Inspiration from a Lifelong Vegetarian
– Writing and Photos


By Michelle Inaba Mocarski, reprinted from Vegan Mainstream

How to come up with a list of just 10 things that drive vegans crazy? When you live a lifestyle that is not mainstream, there are always going to be some roadblocks and annoyances along the way. Depending on your situation, where you work, and whether your friends and family members are vegan or not, the frustrations may vary. Still, we’re going to give it a try. Here are some common questions and challenges that we, as vegans (and, in some cases vegetarians too), face on a daily basis – and that sometimes make us feel like banging our heads against a wall.

  1. Finding vegan products in a mainstream grocery store. Where’s the soy cheese and the animal-free cleaner?  Sometimes it can be quite a challenge to find vegan-friendly products in your local grocery store. Sometimes it makes you feel like you have to be a Google Search wizard to find a piece of soy cheese or seitan.
  2. “What do you eat, then?” is one of the most common question people shoot at you, wondering what on earth you eat, since you don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy. For those who forgot, we also have vegetables, fruit, grains, soy, nuts, which make up a large array of options for vegans.
  3. A lack of sympathy and understanding in the workplace. The “you’re-a-weirdo” face. You go to lunch with your co-workers, or there is a birthday cake for someone in the office and there always seems to be somebody who corners you and harasses you about not eating dairy/meat – and someone else who likes joking about how you think you can change the world one chicken at a time. Totally annoying.
  4. “You don’t wear leather? Why? The cows are already dead!” Some people just don’t see how leather can be related to cows (or other animals)…
  5. “Aren’t you afraid of getting osteoporosis?” Who said that you can only find calcium in milk? There are many superior plant-based sources of calcium in nature.
  6. Eating out at a restaurant. It can be embarrassing to ask all your vegan questions when the server is clearly annoyed because of your long list of questions and your companions are staring at you like, “Could you please just order?”
  7. “How can you live without eating chocolate?” Well, truth is: you don’t have to. You can be a vegan and eat chocolate. You just need to be careful not to eat milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is a good (healthy and delicious!) option for vegans.
  8. BBQs. You have your Boca Burger with you, but the insistent offering of a piece of “real” BBQ from your well-intentioned friends can drive any vegan crazy (for the insistence and the smell)!
  9. When people start lecturing you about how purposeless it is to be vegan. And then, when you try to explain the reasoning behind it, and people claim you’re trying to “look superior” or “convert” them. Well, guess what? You asked!
  10. People who posit the human suffering in the world against animal suffering. Some people say you should be more concerned about people dying of hunger in the world rather than wasting your time worrying about not eating dairy/egg/meat.  So, just because you can’t stop human suffering in the world, you should increase animal suffering? What’s the logic of it?