The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

The Realist’s Guide to Veganism

So, being a vegan kind of sucks a lot of the time.

“Wait,” you say. “Being a vegan is a wonderful way of life! I have never felt more alive and the food I eat everyday is not only cruelty free, but delicious and filling! Every day I eat from the Vegan Bar in the Dining Hall is a blessing!”

Wrong. Stop.

Being a vegan kind of sucks a lot of the time.

Basically, you might be a vegan if you love the earth or you like animals or if you’re freaked out by the meat and dairy industries or if you’re allergic to everything or because of another reason. Whatever. Don’t be a vegan if your reason is to lose weight because, surprise! it probably won’t work.
I’m not going to try to convince you to become a vegan because it probably requires facts and data and emotional appeal and that sounds hard.

So instead I am going to give you some REAL TALK about being vegan and how to make it less awful.
Here are some options you have to make being a vegan suck less:

1. Be rich. If you have achieved this first step then you can skip all the other steps because you are rich and you can afford vegan whipped cream and fake meat and tempeh and Daiya and protein powder that taste like rainbows. For you, being a vegan is not that different from being a regular person that eats regular things, except that sometimes you bring your fancy goji berry crab puff to parties and your fancy rich friends say “Oh my! I can’t believe this is vegan!” and then you all laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. Cool. You don’t need to read the rest of this guide.

2. Have mustard, hummus, salsa, or salad dressing with you at all times. Basically anything that doesn’t suck that you can pour on something that does suck. Dump this on anything you’re thinking about attempting to eat. The tofu scramble you screwed up? Dump it. A piece of lettuce at the back of the fridge? Dump it. Half cooked potato at the barbeque place you went with your friends? Dump it. Dirt clod outside your workplace because you forgot your lunch and there’s nothing else worth eating around your job? Nah bro don’t eat that, maybe try to drive home and make a sandwich or something.

3. Bring snacks everywhere. No really, everywhere. Make weird secret pouches in your jeans that you can store granola bars in if you have to. Otherwise at some point in your life you will be HUNGRY and there will be NO FOOD. Always have snacks! Note: you are under no obligation to share these snacks with anyone. Sometimes there are occasions where people besides vegans also have nothing to eat, and they will stare at your carrots and hummus longingly and make pointed comments about how they are hungry but you know what? Feeding them is not your job! This is especially fun if you are self-righteous like I am.

Occasionally you are going to mess up and eat a quesadilla or something. This is not a big deal, but expect your stomach to hurt the next day.

The only thing that will make this a big deal is that inevitably you will mess up around people who police what you eat. “OHHHHH, YOU JUST ATE A CHICKEN NUGGET! I THOUGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE A VEGAN? HOW COME YOU ATE THAT? YOU’RE NOT A REAL VEGAN?”

Forget them. They are haters. Haters don’t matter. Being a vegan is hard.
This brings us to:

4. Make something awesome that is expensive or time-consuming every once in a while.
We know. Waffles take forever! You have shit to do, like reading creepy Tumblrs or treating your lower back pain. But waffles taste good and probably make you feel like a real human. Same with mac and fake cheeze: aw man cashews are expensive. But they taste good and make you feel special and are the only thing that will sustain you besides all of the self-righteousness that gets you through the week.

(Yo, sorry if you have a nut allergy or a gluten allergy these were not very inclusive examples but I bet you have food that you are really into that you can substitute for this like willow bark tea or something.)

So, yeah. Good luck with the whole being a vegan thing. It blows at pizza parties and it pisses off your roommates if they want to have communal groceries but YOU ARE SINGLEHANDELY SAVING THE EARTH (no you’re not but that’s fine).

-Hannah Kapp-Klote

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    CatkinSep 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    You didn’t mention how non vegans are always drawn to the one vegan dish out of 30 non vegan dishes at a get together. It kinda sucks when they polish it off before you can get to it…