Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ten Sure Signs That The Vegan Revolution Is Imminent

You’d better believe it is happening, suckas. Lead, follow or get out of the way because no matter what you choose, the vegan revolution is upon us, so it’s best to just accept that fact. Doubt me? Let’s look at ten rock solid facts that prove that the vegan revolution is imminent.  
  1. We see your wall of laxatives and we raise you fiber. Walk into any drugstore and you will find row after row of products designed to make your bowels do what they are supposed to do naturally. Do you know what you are not doing when you are sitting on the potty, trying to go to the bathroom? You are not moving up the corporate ladder, you are not creating great works of art, you are not changing the world. You may be getting caught up with your new Pottery Barn catalog but is this how you envisioned spending your time? You know who is not wasting time in the bathroom? Vegans. Seriously, we are in and out. Bim-bam. We’re not in there counting bathroom tiles. Also, omnivores spend not only excessive time in the bathroom but money on laxatives, antacids, aids for lactose intolerance, heart disease and cholesterol-lowering drugs. You know what we take? B-12. 
  2. We’re adaptive and flexible. Despite the public perception of us being a bunch of impossibly rigid doctrinaires, we’re like the MacGyvers of food, masters of improvisation, capable of turning millet, some frozen peas, a half a lemon, a quickly ripening avocado, an onion and nutritional yeast into not only a meal but one worthy of blogging about. The same goes for eating out: Seriously, once I was stuck in rural Illinois and I made a pretty decent meal at a toll plaza with what I could find at a Chinese restaurant (rice), a Middle Eastern place (hummus) and a Mexican restaurant (hot sauce). Veganism is expensive? You guys crack me up.  
  3. We’re a bunch of well-rounded smarties. Simply by living as vegans in society, we are often called upon to be adroit at discussing and debating world religion, evolution, history, human physiology, philosophy, nutrition, ecology, logic and more. We’ve had to research, craft and hone persuasive arguments and defend them at the drop of a hat. Who else is expected to have such a wide breadth of knowledge? Tennis players? Furniture makers? Seriously, anyone who walks into a debate with a vegan and expects an easy-breezy time of it is in for a rude awakening. The revolution is ours! 
  4. Our entrepreneurs are totally working it. Craving chicken without wanting to contribute to animal cruelty or global warming? Got it covered. Want to grill a brat without eating a tortured cow? Yeah, you can have that, too. Want to live in style while doing it? No sweat. Oh, and Bill Gates, the nerd-king of philanthropy-minded entrepreneurialism, kind of thinks we’re on to something so I’m going to run with it.
  5. We can read labels at warp speed and with incredible accuracy. Whey is not going to slip past our laser-focused, squint-eyed scrutiny, let alone freaking carmine. I’m not sure what this particular skill has to do with the revolution, but it has to count for something. At the very least, those unaccustomed to scrutinizing labels will not get the cushy jobs after the revolution, that much is certain. 
  6. We’re early adopters. Who do you see leading the way to the future, the namby-pamby ones who just sort of aimlessly wander about like wind-up toys or the ones with real foresight? For example, vegans were waaaaaaay ahead of the curve in terms of being all over kale’s business. We worshipped those dark leafy greens when everyone else was still scrunching up their noses and going, “EW! What’s that?” Okay, so we occasionally border on fetishizing kale. There are worse things. 
  7. We’re faster. Not only do we not have animal products squeezing plaque in our arteries like toothpaste, making our tummies revolt and forcing us to hang out in the bathroom (see #1), but we’ve had to learn to move fast on our feet because we know if we are even five minutes late to the vegan potluck, we may only get the last torn dregs of a salad and some broken tortilla chips. The new world order will smile most favorably upon the upon the speediest revolutionaries. 
  8. We’ve got thick skins. Yeah, we kind of have the unfortunate reputation as the sensitive, mopey types, weeping over our already tear-stained Morrissey lyrics, but we are made of surprisingly resilient stuff. We’re used to being the elephant in the room so we can take whatever you toss our way. Did we ruin the family’s Thanksgiving celebration just by showing up? Been there. Did we get blamed when Aunt Betty’s birthday at the steak house is less enjoyable because people feel guilty when they looked at us with our iceberg lettuce salad? Done that. Were we accused of being judgmental, ungracious, rude, holier-than-thou and misanthropic simply for existing as vegans? Yes, of course, a million times, you bet, yeppers. Do we enjoy being called names for following our ethics? No. Can we handle it? Yes. We are a stronger breed of people. 
  9. We’re thrifty. Has the price of meat, eggs and dairy and free-range unicorn hooves got you down? You won’t catch the vegans whining because we know how to kick it like the least affluent people around the globe: grains, legumes, seasonal produce, herbs, growing our own, and so on. Wastefulness is not a quality of revolutionaries. 
  10. MILK. Just milk. Have you seen the dazzling array of non-dairy milks lately? Hazelnut, cashew, flax, oat, horchata, vanilla hemp, chocolate almond, coconut-rainbow-magick-sunbeam milk?! Who the heck buys cow’s milk anymore? Seriously. Boring, average people who will soon be steamrollered over by the revolutionary tanks of vegan love, that’s who.  
It’s happening. It’s time to accept the inevitable. 


  1. Do you want to make social justice history? Then vegan is the ticket!

  2. I love and agree with everything. My only criticism is that I would have made the one about camping trips in the bathroom #2 instead of #1. ;)

  3. Well said, baby! We knew kale before kale was cool!

    Every once in a while, I get lost in the pharmacy and see the huge aisle of laxatives and think, "Wow, people really take those?"

  4. I get the point, but I think that this article erases a lot of the differences in the vegan community and doesn't help the perception of veganism as an extremely privileged lifestyle choice.

  5. I guess so, Anonymous. If, in fact, you think eating rice with hummus and hot sauce to be "extremely privileged." (At least, more privileged than the average person living in an industrialized society.)

  6. Barry N. Taylor, DVMJuly 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Very well written- couldn't agree more. I take only VERY minor exception in that all of these reasons involve only the plant-based diet portion of being vegan. You left out the most essential part of being vegan; the moral/spiritual portion. This is what truly differentiates Vegans from mere plant eaters. The greatest benefit, by far, of a vegan lifestyle is that you can call yourself an animal lover and hug your dog with a clean conscience, you can weep for the hungry or call yourself an environmentalist without being a hypocrite, and you can face your meal without, deep down - no matter how you try to rationalize it - knowing you are a murderer.

  7. I love that video, Anonymous! Thanks for reminding me about it.

  8. You are right, Vegan Rabbit. :D

  9. Thank you, Pitbull Friend! I know: it really is a shocking and bizarre thing to see.

  10. Anonymous, this wasn't about unity or disunity. That's another article for another time. Also, I hear that about veganism being a position of privilege but, again, not the point of this piece. It generally seems to be the way to try to get us to feel bad and shut up, though. So we have privileges: shouldn't we use them to try to do the most good rather than beat up each other over them?

  11. Good point, Pitbull Friend. :D

  12. I hear you, Barry, but since I bring this up all the time in other essays and this one was supposed to be more irreverent, I left it out. I always think that is implied, but maybe not. Thanks for your feedback!

  13. "Veganism is expensive? You guys crack me up."
    Wow, way to reveal your lack of understanding. Let me assure you as a vegan who knows exactly how difficult and expensive veganism can be you are so wrong and so short sighted. Many of us poor people deal with things from lack of a kitchen to prepare food to living in what are called "food deserts" (you can google that since clearly you are so privileged you don't get it.)Some of us even deal with a lot of these limiting factors all at once. Why some vegans don't get that is beyond me, you may have access to resources but not everyone does. Vegans need to push for things like SNAP funding and nutritional counseling and neighborhood gardens. It's not enough to say "veganism is cheap" simply because YOU are lucky enough to have gotten your food easily.

    As a personal anecdote, I did an experiment a year or so back as I started my weight loss journey. Now, at the time it wasn't so much "veganism" I was shopping for as a healthy Dr Esselstyn diet. I came to the "oh so this is veganism" part later. But I shopped for my family of four a healthy plant based diet one week and the next I just allowed them whatever sort of processed crap they asked for. Let me assure you the processed crap week was cheaper by far. As one example, six stuffed peppers to feed everyone was 9 dollars and that wasn't that nights only ingredient whereas dollar burgers and fries for all came to 8.89. I still have the receipt even though it's fading now. While I have gotten healthier over the course of this deal and I damn sure agree with the ethics of it, I do pay for it. Pretending other people have the same experience you do is not going to sell veganism. Talking about the issues openly and honestly will.

    1. Everybody has a different story to tell.

      I think the point of this piece is worth regards to people who have a choice. Not people who are poor and have to find the cheapest and most available sustenance as possible. Veganism was re-discovered because people realised they did have a choice.

      So often the middle of society (that being most of us, working class) shrugs off veganism because they believe wrongly that they will have to spend extra money at speciality food shops for some amazing specialty foods that will somehow replace what they are missing from animal products.

      This is faulty because plant foods contain all the same benefits, such as protein and calcium for example, that they would get on an animal diet. In reality, vegans eat very simply -examples include rice, cereals, vegetables, noodles, nuts, seeds, fruit, maybe some soy products - combine them in any combination and eat. Not to mention vegans must know how to cook or at least buy fresh, so those ingredients are massively cheap.

      We are not talking about the poverty-stricken who have to buy 4 hamburgers for a £ (or $)... We are talking about people who buy supermarket meats and cheeses which are a huge expense in food shopping. Just compare a kilo of meat to a kilo of carrots and the picture becomes more clear.

      The conclusion is that veganism is cheaper and healthier for those worth means to food resources.

  14. Regarding accusations of privilege, check out this article:
    "The problem with privilege-checking"

    Also see these lyrics by Propagandhi:
    "And yes, I recognize the irony that the very system I oppose affords me the luxury of biting the hand that feeds. But that’s exactly why priviledged fucks like me should feel obliged to whine and kick and scream- until everyone has everything they need."

  15. Shouts of praise and an applaud of gratitude for a post that left the world a little lighter for me! I identified with every step of the rEvolutionary Way.

    I live w-a-y below poverty-line. Privileged? I ain't it. Happy to live as ethically as my meager funds will allow? Absolutely. Do I encourage people with a higher income than me (which is mostly everyone I know) to do the same? For sure.

    Shamelessly proud to be broke and kind. We can all try better without causing others harm.

  16. As a direct result of this uplifting blog, Marla, I have purchased two of your books. Fabulous! Keep telling it like it is. Love you! :)

  17. Hi, Jenni - We have also struggled financially over the years and for you to presume that I am "privileged" is a disappointing conclusion to jump to, I believe. The fact is, the least affluent people in the world are often vegan by default: rice, beans, etc. are not always inexpensive for those struggling but they are FAR more affordable than most foods. I do understand that not everyone has a kitchen, but must I address every personal circumstance in one paragraph? That is unfair. (Truth be told, if you have a rice cooker, you can cook a meal without gas: rice, beans, veggies all together. I speak from experience. Enough said.)

  18. Thank you, Brandon. Calling people out on their "privilege" is the new way of saying "shut up."

  19. Thank you, Bea! You are a true sister!

  20. Thank you so much, Vegan For Life Of Course! I so appreciate it. <3

  21. Thank you for your wise words, DigOphelia. There was an article floating around about a month or two ago from a fashion magazine. The author "tried on" veganism for about a week and couldn't get over how expensive it was. Of course she was buying specialty items, like forbidden rice and goji berries! Not a part of the average vegan's diet, I don't think. :D

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  23. Love this!

    Thanks so much for such a hope-filled and hope-inspiring post. Made my day. Cheers!

  24. "Have you seen the dazzling array of non-dairy milks lately? ...
    Who the heck buys cow’s milk anymore? Seriously."

    "Who the heck buys cow’s milk anymore? Seriously"

    "Who the heck buys cow’s milk anymore?"

    "Who buys cow’s milk anymore?"

    "Who buys cow’s milk?"



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