The Social Challenges Of Being A Vegan
Are you veggin’?
What is “veggin'” exactly? Veggin’ is a slang I like to use, among others, for being a vegan. Yes, I’m a vegan.
Veggin’ has and is becoming a popular way to eat in western culture (in the U.S.). With many influencers such as Bill Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres sharing the benefits of a vegan diet, more people are adopting it as their way of eating.
But, being vegan is not that easy.
Here, I’m going to talk about the challenges of becoming a vegan. I’m not talking about the whole process of transitioning from a meat based diet to a plant-based diet – the cleansing, temptations, and physical challenges (I’ll save these for a later post), but the social challenges of becoming or being a vegan.
Society does make it challenging for being a vegan. And its mental challenges can add to the pain of making the change.
Vegans are stereotyped, prejudged, and there are vegan myths people believe that you will probably have to deal with on a constant basis.
Here are 5 Social Myths Of Being Vegan
#1 Your body weight is perfect all the time.
Just because you are vegan, people will think that you supposed to be the perfect weighted person, fit, and a sort of super healthy human being.
Yes, by transitioning to a healthy plant-based diet and eating the right amounts you will probably lose some pounds (I did). But not every vegan is a “healthy” vegan.
Vegan junk-foods do exist. Vegans overeat too. So, not every vegan is at the perfect weight.
#2 Vegans have clear and glowing skin every day.
Although diet is a factor to how clear and/or nice your skin is, it’s not the ultimate defying factor. I have to say that going vegan did help my skin a lot, but I do go through cycles of skin changes.
This is due to the other factors such as cycles of the body, hormones, personal hygiene, etc. So, vegans are not the pinnacle of clear and beautiful skin.
#3 Vegans are saints.
For some reason, mass society has associated the image of a vegan being this saintly, peaceful, tree hugging hippie.
Although, we are conscious about our diet, we are still human. We just eat a certain way.
#4 Vegans are happy all the time.
Ha! Being able to go against society, especially with these kinds of stereotypes of being vegan, just shows that we are able to stand our ground and go against the grain of the majority. Maybe the facade of being confident and independent comes off as being “happy” all the time. But being vegan and being happy has nothing to do with each other.
There are many reasons people choose to become a vegan. It may be because of environmental reasons, ethical reasons, religious reasons, emotional, to physical reasons. These reasons can be seen as being more on the positive side. And sometimes this stereotype/myth can be derived from it
#5 Vegans judge people and think they know-it-all.
To be a vegan in today’s society, obviously, with the stereotypes and myths listed above, you have to be pretty strong-minded facing them. And sometimes the facade of being judgmental will be misinterpreted. Trying to educate people about yourself being a vegan may come off as “I know something that you don’t” and hence you’re all of a sudden a “know-it-all”. But, you know this is foolish.
It’s normal for people to be threatened or become uneasy around what’s different to them. That “threat” may, in turn, cause people to judge you.
And sometimes there are just haters. In fact, there will always be haters in anything you do in life that goes against people’s beliefs or practices.
If you’re transitioning to become a vegan, expect to come across these myths, stereotypes, and beliefs from society. Be prepared for them and overcome this mental challenge in your journey of veggin’!
True Story: When I was working for a towing service as a dispatcher I was ridiculed for my decision to go vegan. It didn’t help matters that my boss was a fitness fanatic who worked out everyday and built a great body through a protein rich diet. I stuck to my decision and used that criticism as my fuel and motivation. Now that I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and he’s witnessed my journey, I’m getting the last laugh and he’s no longer making those silly comments. WIN for me!!
Side Note: Going vegan has given me the energy to assist my husband with his landscaping business so that we can have more quality time together. I love being outdoors and it’s a great change of pace from my full time sedentary job.