon!"

    And you want to scream out when you're in the dairy aisle and full-grown men and women are putting gallons of cows' milk into their carts which are already overflowing with yogurt and cheese - "Get off the tit already!! Wean yourselves!" And then you have no sympathy at all when those people come down with nasty colds and hacking coughs due to their dairy addiction.

  11. Have just encountered your page and I guess you should be complimented for this piece. More power to you!

  12. Hey, Marla,

    Hate to be the bringer of bad news, but I think someone's taking credit for your work. :(

    Check this out:



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