Ummm, I’m NOT on a diet…..

I’m not on a diet…. I’m a vegan!

So a couple of weeks ago at work, one of the guys brought in a cheesecake that he had baked over the weekend.

The guy that I sit next to at work was going upstairs to get some cake from the kitchen, and he said to me “would you like to break your diet and eat some cake?”. I turned around and said to him said to him, “ummm, I’m not on a diet” and he responded kind of sarcastically with, “oh sorry, your lifestyle”.

It kind of annoyed me, until I went for dinner with one of my best friends and he said to me, “so how’s your diet going?”. Again, my response was that I’m not on a diet. I couldn’t get annoyed at him for asking the question though because I like him and I know he didn’t mean anything bad by it…….

I told my boss I had become vegan and he didn’t believe me; “Vegan or vegetarian?” he asked me. Then one day he suggested getting muffins (the majority of my colleagues are men- there’s always a lot of food in the office!) and when I said I wouldn’t eat a muffin because they weren’t vegan, he was surprised and said “oh I didn’t think you were a real vegan” (whatever that even means!).

To me, a ‘diet’ suggests that it’s a temporary thing, a fad, a phase, a craze, a lose-weight-now-quick-fix that will be forgotten about in a few weeks. Sure, I eat a vegan diet, but that’s a little bit different to being ‘on a diet’. 

Veganism is a decision I have made after educating myself and making my own choices, based on what I think is best for myself.

People’s reactions are always so interesting. I am always pretty hesitant to tell people that I am a vegan because I never know what reaction I will get, or what question they’re going to ask- like “so where do you get your protein?” or “how can you not eat cheese?!” or even just “why?”. Then there’s the ones that try and argue with you, or belittle your decisions, or try and get you to eat something that’s not vegan, for their own cheap thrills, or the ones that say things like “but what about bacon?” or “how long will you stay on your new diet?”.

I try not to talk about it in front of people who aren’t close friends or family and I certainly don’t preach a ‘vegan lifestyle’. I definitely believe in ‘each to their own’ and think that people should do what they think is right for them.

So what is it that makes people get so riled up when you mention the word veganism? As someone who was previously anti-veganism, I think it comes from a place of ignorance and also people being afraid of the unknown, the unusual, the divergence from the mainstream. Even if you’re not an obnoxious or pretentious vegan, you will most likely cop some criticism for your lifestyle. But don’t let this stop you!

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