“Where do you get your protein from?” is the most common question I’m asked as a vegan.
The second is “Is it hard being vegan?” followed by a bunch of statements like “I could never give up meat or cheese, it tastes too good.”
The truth is, being a vegan is not at all difficult. The only reason people believe vegan is hard is for two reasons
- The majority of people on this planet are not vegan
- They have never actually tried a plant based diet before
If people were open minded to all things in life, not just veganism, then the world would be a much happier, more generous, and understanding place.
Vegans do get an ample amount of protein through nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, soy, wheat, and so many other sources.
The reality is vegans only give up 2 things… meat and dairy. Everything else is fair game.
Imagine walking through a supermarket and just removing all the non-vegan products. Then visualize all the other products you would have!?
In fact, you’d be surprised at how many things you didn’t think were vegan!
There are multiple Doritos flavors that are vegan, ben and jerry’s has almost a dozen non-dairy vegan ice cream flavors, and Oreos are 100% vegan as well!
Not to mention veganism is growing at such a fast pace that many companies are jumping on board and creating plant based substitutes.
The world is changing, and so should you!
That being said, as an herbivore myself, there are multiple situations where I do find being difficult are tough.
Most of these situations are out of my control, but I always try to make the best of it.
So without further a due let’s look at the times when veganism has failed me!
Eating Out – Restaurants
By far the biggest inconvenience for vegans is finding a restaurant that’s suitable for their plant based diet.
Trying a new restaurant that just popped up in town?
You might want to go online and look at their menu first.
Let’s face it, 90% or more of dishes at restaurants either contain meat of some form of animal byproduct.
Since most of society isn’t vegan, neither will the restaurants.
Of course, there are certain restaurants that are usually better when it comes to vegan dishes.
If you’re having a hard time deciding where to go out based on your options, always go Asian.
Asian restaurants always have plenty of plant based dishes that include:
- Sushi Rolls
- Vegetable Gyoza
- Noodles and Pad Thai
- And much more!
Fast Food Restaurants
While I doubt many vegans have attempted eating at fast food places due to the high amount of meat on the menu, that hasn’t stopped vegans from ordering food like fries, hash browns, or even burgers without the meat or cheese.
Unfortunately, what some vegans don’t know that a lot of fast food restaurants like McDonald’s have 0 items on their menu that are vegan.
The fries, hash browns, are deep fried in oil that contains beef flavoring. Now, this isn’t the case for every single fast food restaurant, but it’s more often than not the truth.
If you happen to live in California, Oregon, or Washington, there’s a vegan-only fast food joint called Veggie Grill. I highly suggest you give them a try.
Veggie Grill carries some of the most delicious vegan food on the planet:
- Chili Cheese Fries
- Raspberry Cake
- Protein Bowls
You can check out their full menu here.
The good news is fast food joints like Veggie Grill are growing at a phenomenal rate! So don’t be too discouraged, fast food veganism may be coming towards a place near you!
But don’t worry vegans, there are still fast food options available. I’m sure you all know the absolute best fast food restaurant that’s available to almost all of us nationwide… Chipotle.
Chipotle was almost like it was made for meat eater and vegans alike.
Load up your burrito or bowl full of sofritas (Chipotle style tofu), veggies, guacamole, beans, rice, and more!
It’s extremely filling and plentiful in protein!
Eating With Friends
Depending on how vegan your friends are, you may find it difficult when your friend invites you over to dinner on a Friday night.
It can also seem rather obnoxious to ask them to make something else.
If this ever happens to you my best recommendation is offering your friend that you’ll bring something for yourself, rather than them going out of their way to make something special for you.
Not all my friends are vegan, and I’ve had some tough times when it comes to eating with them. Some friends are better than others when it comes to going out for a bite to eat.
A few months ago, I was on the road with a few friends for a trip to Vermont. On the way back home my friend suggested we go to this really good restaurant. I asked if there were vegan options and he proceeded to say “it’s kinda like a diner, so they should definitely have some vegan options.”
Upon arriving and looking at the menu, my friend couldn’t have been more than wrong. Not only was there anything not vegan, but nothing was even vegetarian… every dish had meat.
I ordered fries and a small garden salad the size of my fist. Safe to say I was rather disappointed.
In situations like this, it’s often important to communicate with your friends.
Tell them when you’re not able to eat anything on the menu and they’ll understand. If they don’t… are they even truly your friends in the first place?
If you’re sick and go to your doctor and ask for medication that hasn’t been tested on animals, he or she will tell you “you’re outta luck.”
The sad reality is that so many medications, makeup, paint, chemicals, and more are tested on animals to ensure safety for humans.
Sometimes medications that are necessary for us to function or live on a daily basis, like my anti-anxiety medication, has been tested on animals thousands of times.
While it is almost impossible to be 100% vegan in all aspects of life, the idea that we try and continue to push for animal rights and welfare is part of the bigger picture.
Veganism is growing at an unimaginable rate and more humans will convert to veganism over the next 5, 10, 20 years.
Don’t get discouraged if you have a few hard moments trying to be 100% vegan. It happens to all of us. Do the best you can and keep at it.
Cheers and happy veganism!