Here's how the world responds when I say I'm a vegan

Vegan confessions: Everything you wanted to know about veganism and weren’t afraid to say
Here's how the world responds when I say I'm a vegan
Here's how the world responds when I say I'm a vegan

As a vegan, I’m met with many diverse reactions. Bewilderment, confusion, sympathy, dismissal and the occasional admiration. Staff at the local supermarket know me well as the girl staring at the ingredients for a good few minutes. All formal introductions, dining table jokes, and, generally, jokes about me have revolved around my dietary identity. To most, I could well be an alien species. 

Here are some questions and comments I've had to field:

"What DO you eat? Grass?"

"Don't you know you're messing up the food chain, the ecosystem?”

“Are carrots vegan?”

“You can’t eat curd rice, you fake Tamilian!”

“Is sperm vegan?”

“How are you alive?” 

Vegans sometimes have to pinch themselves to check if they are alive. We tend to fall into plant-based comas.

Sometimes I get the really intellectual responses: 

“If this was cooked on a pan that also had non-vegetarian food in it at some point, is it still vegan?” Congratulations! I'm stumped.

“Plants have feelings! Plants are beings! You are still a murderer.” 

“Have you ever thought that animals want to be eaten?” 
That they would happily sit on your plate and scream, “EAT ME”? Sure.

“Is cannibalism okay among vegans?” 
At this point, I am really coveting your flesh.

When you say you’re vegan, it’s fascinating how everyone turns into a nutritional expert and an evolutionary biologist.  

“Where do you get your protein?”

“Do you know that there is a reason why your forefathers ate curd rice?”

"You are actually a carnivore and going against nature's plan!"

“Your concussion isn’t from walking into a glass door, it’s from being vegan!” 

And, it also invites a staggering amount of defensiveness about what other people eat. “I would die without cheese! I would die without paneer! My chicken! My lamb!” Okay. I’m going to take none of that away. Please relax.  

“You don’t know what you’re missing! You should enjoy the food life has to offer you!” Great, I will! Just the “was not an animal or came from an animal” side of life’s buffet table. 

“Do you also carry a jhola, believe in communism and tell people they should be organic, gluten-free hippies?”
I definitely shop from Fabindia, so you connect the dots. 

“Why are you vegans so self-righteous and shoving veganism down our throats?” Actually, the number of times non-vegetarians and vegetarians have brought up my veganism has been far higher than the times I’ve even mentioned it.  

“If I give you a million dollars, would you eat this chicken leg?” I'd ask you to leave the money on the table, and with my swift and nimble footwork, I will grab it and run away. My secret? I eat what a gazelle eats. Ha!

It’s been three years since I turned vegan. The first year was largely filled with fuming over “Plants have feelings” arguments. The second had more arguments. The third has exhaustion and a general need to indulge only those who seem genuinely interested to know why I chose to be vegan. 

It's a matter of dignity of life for animals, it's also a belief that milk and meat are not necessities for the body. And it's also a choice if you do not want to be part of the demand and supply of products involving cruelty in their production.

Is it easy? Yes and no. Is it practicable? Honestly? No. Egg whites are used in capsules.  Face it, we’ve accustomed ourselves to a world where we are bound to use both animal products and by-products inadvertently. But we're trying to afflict the least harm with our actions. Aren't animals going to be consumed anyway? Yes, but at least I am not going to play a role in it, and would rather be involved in this movement that wants to challenge the way we see animals. With compassion.

If you still want to know why, here's why I don't consume milk, meat, other dairy products and honey. Here's why I don't wear silk, wool or leather.

But finally, this is the clincher of an argument that really made me think: “Did you know Hitler was a vegetarian?”

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute