Five Drawbacks to Being a Vegan

Patti Breitman | 04/18/13

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What do vegans complain about when they are among themselves?  I thought it was time to go public with the private thoughts of many vegans.

Bathroom Blues

Whereas most people we know can flip through a magazine or check their email while on the toilet, vegan food is so high in fiber, we don’t spend enough time in the bathroom to get any reading done.  Despite going sometimes two or more times a day, we are on and off the seat in no time, and there is no reading in the john for us.  Also, we spend more than non-vegans on toilet paper, which we use at a rate that would shock the people who keep laxatives in their medicine cabinet.  You might say we are number one at number two. But it’s not something we can talk about in polite company.

No Second Helpings

At gatherings where food is served family style and non-vegans are in the majority, the vegan dishes are always among the most popular.  Hence, when we go back for another serving of the vegan lasagna, the salad that doesn’t have cheese in it, or the vegan brownies, they are invariably gone.  We would love to take another helping at the pot luck dinners and picnic lunches, but the vegan food seldom lasts as long as the meat and dairy offerings.  If you are reading this, please bring a vegan dish to your next event.

Stuck in the Middle

Statistically, vegans are more slender than our meat eating friends. So when five people ride in one car, we are usually designated as the middle passenger in the back seat. We don’t mind too, too much. But just once in a while we would like to ride shotgun.   Drivers: Please dig out that middle seat belt for us before we are cheek to cheek with the other two passengers.


Vegans have too many options when we buy milk.  We have to decide if we want almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, rice/soy combinations, coconut milk or hemp milk. And as if that’s not enough, we have to choose among vanilla, chocolate, original, no sugar added or enriched. So while our hearts are breaking for the cows and their babies, we are sometimes befuddled by the variety of non dairy milks that leave us breathless with indecision.

Hearing Confession

When people know that we are vegan, they feel compelled to tell us what they ate at their most recent meal.  Frequently, vegans are thrust into the role of confessor as friends confide in us, “I hardly ever eat red meat any more,” or “I thought of you last night;  I had the most wonderful salad with my dinner. Oops, I did eat fish.”   And while we try hard to be supportive of any move toward more conscious eating, we really wish these people would imitate us rather than confess to us.  I suppose it’s a good thing that others seek our approval and our blessing, as it probably means that they think we’re on the right path.  But we want to tell these people: It’s a wide enough path for everyone!  Join us!

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Author Patti Breitman’s next book, co-authored with Carol J. Adams, and Virginia Messina, is Never Too Late To Go Vegan; The Over 50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving On a Plant Based Diet (to be published in January, 2014, The Experiment publishing company).


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