All vegan food contains feces, right?

5 Dec

Does that headline sound familiar? It’s from this blog post. That’s right, I’m quoting myself. I really am insufferable!

But I thought this was worthy of its own discussion, because I’m guessing it’s something many of you are familiar with. It goes something like this: (true story).

I was invited to someone’s house for Thanksgiving. My non-vegan host could not have been more gracious or considerate about my veganinity. She made a number of dishes I could eat and clearly told me what was con and sin animal. When I’d asked what I could bring, she said, “Well, someone else is making some pies for dessert, and I bet she uses eggs, so why don’t you bring a dessert you can eat?”

So I bought a beautiful vegan chocolate cake that I’d had before and that I knew just about everyone would enjoy because, unfortunately, I haven’t been vegan all that long and I still have a pretty good memory of what an animal-assisted chocolate cake tastes like.

My host took it out at dessert time and put it next to all the other desserts. People ooh’d and aah’d about its prospective yumminess. Then the host mentioned it was vegan and there might as well have been cartoon dust as people mentally ran away from this cake as fast as their neurons could take them.

I have no doubt, if they hadn’t been told it was vegan, they’d have eaten it and enjoyed it and probably even praised it. And it was a pretty big cake, so it’s not like they were thinking I needed it all for myself and they shouldn’t use up my special food while alternatives existed. Nope, they thought: must be gross.

I don’t know why I find this so frustrating, but I do. All it means to say something is “vegan,” basically, is that there’s no meat, eggs or dairy in it. And since nobody’s expecting meat in their chocolate cake, it means there’s no eggs or dairy in it. (And yes, I think most of the guests were aware of what vegan means.) So if the host had put out this cake and said, “This cake is made without eggs or dairy,” I’m guessing most people would have tried it and enjoyed it. Maybe they would have thought, “Gee, maybe someone’s allergic to one or both of those things so she announced it,” and then they would have shrugged, and cut off a slice and been happy.

But she said the V word. And I’m guessing, people’s thoughts were something like: “Maybe it’s made with tofu,” or “Ew, god knows what’s in that,” or “A chocolate cake made with kale and cauliflower? *shudder*”

Of course I’m being kind. Since these people thought no such thing. They simply accessed that part of their brain where they’ve stored this simple fact: All vegan food contains feces.

I feel pretty confident that if only Mr. Watson had called himself and his adherents “No meat, no eggs, no dairyans” that there would now be millions more of us. I mean, nobody feels like they absolutely must have those ingredients in every single thing they eat, right? Otherwise nobody besides us would ever eat hummus, or rye bread, or sorbet. Pretty much everyone is fine with eating foods that don’t have any meat or eggs or dairy once in a while, or even frequently, and they’re probably even some omnivore’s very favorite things in the world and they could eat them over and over and over.

But who wants to eat feces?

10 Responses to “All vegan food contains feces, right?”

  1. ficklenotions December 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Oh my. I couldn’t agree more! Thanksgiving was a testament to every word you’ve blogged here! You’d have thought that I flat out brought feces on a plate! People wouldn’t even go near it. *sigh* of course, a lot of my family won’t eat it based on “principle” because my being vegan actually means that I’m “living in sin.” Go figure. Anyways, I sympathize with you here! (I’m a baby vegan too. only five months so far!) And I like your blog, just as a side note! Where did people adopt this negative stereotype of vegans anyways? Darn those heuristics! :P Ah well. Perhaps people’ll feel a bit different when veganism becomes one of the only viable options. Who knows?

    • insufferablevegan December 5, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

      Fickle, thanks for reading and for your comments. I’m curious, could you pls elaborate on why they think that being vegan means you’re “living in sin”?

      • ficklenotions December 6, 2011 at 8:14 am #

        No problem! The reason my family considers it a sinful lifestyle (and this is entirely their own twisted logic) is that God “didn’t intend for me to eat this way,” therefore it CAN’T be healthy or right. Let’s ignore the fact that since becoming vegan I AM healthier, and they’d only laugh if you tried to tell them that in fact, our bodies AREN’T built to consume the amounts of meat that we do. And they certainly aren’t meant to consume the antibiotics, steroids, and hormones pumped into the cows and chickens that give us our eggs and milk. They are afraid, I think. Of what, I’m not sure. But as you mention in this post, people operate based on their stereotypes of vegan, not necessarily on the facts. I’ll list a few of the verses on which they base their belief. It is my belief though, that they are being taken out of context in the way that my parents use them. I myself believe in God and the bible, so it’s not like I am spiteful of my parents’ religion, I simply don’t agree with the way they… weaponize it.
        Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.
        1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
        These are just a couple. The thing is, my basis for being vegan isn’t some extremist, animal rights activism. It’s health based, and as for morals, God didn’t intend for animals (just as much his creation as man is) to be tortured by man either. and there are NUMEROUS verses to that extent as well. So more than anything, it’s a belief based in fear and ignorance. And stereotype. Which is just a slightly more religious and extreme version of your fellow dinner goers refusing to eat your vegan cake I suppose. haha

        • insufferablevegan December 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

          That’s very interesting. I am fascinated by the parallels I see between veganism and religion. In all directions. Some friends of mine have referred to my going vegan as me “finding religion” — and they’re not saying it as a compliment. I might have to write a post about this.

          • ficklenotions December 8, 2011 at 11:10 am #

            I think you should. At the very least it would be interesting to shed a little light on the reasons behind the threat that people seem to feel in regards to veganism. I mean, there have got to be some pretty big misconceptions if people automatically associate it with religion. Wether it be the anti-christ, or “finding religion” lol

  2. epicureanvegan December 7, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    This is SO TRUE and it bugs me, too. Every time I bring a dish to a get together (where most people know I’m vegan) I feel I have to explain how delicious it is; that I have to practically talk them into eating it. Many times, I feel I constantly defend what I bring before anyone even tastes it. Then it becomes so hyped up, someone is bound to say it’s gross. I have to not let it bother me anymore and just figure, there’s more for me. :-)

  3. Have Gone Vegan December 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    This reminds me of the last time my sister invited me over for dinner. She asked if as a vegan I could eat fruit. Snort. Obviously I haven’t explained veganism well enough.

  4. joiedejenn December 10, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel! It is so frustrating when people are automatically discriminating towards dairy-free foods!

  5. Jill January 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    I had a bad vegan chocolate cake experience too! Actually, it was a Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s home– I brought a tofurky, wild rice dish, stuffing and a vegan choc cake! It was all from Whole Foods, so it was expensive. So guess what happened– my cousin and her family did not take even so much as a spoonful of ANYTHING I brought. Zip. They claimed they had a lot of food to eat already. (wondered if they ate before the dinner?) It was insulting to say the least. This same cousin actually agreed to go out to dinner at a vegan restaurant (Madelines in Tarzana) for her birthday dinner with me– (her husband stayed home) — I gave her a few choices and she picked it based on the rave reviews online. She liked the food but I am not expecting her to change her diet. I could go on and on… had a vegan potluck and my rifle toting hunter friend came over in his NRA cap and did not eat anything– and refused to come over again for another potluck since he really ‘needs his protein’. I don’t know, but people sure are ignorant. He wanted to know if killing a vegetable is okay?!

    • insufferablevegan January 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      I have also gotten the “but you’re okay with killing vegetables?” thing. It’s probably in the top ten of defensive comments from carnivores. And that’s just what it strikes me as — defensiveness, because people have a sense of what’s happening to the animals that become their food. If a hunter eats the food they kill, I actually think that’s better than buying meat at the supermarket where the animal most likely led a horrible life as opposed to the animal in the woods that was leading a natural life until it was killed. I wonder why your friend came over to the vegan pot luck the first time — sounds kind of nice of him to come especially if he didn’t think there’d be anything for him to eat there. As for your Thanksgiving experience it sounds pretty similar to mine. But it seems especially generous of that cousin to go to Madeleine Bistro considering it was her birthday not yours, and I’m glad she liked it! I’ve brought non-vegans there and they seem to do okay and usually even find one item they really like.

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