Bogus arguments against veganism · Dealing with problem people · Diet wars · Food · Health · Human behavior · Judgmentalism · Karma · Morality · Psychology · Uncategorized · Vegan diet

An Honest Conversation with an Ex-Vegan (for a change)

Hey Wendy, it’s been a while; want to go to lunch with me today?

Okay Delia, let’s go to Vinnie’s for pizza.

Wait, I thought you were vegan, they don’t have anything vegan at Vinnie’s.

Oh I quit that last month, I just didn’t have what it takes to stick with it, too much pressure from everyone to “get back to normal.” I was always the odd one out, not eating this, rejecting that, being rude to cooks; always felt weird and like everyone was thinking things about me. I went to a crystal party in April and they had all this fancy snack food set out and all I could eat was some chips and salsa and some drinks. Everyone else was free to eat whatever. I felt so…odd.

But I thought you were vegan not only for your health but because you love animals. Was that not true?

Yes I love animals, but some are just brought into the world as food or whatever people want to use them for; it’s just the way things are. My not eating or using them won’t stop it. Most everyone else is still doing it.

What, are you going to start wearing fur too? Are all those ethics just out the window?

NO, of course I won’t wear fur, or eat veal; I do at least draw a line somewhere, whenever it doesn’t interrupt my comfort anyways. It’s just that as a vegan, the treatment I got from normal people made me always feel like this little boy back in second grade who had all the kids gang up on him and blamed him for something he didn’t do…I’ll never forget his face. I know it sounds weak, but that’s how people made me feel for being vegan.

But you always told me that by your not eating animals you were part of the solution, not the problem, that it was for your soul, for your karma that you were doing it, just as much as for the animals. You said that the more vegans there were, the closer they were to being a majority and making the world a far better place. And, I’ve actually gotten to where I’m mostly vegan now because of things I learned from you, and now you’ve done a 180 and you’re actually back to doing what you said was so horrible?

I know. I don’t know if I was lying more back then, to everyone else, or if I’m lying more now, to myself; but whatever the case, it’s just easier for me to go along and get along, to no longer be the vegan freak that everyone thinks they either have to walk on eggshells around or who they feel free to openly ridicule. I can’t hang out only at vegan potlucks for the rest of my life. I just didn’t have the backbone to rise above all that social pressure and awkwardness, so I gave up on my morals to fit back in with the majority. It’s a huge relief in a way, but also a huge disappointment in myself. And, there’s a big load of guilt about the animals, which I try to cover up by saying I had terrible health problems as a vegan so that I was forced to go back to meat, eggs and dairy, to save my life.

But you were so healthy for all those years, what was it, seven? I never noticed you having any sort of health problems, except for that one time when you were out with the flu. And I’m feeling so much better now after a couple of months of being nearly vegan. So what’s up with the health problems?

Eight years. I didn’t really have any problems, I felt great too; but I listened to all the people telling vegans how they were looking terrible, missing out on all these nutrients, going to lose their teeth, go blind, lose their hair, have their brains dissolve, go insane, get cancer, diabetes, all that. It all stressed me out enough that I started imagining that every little thing was from lack of animal foods. Like once I had a fingernail break off and I panicked, even though I used to have nails break off before I ever quit eating animals. And I’d forget the name of someone I’d just met and thought, uh oh, there goes my brain. Or when I had bad PMS…those sort of things. I kind of half knew I was full of crap, same as now, but I just can’t face being the odd one out again. Not yet anyways. Life’s just easier now. As long as I don’t let my conscience butt in and fill me with shame.

Well I’m fine with being the odd one out, knowing what I know now; am only struggling with giving up the little bit of cheese I might still eat. Everything else I eat is vegan and I’m loving it. If I could just find a vegan cheese that I like, and it wasn’t too expensive. They’re either gross or if good they cost an arm and a leg! It’s just so strange that I used to be questioning you about all this and now here we are just about totally reversed!

Well now you’ve gone and made me feel guilty, but I needed that. In the back of my mind I’m always troubled by what I’m doing now. My way of blocking that out is to bask in the company of other ex-vegans on the internet and hear their tales of malnutrition horror. Which, if their truth is anything like mine, means they’re a bunch of liars. But then I wonder, how could they ALL be lying. Then I realize that I’m totally capable of the same if I wanted to go all out like they do. It’s all just so… unseemly. I do think about coming back to vegan, but then the huge disappointment and ridicule and dire warnings that’ll be dumped on me are just too much to bear. Wish I was a stronger person. I miss my old self.

She’s still in there, Wendy, you just have to let her back in the driver’s seat. You can’t let other people drown out your conscience. Anyhow, why don’t we go to the Green Thumb for lunch later; one lunch without animal products won’t do you in, will it?

Haha, I guess I’ll survive until dinner after that poisonous, anti-nutrient filled, totally sucky, sugar loaded lunch suited only for…no one. It’ll be rough, but nowhere near as rough as the treatment I’ll get if friends and family find out about it.

Hah, I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. I’d say some falafel, hummus and tabouleh wraps with a nice green salad and a fruit smoothie might not kill you. That sound good?

Yes, actually it does, Delia. Meet you at twelve in the lobby!

Credit: Vanessa Prosser on Tumblr (defunct account)

Well, was that fictional little discussion heavy-handed and trite enough for you? If so, glad it met your expectations, hah. I just wanted to deal in my corny way with what I truly think is the Number One reason behind all this “ex-vegan” nonsense going on these days. Aside from the Wendys of the world, the more flaky trendies who hop on this bandwagon on a whim, the more whiny loudmouthed quitters there will be joining these vegan-bashing forums full of misinformation.

Please don’t let yourself be influenced by such people going through a really lowdown phase in their lives. Always listen to your better self.

End of sermon. 😌

[Uncredited images courtesy of]

4 thoughts on “An Honest Conversation with an Ex-Vegan (for a change)

  1. I know, “the more flaky trendies who hop on this bandwagon on a whim, the more whiny loudmouthed quitters there will be joining these vegan-bashing forums full of misinformation.”

    Flaky trendies. Shallow, superficial. We’re to expect them in a world littered with their type.

    But still, it is beyond my comprehension how someone can be vegan for the animals, then turn their back on them. That’s a serious character flaw. I’ve said it before, and I say it again, even if veganism weren’t healthier, and even if I didn’t feel better, stronger, more alert, I’d be a vegan. And that’s for the animals.

    Thanks for writing, Laura, I enjoyed it.

    1. Why thank you Peter, so nice of you! Ashamed to say, I had that character flaw back throughout the 90s and early 2000s, although I never went back to meat, but to dairy, eggs and occasional fish…whole lot of self-deception and shoveling of BS over my guilt went on, along with a ton of weight gained. Since 2009, got my health back and my weight down to normal, but like you say, even if that hadn’t happened, for the animals I’d still be vegan.

      We’ve been having earthquake after earthquake here so I needed some “vegan niceness” (I’m such a nerd) to soothe my nerves. They’ve been rather gentle and rolling by the time they reach my area, but still long-lasting and frightening, and at the epicenter in the Ridgecrest area they’ve been really rough and terrifying. I go weak in the knees and tremble like a little kid during these things. Wish us well, will you? And I always wish people like you and all the kind people and the animals well, too, needless to say.

      1. There’s always backsliding. Always. And in various degrees, until one settles themselves. And even then to lesser measures, most of which is not the fault of the individual but instead the anti-primitive influences, the commercialization pounded into our existence where our very essence becomes infected, confused, desireful. And that is not easy to overcome; often to even recognize. But there’s a difference — a significant distinction between the sincere person who backslides and the shallow, superficial, flaky trendy, bandwagon hopper who gives too much of a fuck for what people think about them.

        A few years back, we had an early morning tremor here in southern Indiana. I was in the kitchen and heard a strange, muffled-like growl, seen the door vibrate slightly. I had no idea what was happening, it was only slight but noticeable. Almost like a distant train passing by. It was too faint and too quick to pass, and I’m too dense to be frightened by it. But I can imagine the fear of a “real” earthquake. As frightening as a tornado I would think.

        Wishing you all the best while our Mother Earth grumbles, and always, of course.

        1. Another huge difference are those quitters who work actively AGAINST others becoming or being vegan…that is truly the sludgy, stinking, bottom of the barrel scum of all scumbags. Totally unforgivable, and yet they hold their dopey little heads high and blather away, lapping up all sorts of kudos from animal ag interests. Reading that crap online, presented as real communications by real “folks,” feels like cancer. At least I never did that, wouldn’t even have considered it for a second.

          You need to come to this So Cal insane asylum and ride out a real quake sometime, it’s a real hoot. But seriously, the thought of buildings and homes being destroyed and all of us lunatics running around trying to survive makes me ill. Then there are all the animals people are responsible for. Here’s hoping we keep having relatively small ones which can prevent a really bad one. And tornadoes, which you can have in Indiana, have to be absolutely terrifying. I sincerely hope you never go through a bad one.

          Thanks for your thoughts, Peter, always a pleasure.

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