Things not to say to a vegan

Veganism seems to invite comments left, right and centre. Tired of people judging your lifestyle? Jack Monroe is here to set the naysayers straight.

Jack Monroe headshot in kitchen

Telling somone your dietary needs often opens the door to a deluge of questions and comments. Whether you're veggie or vegan, people want to know all the ins and outs of what goes on your plate and why. Chef Jack Monroe tells us her best responses and retorts to the classic vegan lifestyle queries and criticisms.

If you're looking for vibrant vegan meal ideas, see our ultimate vegan recipe collection
 

“Veganism is expensive.”

Fruit and veg market with people buying produce
It can be, if you want to buy all of the expensive ‘fake meat’ and cheeses on the market, but none of them really hit the spot for me, and they are quite pricey. Instead, build your diet around vegetables and pulses, two of the cheapest food groups in any supermarket. Frozen and tinned veg count, too. 

“Where do you get your protein?”

Nuts, vegetables, pulses and beans on table
The same places that cows and silverback gorillas get theirs; vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, and lentils. You only have to look up ‘vegan bodybuilders’ to see that a vegan diet can contain enough protein to sculpt phenomenally strong bodies, but for the slightly lazier herbivore, be assured we do alright on the protein front as we eat our nuts, pulses and vegetables.

“Where do you get your B12?”

Fish, eggs and meat on table
It never fails to astound me that once you confess to the v-word, every man and their internet connection is suddenly a nutritionist. Most vegans take a multivitamin supplement, but then again, so do a lot of non-vegans. There are also fortified foods like plant milks and spreads, breakfast cereals and Marmite.

“You look thin, you need a steak”.

Nobody needs a steak. It’s not there on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and commenting on other people's figures is just rude.
 

“You’re too fat to be a real vegan”.

Pizza Margherita on wooden serving platter
Again, other people's bodies are not your business to comment on, plus, my vegan diet includes chip butties, pie, Nutella, Biscoff spread, copious amounts of homemade bread dunked in oil and vinegar, cake, croissants and pasta, besides the usual greens and beans and sense of wellbeing. Veganism is not a fad diet – it’s a conscious choice not to use animal products.

“But BACON...”

The main flavours in bacon are fat and salt and a little smoke. It can be pretty simply replicated with any thinly sliced vegetable marinated in paprika, salt, fat, and cooked on a high heat until the edges char. It may take a little experimentation to get it right, but it’s worth it – and means a hangover cure is always at hand in the vegetable drawer.

Check out more vegan foodie content...

What would the world look like if everyone went vegan? 
5 vegan ingredients you've never heard of
The best vegan chocolate: taste tested

If you're vegan, what do people say that annoys you? Leave a comment below...

 

 

 

 

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