The Vegan Militia

... because we are all made out of meat!

Whither Veganism?


The topics I have discussed here over the years have veered around wildly according to my interests at that time, but, despite my domain name, I haven’t mentioned veganism in 8 years. Why not? Don’t get your hopes up! I have not become a born-again meat eater.

I didn’t even notice that the 23rd anniversary of me becoming vegan passed last month. After being vegan for that long it has kind of melted into the background. Even the day-to-day struggles of living in a world hostile to vegans has become mundane and routine.

When I first became vegan, I bought a bunch of cookbooks and learned how to cook, because there were few alternatives. I generally avoided going out to restaurants, because I was tired of the laborious process of explaining what veganism is and what I do or don’t eat and then having to send food back because they covered it with cheese. “No, I do not eat chicken… or fish… or cheese. No, I don’t miss it.” At that time, finding vegan food in the mainstream grocery stores was quite difficult (aside from fruit and veggies), and I would have to do most of my shopping at health food stores. And, even then, there were many things which had no vegan analogs (e.g. cheese).

But all this has changed. In my experience, being vegan has become easier than ever. I believe much of this can be attributed to the larger population of vegans. When I became vegan, the estimates were that less than 1% of the US population was vegan, but now it is over 3% (with some estimates as high as 10%, though that seems doubtful). While that doesn’t seem like much, it has more than tripled, and is now enough to swing an election.

So nowadays, if I need to find a restaurant, I just bring up Happy Cow and, most of the time, I can find something nearby. And if not, most people at least know what veganism is, and there are far fewer questions. And almost every mainstream grocery store has most vegan items I may want.

When I first became vegan I was a bit strident about it; I wanted everyone to become vegan. I still feel strongly that everyone should be vegan, but I don’t try to talk people into it anymore. In addition to the normal mellowing that happens as one ages, I think there’s an element of resignation. For all the people I have talked to over the years, I don’t know of a single person has ever become vegan as a result. The only person who is vegan because of me is my daughter, and she has never known anything else in her life.

So, I’m not going to put much effort into telling you why you should be vegan. You should! And the reasons are obvious. But I doubt anything I say will change your mind.

But, on the other hand, I do still have a number of photos in the suicide food category, and as soon as I come up with snarky descriptions I will post them.

Tags: vegan