struggling to stay vegan

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  1. Thank you for sharing your article. So many “ex” vegans blame “The diet” for their problems, yet anyone can make poor food choices. When we eat the same animal proteins for 10, 20, 30 years they become addictive and our body gets “used” to them. Many vegans eat a lot of processed foods, when we need to eat whole plant foods: vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.

    Dr. Klaper has a great video explaining why some humans have trouble being vegan. Their body was slathered with saturated animal fats for so many years, and all of a sudden, they stop.

    Social issues are a major reason for vegan challenges. Many friends, relatives, and co-workers are either critical or just uncomfortable around vegans.

    I am the only vegan (or vegetarian) in my family. I have almost no vegan friends and these issues are a challenge. However, I have been a whole food ethical vegan for over 25 years as I made a commitment to it.

    Have I had my challenges? yes, after growing up in an omnivore family. Letting go of cheese was a challenge. Yes, as I have tweaked my vegan “diet” over the years when I needed to eat more food and even healthier. I avoid processed foods 95% of the time. Yes, as I had lyme which was really depressing and a challenge (lyme creates parasites in our body which feed off our nutrients).
    Take a B12 pill almost every day based on your age.

    I do this for the ANIMALS, myself, and the environment, but in order to do that I had to do my homework and even ask for help from a clinical nutritionist via a blood test. That showed me what I had and what I was missing. Let us understand that many omnivore humans are malnourished and deficient in nutrients, even B12, as well as sick.

    Yes, find supportive humans on the internet if necessary. Take a 30-day vegan challange where you will be guided and supported. Many websites offer this. Get on and list the foods you eat to see what is missing. Best wishes, rachel

  2. Penny King says:

    I haven’t stopped being vegan but I worry a lot about getting enough protein.

  3. Chad Miller says:

    For the last two years I’ve been vegetarian. I was vegan for about 4 years of my life but struggled with some deficiencies. I’m an athletic person. In my life I’ve been a runner and a power-lifter so figuring out my diet can be a little tricky. But I’ve settled upon a diet that’s primarily whole-grain, beer and vegetable based. The only animal products I eat are butter and cheese. It’s working great for me. I feel strong in the gym and satiated from the foods. I’m living proof that you can still be a strong lifter and vegetarian. For my cheese I discovered this no-slaughter farm . I haven’t been able to find a no-slaughter source for butter though. Once I began reading about how the animals are treated, it broke my heart. And I’ve been on a mission to become vegetarian ever since.

  4. I’ve been vegetarian over 30 years since I was a kid and found it very easy to be honest. But in the last year after becoming aware of the cruelty in the egg and dairy industry I’ve gone vegan and I have to be honest and say I think it’s way harder than being vegetarian.

    I’m no great cook and find vegan recipes over complicated with too many obscure ingredients and also meeting nutritional needs is far harder. As a vegetarian I’d make simple veggie lasagna, and cottage pie using Quorn mince and dairy cheese. It was quick and simple and even meat eating friends would say it tasted as good as meat dishes. Now I can’t make those dishes unless I use vegan cheese which lets be honest tastes vile. The plant milks I’m good with but vegan cheese is awful and I don’t think it’s very healthy and it’s nutritionally not good either with little protein or vitamins. I’m also having to take lots of supplements to get all the nutrients I need where as if you consume dairy and eggs as well as lots of fruit and veg you didn’t need them. I also miss proper chocolate.

    I’m a committed animal lover so will stick to being vegan but I can’t pretend that it’s easy or enjoyable and I find it expensive now that I take protein, omega 3 and vegan multi vitamin and mineral supplements.

    I just wish I could find some healthy but simple vegan meals that I could enjoy – I don’t like cooking and find vegan meal recipes too time consuming and overly complicated with too many niche ingredients.

  5. Excellent article, thank you!! For the past six months during a period of high stress I really backslid and have been feeling very guilty, and my body also feels awful. I googled “struggling with veganism” today and found this. It’s so on point and helpful in my determination to recommit to veganism.

    1. Some easy meals I make: Lentil soup, Tofu dipped in marinade and fried with a big salad, veggie and chickpeas Mediterranean flavoured stews, red lentil curry/Dahl, burgers made with fried veg and mashed black beans, chickpeas or lentils and various spices, quickly mix in food processor but not over processed. Tofu kebabs with Taziki sauce or other sauce .

  6. Hi, I don’t know if my last comment went through, but I was quite confused about my experience with veganism.
    I am on antipsychotic medication which blocks dopamine ( thus affecting ability to be motivated), blunts my emotions, affects my memory and makes it difficult to comprehend things.

    I have been interested in going vegan for the last few years, but didn’t succeed. Lately I have been watching a couple of short videos about animal cruelty daily to stay vegan. ( It’s my first week of serious commitment and the videos are the thread that seems to keep me commited).

    I have a problem comprehending that the videos are real sometimes. Other times I watch the videos and I feel blunted ( but still something) compassion and shock, however because of my memory problems I do not usually retain any images of the videos to help me to stay vegan.

    I know if I stay vegan there is a chance I can reduce the antipsychotics. But it’s hard with all the side effects to retain knowledge, comprehend what I’ve seen and stay motivated.

    Any advice welcome.

  7. Hi there, thanks for the kind article. I have been trying to go wfpb for health reasons. But only just started watching docos about how the animals suffer. In the past I have found it hard to stay vegan because I am on antipsychotic medication which blocks up the brain and makes it really difficult to comprehend things and to feel emotions. Often I have a hard time recognising the meat for sale as actually having come from an animal. Sometimes I watch earthlings and somehow I feel emotions and cry, other times I feel nothing. I also have memory problems because of the medication, which means one day I might feel a huge motivation or calling to go vegan the next day I might feel and not remember any compelling reason to go vegan. My meds are really horrible to be on. Ironically I want to go vegan so I can get off the meds ( through nutrition) but the meds block dopamine too which is involved in motivation, so it’s like walking in the dark without a candle. Any advice would be appreciated. Ps my meds are unpredictable sometimes I feel nothing sometimes my humanity comes though. If I watch an animal abuse video a couple of times a day, I can remember that there’s a reason for veganism, but its more intellectual than emotional. I get glimpses of shock and compassion for the animals on most videos I watch but the feelings subside quickly because of the lack of memory probably. But if I watch something twice, I don’t usually feel anything unless it’s been a while since I last watched it.

  8. I became vegan two years ago after working in a chicken slaughterhouse. I worked there for an hour and then quit before riding out of that car park so fast in surprised I didn’t leave tyre marks. 2 years later, here I am still vegan, never ate another bit of meat or dairy (purposely anyway) since that day. However… In two weeks I’ll be moving to a fishing county. A big one. And before I became vegan, my dream job was a fish monger. I can already feel myself giving in to fish and forgetting why I stopped eating it in the first place. I have watched Seaspiracy not even that long ago, but the thing is… I don’t actually care that much about fish. Yes that is speciesism, but it’s the truth. I sea a cow in a field and I feel sick to the stomach knowing people eat them. I see an oyster at a supermarket and I just can’t make the same connection. I don’t know whether I’ll actually quit being vegan, but I am definitely struggling to keep it up.

    1. Hi Kaleb, I’m a bit late replying to your post, but I recommend watching The BBC Blue Planet series. It opens your eyes to the wonderful diversity of life in the oceans. If that doesn’t work try searching for sustainable seafood on the Marine Stewardship Council website. It’s so exhausting finding fish that are sustainable it’s easier not to eat them. Good luck in your journey.

    2. Holly Griffiths says:

      I can definitely relate to you in feeling the guilt I was of knowing I’m eating a seemingly sentient, emotional, warm blooded animal. I can’t always make the human like connection to fish for seafood. Having a pet fish and learning about them really helped me, learning that they feel pain (we previously believed they were somewhat incapable). Secondly, what helps me stay away from fish is knowing how deplorable their conditions are in farms, and being around fish, It’s not an appetizing smell/sight. Again the most I can recommend is doing research and you’ll be surprised how much we share similarities. Best of luck!

  9. Jodi Junkins says:

    P. S. Husband and I became vegetarian in 1990, and raised our kids that way. We did it for the animals.
    I’ve tried to transition to vegan several times. I don’t eat eggs.

  10. Jodi Junkins says:

    I do fine until I’m very hungry, and instead of my husband making dinner ( usual) , one of my grown kids orders 2 pizzas, and we all eat together.
    Once I start with cheese, it seems like a very slippery slope. Pretty soon, my husband is back to buying it at the store, not just having pizza when it’s delivered.
    Solutions for cheese addicts?

    1. Think of the baby cows being ripped away from their mothers. Think of the puss and blood in all dairy products. Think about the saturated fat which leads to the number one killer in the western world which is heart disease. Think about yourself.

    2. Hi there. Congrats on making an effort to change. The hardest thing for me was letting go of cheese, we all grow up on it and its’ on pizzas. However it is unnatural for animals to drink the milk of another animal, or even our species, after we are weaned. Cows milk has the perfect ratio of fat, protein, calcium, hormones for her offspring–but not for humans. Estrogens are rampant in cows’ milk and eggs, among other animal proteins. You have absolutely no need for those cow hormones, as saturated fats and higher estrogens/hormones have been linked with cancers.

      When I learned how innocent cows and egg-laying hens are treated, i stopped eating those and all animal proteins. Mother instincts are to bond with her offspring, but animal ag exploits moms as breeders and forces them to make milk and eggs.. I am very athletic and exercise a lot. I take B12 every week, it is just simple pills.
      I have now been a whole food ethical vegan for over 25 years, and am proud to have “saved” the life of over 2000 animals I did not eat. Its’ not hard, just consider the animals in all of your decisions. Watch video’s on and learn. And here are two short videos to help. Take care.

  11. Angamiombe says:

    I’ve tried veganism constantly. I know that it’s the right thing to do, but for some reason, I’ve never been able to consistently stay vegan. You’re right that unsupportive people around you can make it harder. All my family members find veganism to be a joke, but I really know it’s what I should do. How do I get over this hurdle so I can convince myself that quitting veganism is never the right idea?

  12. Good on you! And I can only imagine how confronting it would be to be vegan in a BBQ territory. Although, when you look at cities like Berlin, which have historically been in a meat-heavy region, is now a vegan haven. Things can change!

  13. Do you have any tips for living with parents that are strongly against veganism ( they went vegan before, and they are now eating animals products more than ever ). They don’t want to eat vegan stuff like processed meats, tofu, mushy vegetables, bland food, basically .. Everything that isn’t crispy and doesn’t have seafoods in it. My dad is a French chef, so he is very, very obsessed with his food. He hated being a vegan with me, even if I cooked him delicious meals. We are moving soon and he wants ME to eat non-vegan because me not eating like them is ” being a brat / not wanting to cut cost ” I cannot speak to them as they dont listen to me. Do you have any tips or advices for me? I feel lonely because i do not have any support at all. Even online.

    1. Hi Devon, you have your work cut out for you living under a roof with a French chef that isn’t keen on plant foods!

      If I were in your position, I’d accept that your parent’s perspective is unlikely to change, and I’d level up my cooking game to prepare and enjoy all my food.

      It sucks, I know. But I still feel it’s a better alternative than getting your parents to accommodate you.

      As for support. Have you searched for vegan FB groups in your city/country? Finding folks who are going through what you’re going through is critical for your morale.

    2. Start exercising and get healthy to be an example to those consuming animal and animal byproducts that will eventually succumb to the disease of excess and violence

  14. Hello ! I know exactly how you feel , in fact it’s almost like i could have written this text ^^ I am also in a very poor place with no vegan options and I was tired to eat tofu and legumes to the point of being physically sick. The convenience is really huge because not everyone can afford time and money wise to cook from scratch with good ingredients

  15. Hello, thank you for making this message! I have been trying to be Vegan for 8 times already and it’s been incredibly difficult for me to naviguate around the shame and non-support that i’ve been experiencing within the Vegan community … I live in a food desert and i tried my best to eat plant based when there is no supermarket here and before that, we couldn’t even find fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen ones was 12$ it was very very expensive. I think people have no idea how difficult eating a plant based diet can be when they are in a privileged position and that’s very unfortunate because people should support each other’s!! The animals and human being alike 💗

    1. Hi Matt, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a tough go at this. We travelled to remote areas a couple of weeks ago, and I can acknowledge how tough it can be to access plant foods in some regions. Where do people in your area buy food? What does a conventional diet look like?

      1. Hello back! Thank you for the reply🙏🏼
        Food security is still a big issues in a massive part of Canada if we count the extreme price raise for people like us on remote community. Very sad and unfortunate we feel powerless because nobody helps. Our last supermarket got destroyed a couple a months ago now we don’t have any other option but the convenience store which is only crisps. candies, salty snacks with hidden dairy, processed crap etc. What stuck me is that people are Okay with that.. I observed the food habits of people and they have bags filled with Pepsi, ice cream, processed already meals, it saddens me so much and I don’t know how they can process that into their body? Or maybe I have a very sensitive digestive system 🥴 Right now because of this situation that is putting our health in danger we decided to sell everything ( because we are poor and neither me& my family have income or transportation )

        1. I’m so sorry to hear that your local supermarket got destroyed. Vegan or not, relying on buying staple foods from a convenience store can’t be healthy. That must be super confronting for you!

          I’m surprised your local council/government hasn’t provided community support after what happened to the supermarket. I hope you and your family can eventually relocate.

    2. The point is, you make an effort. However, if there is no good food for you, start a food co-op, start a small farm growing what you can, order beans/lentils/brown rice by mail. There is always a solution and surely there are others around you who also want healthy foods.

      It is not expensive to eat well if you have the foods in your hands. Beans and rice are inexpensive to buy and use. If your iodine levels are low I would be careful of eating tofu. I am vegan for many years and eat very little soy, there are so many other beans to eat.

      Facebook is a great place to advertise what you do and to meet others who care.

      Best wishes on your journey. FIND A WAY to do it healthfully.

  16. I went vegan for my health and to feel better. It’s been a year and I don’t feel very well like I did the first few months. I do not eat much processed food. My main issue is I’m always bloated. I’ve been really fighting going back to eating meat. It makes me sad but I don’t want to live miserable.

    1. Hi Deena, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had this experience. It sounds like you’re at a point where consulting with a plant-based dietitian would be valuable. If there isn’t one in your area, I’m sure you can find credible practitioners willing to do online consults. Fingers crossed!

    2. non-vegan says:

      You are probably iron deficient.

      Most vegans don’t have their iron levels checked on a regular basis.

      This effects women worse than men.

      Low levels of iron in the blood can make you feel a variety of things, but none of them are healthy.

      See a doctor.

    3. Hi, Many vegans do not consume a balanced diet and can easily miss nutrients. Withdwal symptoms can happen from not eating meat for some humans.
      Get on and list what you eat. It will tell you what you get and what you are missing.
      Anemia happens mainly because of low folate, low iron, and low B12. You can also go to a dietician o nutritionist and get a blood test.
      Watch videos on and learn more about nutrition. Good luck to you.

  17. Do you have any sources ? I’m working on this topic in my research class and would like to know more about the struggles of this regiment through real data and previous researches.

    1. Hi Grace, no sources. All anecdotal from our personal experiences interacting and observing the vegan community. If you do find some interesting research, please feel free to circle back and share with us.

  18. I went vegan almost a year ago for health reasons but I have recently started eating some fish and seafood and find this to be a better balance and allows for some flexibility and variety particularly when eating out – my wife and kids are not vegan. I don’t eat junk food, alcohol, tinned food, dairy or gluten if at all possible and feel so much better particularly with my digestion but the biggest change to my health and shape has been from doing a couch to 5K. At 53 I’m very proud of the changes I’ve made and can’t see myself going back.

    1. Hi Rob, awesome work adjusting your nutrition to a vegetarian diet and getting into shape!

      I acknowledge your primary motivation is health, but I wonder if there’s a way you can continue to thrive without the seafood? There are many examples of athletes thriving on a 100% plant-based diet.

      In any case, your progress is inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I went vegan shortly after randomly coming across a farm animal sanctuary website while searching for a place to volunteer my time. The stories I read saddened me to the point where my change was almost instant. I simply could not support such an industry and i will never look back. That was around May 2021. I have been about 95% vegan, 4% vegetarian, and 1% “regular” since then. I am even working hard to consciously seek out vegan shoes, accessories, and vegan/cruelty-free household products. Back to my diet though… I don’t crave meat in any way, but if I am a restaurant with virtually no vegan options, I cannot sit and eat a bowl of applesauce while everyone else is having a meal, so I will get a dish that’s at least vegetarian which usually means i have to ask for the item without the meat. Its the best i can do right now but I still feel guilty. Please reassure me this is okay and probably somewhat normal??

    1. Hi Colleen, firstly, kudos to you for rolling up your sleeves and volunteering at an animal sanctuary — then committing to changing your lifestyle.
      I can’t comment on whether your experience is normal as we all have unique circumstances. I think it’s fantastic that you’re working hard to shift what you consume.
      I’ve never put myself in a situation where there a no decent vegan options on the menu. It’s become a habit to look at menus ahead (including alcohol), even in somewhat spontaneous moments. Additionally, friends and family have always been supportive and accommodating.

    2. I feel this. I’m gonna be living in a really little village and NONE of the 4 restaurants have even vegetarian options.. It’s very sad. You don’t have to feel guilty ever, don’t starve yourself

  20. Hi Yvette, I’m just catching up on comments. What a journey! But it sounds like you’re in a great place. I am sending good vibes your way for the transition. You can do it!

  21. I struggled to go vegan so many times, but I could never just leave being vegan alone because I know it’s the right thing to do. I first tried going vegan in early 2020, and I stayed with it for a while, not knowing what it was all about. I quit being vegan sometime later down the line that year and opted for a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet instead, but I was ignorant. I didn’t realize the harm that eggs, dairy, and honey seemed to cause, and when I found out, I felt compelled to go back to being vegan. After that, I went vegetarian again after a while because I felt being vegan was too inconveniencing. Then shortly after, I went vegan again. It was like an endless cycle of being on and off a plant-based diet.

    Eventually, I settled down on being vegan for about 7 months before I started experiencing nutritional deficiencies. I felt fatigued, weak, and sick all the time. I came to a feeling that the only way I can solve it is to go back to eating meat, so I did. That brought me to where I am now. I went back to eating meat, but after watching things like Dominion and seeing vegans make incredibly compelling cases for the ethics behind living vegan, I feel bad after eating meat now. I want to go vegan again, and I’m planning on starting back again tomorrow, Tuesday, October 26, 2021.

    My only issue is that I relate strongly to the “friends and family don’t support you” point in this article, and I feel like that will discourage me. All my friends and family think veganism is stupid and called me indecisive because I’ve gone on and off of it so many times. I’d like to change for the better and be vegan, not primarily for my health, the environment, or whatever, but for the animals. I really hope I’m not doing anything wrong by taking this approach.

  22. LadyAxolotl says:

    I was vegetarian for two years and vegan for a year and a half. And then I had a very unplanned and incredibly distressing pregnancy starting in March of this year– my body can’t handle hormones and I’m also anemic. I managed to stay vegan until around May and then I started craving mollusks– I have never liked seafood even when I wasn’t vegan. I saw that mollusk farms were actually good for the environment if they were done sustainably, so I thought it was okay. And then I wanted chicken and cheese. My partner and I tried to do an abortion from food we got online, but it failed. I became hungrier and hungrier. I found out I was still pregnant. I eventually had a surgical abortion in July. I still eat meat occasionally– alot this past week as my periods have been wilder physically and emotionally since the pregnancy and I have been craving meat. I didn’t even have this experience before I was vegetarian. I craved cheese, but never meat like this. I try to remember to take my iron and B12, but I am super ADHD, so I often forget. I am eating a turkey sandwich right now, mostly because my dad isn’t eating the turkey and I don’t want the turkey to go bad. And also because I’m craving meat. I’m like two or three days away from my period according to my app. I want to go back to being vegan. I do. Or even flexitarian, where I am mostly vegan, but occasionally eat ethically sourced animal products– if this is even an ethical way of doing this. I also do not know how to cook. I have been forbidden from using the stove by my family members due to my neurodivergence and just general Pooh Bear style confusion. I want to go back to being vegan I do. And vegan deli slices do not actually cost much and this is something easy I can make.

    1. Wow – what a rollercoaster year. Are you doing ok? I’m saddened to hear about your baby. Maybe it’s a good idea to speak with your dr about ways to check and manage hormones.

  23. Hi,
    Just saying Hi, reaching out, curious to see why people may change their belief systems, it works both ways, and I want to be a more effective advocate for veganism.
    I’ve been vegan for a decade now and feel that this is the very least that I can do for the animals and for the health of the planet.
    Keep on, your loving site is awesome.

  24. Geraldine says:

    Hi there Love the way you bring so much good vibrations to your viewers. I have been a vegetarian/
    vegan for 2 years now. The reason i am not just vegan is that cheese is my biggest problem. For health reasons i should not consume dairy. I find your site very relaxing to watch and read. When i started to become vegetarian /vegan i could not find a way how to plate food. Non veg/veg way of cooking have meat, starch and veg, how do i break that cycle of trying replace a old way of thinking and cooking to a new more healthy way of thinking and cooking. I have spend to much money on trying new recipes and allot of the recipes are quite costly, like the idea of only using the minimalistic ingredients in your cooking. Love the way you and your husband work with each other its very relaxing to watch. Thanks for an amazing experience.

    1. Hi Geraldine, thank you so much for your kind words. Eating plant-based is certainly a shift in mindset from veggies being a supporting act on the plate to taking the lead. We’ve found it helpful to focus on making your plant proteins the new hero of the dish and making them as interesting as possible. That means finding exciting ways to marinate tofu and tempeh or working aromatic spices into your lentils. We’ve found that a vegan diet is primarily more expensive when it comes to dairy replacements, but it’s super affordable outside of that.
      You’ve likely worked all of this out in the last couple of years 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, and hopefully, you can find longevity in a vegan lifestyle.

  25. TriangleHarem says:

    This is a lovely, thoughtful, and extremely compassionate, loving approach to reach out to people who want, struggling or who are vegan.

    I just want to comment on a previous comment that was posted by Jo on 16/8/18, where you quoted ‘…and I think a good point to make that hasn’t really been mentioned is that, especially for a new vegan — don’t align yourself with militant vegans. I’ve been on certain vegan Youtube channels, and some of these vegans are so pushy and militant. They shame you if you’re not a street activist, if you consume palm oil, honey, or if you eat Oreos.’

    I just want to shed some light on this, and it’s a bit dark and disturbing.

    Unfortunately, I dated what you would call an abolitionist vegan. His strong moral standpoint did initially make me feel that I would be safe in his company, and therefore safe to get involved in a loving relationship with him. So we went through an intense, but short-lived honeymoon period, followed by him devaluing me which was extrememly emotionally abusive (it stemmed from when he rang me up once, during the honeymoon period, and I was just too tired to speak to him), and obviously this hurt his ego so much it lead to him being callously abusive with me which led to him discarding me with an extreme lack of empathy and coldness.

    I found out from that he had randomly attempted to murder someone and had not one bit of remorse about it. Of course this was completely hidden from until he chose to reveal in the ‘discard’ stage of our relationship, which he used to deliberately frighten me for his own pleasure.

    And he was one of these militant vegans who spends his time trolling the internet as he has a very large contempt for anyone else who is also vegan , and spends all his energy, ‘as he is too intelligent to get a job’, giving intellectual arguments as to why other fellow vegans aren’t as morally superior to him.

    Then after that, I worked with someone in my previous job, who had a very risky history, basically a VERY dangerous person, who was keen to become a vegan. And I heard stories, of serial killers who were vegans or vegetarians, and a cannibal who was a vegan. For these people, they will probably spend there time grooming their next vitims, and some, if they are devoid of victims, will spend their time getting pleasure of pulling someone’s ethics to bits, just for one purpose, to appear to be the most morally superior.

    Sorry about the darkness and uncomfortableness of my comment. But if you feel yourself getting wound up and getting veraciously picked on my a fellow vegan, remember, it might just be their style of communicating and getting their message across, or it might be someone who takes pleasure of doing that – and if the latter is the case, you will not win in an argument with them.

    1. Sorry, I’m just catching up on comments. There’s a lot to digest here but overall agree with your punchline. Your experiences shed light on the context we can easily overlook when dealing with people who communicate and act in a militant way. Thanks for sharing with us.

    2. Hey, that was me! Lol.
      Your story is extremely “dark”, as you say.. and I find it rather upsetting and quite hypocritical. Veganism isn’t supposed to be about loving animals, but hating your fellow man/woman.. and yet, a lot of militant vegans wish death on non-vegans and shame other vegans for not being vegan “enough”. These are the very same people that, if they decide to no longer be vegan, will write about how they were “that” bullying, militant person, and how they’ve now seen the light and realize that living a vegan lifestyle isn’t “right” for your they go back to being the very people they’ve once shamed, and are now shaming anyone who is vegan. It’s a real shitshow. xD
      I don’t care what other people do. I’m not gonna lie and say that I don’t wish the whole world was vegan, but everyone is on their own path and needs to stay in their lane. Leading with love, not hatred or contempt, is the only way to go, whether you’re vegan or not.
      Jo xx

  26. Hey Alicja, I’m wondering how ur being now that a week has passed?

    I absolutely resonate with your thoughts and words. 4 months ago I changed my diet to vegetarianism because I was so sick of eating just the same foods all over again and again. I was also 5 years vegan and for almost 10 years vegetarian. I love food, cooking and eating, the same as you. I wanted to learn Ayurveda cooking since there were spices I don’t know so far. I had hoped to fresh things a little up. But it didn’t change anything, it made things even harder for me. I love vegs and healthy food but it doesn’t give me the thrill it has been. I even decided to eat meat and fish again, to try if it satisfies me – it does not and I have such a guilty feeling. But lately, I just can’t go back to vegan. I feel trapped, wrong, guilty, ashamed.

  27. joan Lloyd says:

    Hi there
    I have been vegan for ten months. Lately I have been fed up of planning two lots of meals as my o/h is not vegan. He does have meat free days and does his share of cooking. I make things and add meat to his and veg to mine and it has worked ok. I am now at the point of dumping the substitutes I have maybe once a week and being totally plant based.
    Having read you blog and thinking about a calf and it s mum being dragged apart I am now ready to roll up my sleeves and get on with it.

    Many thanks

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this. I love your style—so clear, and your compassion (both of yours!) comes across so clearly.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Elizabeth. It means a lot to us! Thanks for taking the time out to read our blog.

  29. I fall into the” I don’t know what to eat category”. I’m not vegan but I eat mostly plants. I have a family that eats everything else.
    Please point me in the direction of very simple plant meals with little fuss.

  30. Thanks for these lovely words. This might be a strange question, but can you share the title the magazine/book that’s displayed in the first photo (with the Splendor in the Grass article)? It looks beautiful!

    1. Not a strange question at all Liz! I would if I knew 🙁 Sorry, it’s just a free stock image I got for the post.

  31. Thanks for the article Masa.
    One big reason I decided to become vegan because of the gross inefficiency of meat production. It takes so much water and feed, which also takes water to produce. And then the land required for animals, plus the land required to grow crops is too much for our planet to handle.

    One exception I do make to veganism is if there is leftover non-vegan food at work or if I see non-vegan food that is soon to be thrown out I will consume it to prevent waste, which to me is the greatest evil we can do to our food. I just think of all the resources that went into that food and to throw it out adds insult to injury. What do you think about consuming non-vegan food to prevent it from being thrown away?

    1. I can totally understand where you’re coming from, but personally, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I would rather give it to someone else that wasn’t vegan to eat it or put it in the compost. If the food is still packaged I would donate it to the homeless.

  32. Madelyn W says:

    Thank you for your thoughts on the matter. Something that I’m struggling with is that my family and I are in Germany at the moment and are visiting family and friends during our stay. Its not difficult to avoid meat per say but the dairy. Family and friends we are staying with know my family and I don’t eat meat but I finding it difficult to say and we don’t consume milk, cheese, icecream and eggs. I just don’t want to offend them or be an inconvenience to them. Germany is a country that consumes lots of meat and dairy. A lot. Yesterday we were invited to a friends home. She knew we didn’t eat meat so she made a beautiful salad and tortillini with cheese. She was so kind to accommodate us and not serve meat. I wasn’t about to tell her “ sorry we don’t eat cheese either.” It’s a hard balance when you’re being hosted by friends and family…I don’t want to put them out or seem too picky and ungrateful. What are you thoughts on the matter?

    1. I can totally understand where you’re coming from. However, I always let people know if I can that we are vegan. Having a European background myself, when we travelled through Croatia and Slovenia, I told everyone that had us over for a meal that we were vegan. They would just confirm what it was that we didn’t eat and then make something appropriate. I would also always offer to bring something along as well or tell them not to worry making us something. The only time that it was a little awkward was when my cousin didn’t tell my uncle and auntie we were vegan before we came over to visit (this was in Vancouver and I didn’t really know them). We didn’t realise that they would serve food and I could have saved my auntie a whole day in the kitchen. We learned from that lesson and there were no problems moving forward. We did still manage to eat some pasta with some roasted vegetables.

      I think that you shouldn’t feel bad for standing up for your own values. Most people are happy to accommodate and will learn something new themselves as well. Out of all trips that we did visiting family and friends, my grandma was the only one that was upset, because she expresses love through food and was a little stuck on what to cook (she eats a lot of meat and seafood herself). In the end, though, she cooked some great vegan meals for me and I also did quite a bit of cooking while I stayed with her. I think at the end of the day if they knew the truth (that you’re vegan), they would feel bad for serving you dairy. As my grandmother, a lot of people show love through food and if you are eating something just to accommodate them, they wouldn’t be happy if they knew that. Be true to yourself.

  33. Hi, Masa..
    I really appreciate your comments. Yes, it can be very difficult to be vegan in this world, and nope, it’s impossible to do it 100% of the time. To your point, car tires are not vegan..and detergent (from what I understand) isn’t vegan, either..and I think a good point to make that hasn’t really been mentioned is that, especially for a new vegan — don’t align yourself with militant vegans. I’ve been on certain vegan Youtube channels, and some of these vegans are so pushy and militant. They shame you if you’re not a street activist, if you consume palm oil, honey, or if you eat Oreos. I honestly don’t get that anal about it. I’m vegan for health and for the animals, but WITHIN REASON. It’s been over a year and yes, I’ve had “slip-ups”..but my slip-ups were eating too much dark chocolate, oily potato chips and junk foods like Oreos (which to militant vegans aren’t acceptable due to the palm oil and bone char used to process the sugar, but again, I don’t take it that far. These are the same people who wouldn’t eat dark chocolate manufactured on the same line as milk, after all). To ME, being vegan is not consuming any animal products, PERIOD..and doing so out of the principle of not wanting to contribute to or support animal suffering. I don’t worry about bone char or palm oil (yet, I try not to eat oil, in general, anyway, as it’s not a whole food). Recently, I had a family occasion and my cousin very graciously and considerately made sure I had something vegan to eat (pasta and broccoli). So while everyone had chicken parm and eggplant parm, clams, etc., plus all sorts of yummy-looking Italian desserts, I ate my broccoli and pasta and had some jelly beans. Well..I discovered afterwards that Jelly Belly’s weren’t vegan because they use insects to color the “beans”. I didn’t have a melt-down about it. I just know for next time to avoid them. But now I have a wedding to go to in a few weeks and I’m upset because my options will be chicken, beef or fish. Hmmph. Despite asking the groom’s parents (my cousin and his wife) whether I’ll have vegan options at this wedding, I was “shut down”. It’s like as soon as you say you can’t eat something, nobody wants to hear it. Well, guess what? I’m going to the wedding, but I’ll be eating a salad if that’s all that’s available. If you’re vegan just for your health, you’re going to “cave”, eventually..but I went vegan for my health and STAY for the animals. It’s the least I can do. xx

    1. Thanks for sharing Jo, I totally agree. We make the choice and sometimes we do slip up, but we learn and move on. Others can at times make the vegan lifestyle seem off-putting. Sorry to hear of your experiences with family. If that was me, I would make sure to eat something before the reception, so I wouldn’t go hungry if they won’t support my choices.

  34. I really like this – it acknowledges the struggles, but offers advice without seeming pushy to try and help you maintain a vegan lifestyle. I was a vegetarian for eleven years and I fell to the second one when I moved in with my husband – he does the cooking and to make it easier I started eating meat so he didn’t have to cook two meals. Then when I was off sick I started researching different veggie recipes and watched several documentaries and now my husband eats 90% vegan too!

  35. Hi Masa

    Thanks for your email.

    I watched the free screening of Dominion last night and reading your email about not judging people was hard. I don’t want to be judgemental but I think judging others is human nature and anyone who says they don’t judge is fibbing. But I understand what you’re saying and it’s also about the delivery of what you’re saying. If the comments you were reading in that vegan group were really nasty of course I wouldn’t support it, but the reason I’m ranting about this is because of Dominion. I watched that documentary and I hated every single person in the world so much I wanted to lash out and punch a wall. I wanted those people treating those animals like that in the documentary to have barbed wire shoved up their asses and ripped out. I just couldn’t handle it. I watched the whole thing but I wanted to leave so bad. It hurt me so much and even writing this now I’m fighting back tears of heart ache and also anger.

    Also, I was vego for 16 years and went vegan 12 months a go. There’s still room for improvement from me and I have slipped up here and there but I know I will never go back to living a non vegan lifestyle. I’m lucky and haven’t struggled with it much. My biggest challenge has been Cadbury chocolate but I’m over that now. I never crave meat and havent for years. I think of cheese as cow pus and so cannot even eat vegan cheese without being grossed out completely. I hate any white liquid and I never liked yogurt. So I’m lucky and have found it very easy and so enjoyable. I love cooking and sharing food and my recipes and books and most of all I love eating.

    Thanks for everything. Love reading your stuff X

    1. Hi Jessie, thanks for sharing. I haven’t personally seen Dominion because I know I’d be watching something that would emotionally break me. I’ve seen Earthlings and that’s why we became vegan, and that’s enough for me. I can totally sympathise and understand your anger and frustration. I felt the same way too, it will pass. Just give yourself some time.

      I think how I look at it is that most people weren’t born vegan and they’re on their own journey. But what we can do is plant seeds. The people that do this harm to the animals, we don’t know their story either. Workers in slaughterhouses have some of the biggest suicide rates of most jobs out there. I know that in the US a lot of the workers are illegal immigrants or people that don’t have too many options in regards to employment. I know that pretty much any job is better than working in a slaughterhouse, but I would try and seek to understand them. But then you have some that are just psychopaths.

      Glad to hear you enjoy our content xx