The second instalment of ‘The Vegan Diaries’ is here! This weeks article explores Katie’s account of the conversations which veganism can spark up and how to manage them.
‘Surely you miss meat, right?’
One thing that I struggle more with than the diet itself is the verbal confrontation. Unfortunately, it’s guaranteed that you’ll get lots of comments from your meat-loving friends saying, “But don’t you miss bacon?”, “What about 20 chicken nuggs after a night out?”, “It’s surely so expensive”, “Where do you get your protein?”. Not everyone will react this way, there are some who are genuinely interested, even if they add: “I admire what you do but I could never go vegan”.
And I get it, I really do. I wasn’t a meat-lover per say, but I was once a part of that ‘culture’; I was raised on roast dinners, chicken nuggets and bacon butties. Some people you meet will try to make you seem like what you’re doing is absolutely ridiculous. It can be difficult to explain to parents and older friends and family who just don’t get it at all, perhaps who are too ‘set in their ways’. You may be vegan because of one or many reasons but its important to remember even though your loved ones eat meat and dairy, they are still caring people. Recently I have found this disparity increasingly hard to comprehend.
At the end of the day, diet is a personal choice. As much as I want everyone to have some awareness, I cannot force people to change what they eat. But, I can lead by example. In my opinion, going vegan has too many pros to outweigh the cons. It’s good for the animals, first and foremost, and then also beneficial for the planet and your health. I just wish I could sit everyone down to watch Cowspiracy, instead of them grilling me for facts that I just can’t summon off the top of my head.
These interrogations are difficult. The best advice I can offer is firstly to test how much they want to actually have a conversation about it. In this situation, I would listen to them and then I would try my best to give my reasons as coherently as I can. Big facts like “Animal agriculture produces more CO2 than all modes of transport” and “Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.” I try to keep my arguments simple and not too emotional or insensitive. Although, I can’t help but sound passionate when I talk about why I am vegan. I never want diet choices to come between me and my friends and I’ve never lost friends over it. However, I still feel extremely sad when I think about animals dying for something as inconsequential as a hot dog.
Missed the first Vegan Diaries? Follow this link to catch up.
About the Author: Katy Watson is a third year English Literature student at the University of York. She loves veganism, badminton and books.