The Impossible Burger

We tried The Impossible Burger!

We were able to order one at Daily Eats and, wow, it tastes just like a real, bona-fide, meat-based burger. It was such a weird taste and feeling considering I haven’t had a meat burger in more than 2 decades! Here’s the bottom-line review:
The taste is close enough to be confidently called, “perfect”. This IS a burger. I ordered mine medium-well and you can see the pink in the middle–looks like blood, but isn’t… It was hard to wrap my mind around it.
The texture is so close, only a discerning burger lover could tell the difference. To me, it tasted just slightly mushy (just a little), like the center was maybe closer to a pate than a normal fatty burger. It had a slightly more salty taste than I remember burgers having, too, but it’s so close you could only tell if you were looking for it.
The only bummer is that it can only be found in Tampa at the Ciccio’s chain of restaurants (Ciccio’s, Ciccio Water, Ciccio Cali, Green Lemon, The Lodge, Daily Eats… all of them except Fresh Kitchen). Unfortunately and bizarrely, the Ciccio chain is super NOT vegan-friendly (although the owner made an open request on the news for vegans and vegetarians to come and try it–so…maybe let them know you heard him).
I had to order the burger without the mustard aioli and, of course, no cheese… and take your chances if the bun is vegan, but almost certainly not (just FYI). Too bad all their chains suck for vegans, but at least we gave it a shot. And, hey, thanks just the same, Daily Eats. How about a slice of Daiya or Chao cheese to top that burger for your patrons who are sometimes stuck hanging out with their vegan hipster friends?
To think what real vegan-friendly restaurants could do with this amazing plant-based meat is mind-blowing. A Love Food Central Impossible Burger? Oh yes. Or Cider Press, or even Square 1 or Evos, anyone but Ciccio’s basically… could make a vegan killing (no pun intended there, really).
Nonetheless, The Impossible Burger is a game changer! Grade: solid A if you miss the taste and texture of a real burger, or if you are a meat-eater who wants the same food but at a lower cost to lives and the environment. Try the Impossible!
Want to know more about The Impossible Burger? Here is a video and article featuring Jeff Gigante, co-founder of Ciccio’s restaurant group explaining what it is, what makes it tastes like an actual burger, and why it is better, even for meat-eaters!

3 Principles for Better Living (Part 2- Peace Out)

As I shared in part one of this post, being vegan, for Nicole and I, is about more than food. It’s about living better. That means embracing minimalism, living peacefully, and “doing” more instead of “having” more. We struggle with all that, at times, but we grow closer to living our way with each day. As we know already, it is about the journey and not so much the destination.

I am sharing the value of these three principles in hopes it might help you along your own journey.

 

Living Peacefully

This sounds like a lofty “Gandhi” wanna’ be goal, but it is actually a simple, practical tool for us. Nicole knows guns and is quite a marksman. I have a black belt and I’m pretty comfortable with stick-fighting. So Nicole and I are not afraid of conflict and we don’t shy away from trouble. We can handle ourselves in most situations, BUT… we like not fighting with each other (or with other people). It’s just easier to live that way.

It is logical to live peacefully, too. That is why we choose veganism. I love a good Philly steak sub and Shish Kabob hot off the grill but I choose not to eat them. There are plenty of other delicious things I can eat instead and if I can have all my vitamins, minerals, and nutrients without killing or harming another animal… then I’m okay with that. Just because I know martial arts does not mean I have to beat up anybody who irritates me (plus I would die of old age still fighting people). By the same token, just because I like the taste of burgers does not mean I have to eat any that someone sets in front of me.

Living peacefully goes beyond being vegan, though. It also means learning to control the rage inside of us–the stuff we keep bottled up from past wrongs or current troubles. As a culture, we are particularly terrible at dealing with emotional pain. Just think of the advice you get when you break up with someone. “There are plenty of other fish in the sea,” people tell you, “You were too good for him,” or “I never thought she was good for you, anyway”. We are taught over and over to do anything except acknowledge the pain as necessary and heal through it.

Emotional pain works the same as physical pain. It is physical pain. It happens in your body. When you are physically hurt, you know there is no shortcut. You can’t just trade in the cut on your arm for a younger, hotter arm. You have no choice but to let the cut heal, over time, and sometimes there are scars. You live with them and learn powerful lessons. They hurt a lot at first, but over time, you make peace with your bumps and bruises–accept them as part of life–and eventually they get better.

Living peacefully, then, means respecting life. Respecting that other people have their own kinds of pain to deal with, that other animals live in fear of slaughter, that we do not always put our best foot forward… but we can always try. We can try to do what is right. When we fail, we can try to make it right. Most of all, we can acknowledge that if we stop trying, we can never expect to get it right. That means, if we keep trying, then we will eventually get it right.

Whether it is a burger, a conversation, or a car crash, living peacefully means respecting yourself and accepting that you have the power to affect the world around you–and so, respecting the world around you as well.

 

In my next post, I will share the last of my three principle for living better: “Do More instead of Have More”. Don’t forget to subscribe to A Couple Vegans if you enjoy our blog. Until next time… forget about your inner peace. Find the Outer Peace–the peace you can bring to the world around you–and run with that. 

 

REVIEW: THAI ISLAND RESTAURANT

RATING: B+

WHAT: Thai Island Restaurant

WHERE: 210 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

PRICE: $56.00 for two, including tip. We had the Corn Fritter, Thai Spring Roll, Tom Yum Soup with vegetables, Red Curry with vegetables and tofu, and Pad Pak with tofu.

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ATMOSPHERE:
We sat on the patio and did not go inside so it is hard to give a good review on the atmosphere. The patio had ample seating.  It faced the street which had some pedestrian traffic and minimal auto traffic.

HOW VEGAN IS IT?
This is a Thai restaurant with some vegan options. Vegan items are not identified on the menu but they do mention having vegan items on their website. Our server was knowledgeable about what “vegan” is and assisted us with our menu choices.

THE GOOD:

The food is very tasty at Thai Island! Portion sizes are good and the prices are reasonable for the portions. They actually had options for vegan desserts! Michael thought the Mango Sticky Rice was out of this world!

With international cuisine, I worry about the language barrier but our server’s accent was minimal. He was also a very good server. I ordered water without ice because I don’t typically like cold beverages and it is a pet peeve of mine to have my water refilled with the iced water pitcher. This wonderful server brought the water carafe and then realized it was cold, so he went and got us one at room temperature without my even having to ask for it.

The menus themselves were unique.  They had wood covers with little delicate hinges on them. The whole experience definitely left a good impression.

THE BAD:

No indication on the menu of which items are vegan, or can be made vegan. It was nice that the Thai Island website mentions some vegan items but actually having them noted on the menu would be great.

THE SUMMARY:

We found this gem of a restaurant with a Google search for “vegan Thai in Tampa”. Davis Island has a quaint downtown with several local shops we will go back and visit including other restaurants with vegan options! There was live music being played at a restaurant across the street which was nice for us–not too loud from our vantage point, and good talent. We will definitely return to Thai Island!

 

How our reviews work:
We accept no sponsors or advertisements so we can give honest reviews of everything we try. We are regular customers (but we don’t try to hide what we are doing–they can see us taking notes and pictures). If approached, we will explain ourselves and ask probing questions. We share our thoughts about the experience with each other and then each of us gives a letter grade (A to F). We take the average of both grades to create our rating and share our notes with you!

REVIEW: LOTUS VEGAN RESTAURANT

RATING: B+

WHAT: Lotus Vegan Restaurant is a 100% Vegan Restaurant, mostly Vietnamese dishes with some American ones

WHERE: 6575 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

PRICE: $40.00 for two, including tip. We had the Crispy Cha-Cha appetizer, Curry Rice with BBQ, Lemongrass Tofu, and a Cheesecake. Cheesecake is Michael’s favorite and he started eating it before I could get a picture.

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ATMOSPHERE:
The atmosphere was simple. There was one lotus picture hanging on the wall, a few signs like “Open”, “Please Come Again”, and a sign about the buffet that we were too early for. White table cloths. Nothing fancy. It felt a little outdated but clean.

HOW VEGAN IS IT?
100%!

THE GOOD:
Did I mention it is 100% vegan?  It is such a treat to go and order anything off the menu without worrying about the ingredients or customizing to avoid cheese or fish sauce or cream, etc.  It is definitely a treat we don’t get often enough.  The food was very tasty and homemade.  Some restaurants seem to just buy vegan food and warm it up, but that was not the case with anything we had, including the cheesecake. The restaurant wasn’t very busy (we went around 2:00pm on a Saturday) and there was not a long wait for our food.

The owner took a genuine interest in us and how long we have been vegan.  She chatted with every table about this. Portion sizes seemed good for the price.  There was some food left over, but not enough to take home for another meal.

THE BAD:
They were out of Carrot Cake.  This is my favorite dessert and I was looking forward to it, especially with their food being so good.

Besides that, there were too many options that sounded so tasty and we couldn’t try everything. We were a few hours before the buffet and we actually had the conversation about just getting an appetizer and going to a park for a few hours just so we could try more of their options.

There is also no outdoor seating.

THE SUMMARY:
We were happy to find this restaurant, but we are usually happy to find anything that is 100% vegan.  It was well worth the drive and definitely we’ll be returning to try more of their menu items.

 

How our reviews work:
We accept no sponsors or advertisements so we can give honest reviews of everything we try. We are regular customers (but we don’t try to hide what we are doing–they can see us taking notes and pictures). If approached, we will explain ourselves and ask probing questions. We share our thoughts about the experience with each other and then each of us gives a letter grade (A to F). We take the average of both grades to create our rating and share our notes with you!

REVIEW: SQUARE 1 BURGERS (RESTAURANT)

RATING: B-

WHAT: Square 1 Burger Bar

WHERE: Square 1 Burgers & Bar approximately ten locations throughout Florida.  This review was based on our experience at 3701 Henderson Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33609.

PRICE: $44 for 2 burgers with fries, 1 Pepsi, 1 craft beer, and a cup of coffee

ATMOSPHERE:
Casual, animal-centric (cow print couches, antler horn chandeliers, etc., but the patio is free of that nonsense), outdoor seating that is dog-friendly

HOW VEGAN IS IT?
Meh. They have one vegan option but it is a great option if you have to go somewhere with non-veg friends.

THE GOOD:
The “Very Vegan Veggie Burger” is the only vegan entrée on the menu, but it is house made and delicious. As far as vegan options go, this is one of the best burgers a vegan can find in Tampa. Since Square 1 definitely does NOT cater to vegans, it is nice that they have an option at all, and especially nice that it is a good option. They have several locations and all of them serve the Very Vegan Veggie Burger.

The patio is even a nice choice on a drizzly day.  It provides enough protection from the rain as long as it isn’t blowing too hard.

THE BAD:
As with any restaurant that serves non-vegan food but also claims to have something vegan, you take your chances. Just because the burger is called “vegan” does not mean the bun is vegan (it probably isn’t). The fries, if you order them, are likely cooked in the same grease as the chicken tenders, cheese poppers, fish sticks, or anything else fried. The oil may not even be vegan (but it probably is–we didn’t ask, but most restaurants of this scale use vegetable oil).

The restaurant decor and marketing is VERY cow-centric. It is surprising some place so clearly anti-vegan has such a good vegan option.

THE SUMMARY:
Square 1 isn’t on our short list of vegan faves, but if we wanted to grab a beer with coworkers or entertain (non-veg) friends or family, it’s not a bad pick. And we appreciate that they even thought of us.

 

 

How our reviews work:
We accept no sponsors or advertisements so we can give honest reviews of everything we try. We are regular customers (but we don’t try to hide what we are doing–they can see us taking notes and pictures). If approached, we will explain ourselves and ask probing questions. We share our thoughts about the experience with each other and then each of us gives a letter grade (A to F). We take the average of both grades to create our rating and share our notes with you!

Oh, You’re Vegan?

For several years after I chose a vegan lifestyle, I went out of my way to hide my aversion for eating or wearing animal products from strangers.

When I would meet work friends at lunch, for example, I would order food nonchalantly, explaining as little as possible. “I’ll have a veggie sub, toasted, no cheese. Thanks.” Unless people hung out with me enough to see a pattern to my meal habits, almost nobody picked up on my being vegan. I didn’t wear hemp clothing or comment on anybody’s diet or animal welfare. In fact, except with people who I kept a close relationship with, I would avoid the question if it came up. If somebody asked point-blank,”You always order the Veggie sub. Are you a vegetarian?”, I would laugh and dodge the topic, “I guess I am today. Did you hear about that thing in the news?”

I liked it that way but I decided to be more open with people in 2011, so I began sharing I am vegan if it came up naturally in conversation. Once I shared it the first time, though, it came up often.

There are plenty of internet memes and jokes poking fun at vegans with snide phrases like, “How do you know if someone is vegan? Don’t worry. They’ll tell you.” The thing is, for most vegans, it feels like the opposite is true. “How does everybody know you’re vegan? Don’t worry. The first time you order quinoa, someone will ask.”

Sure, there are the PETA people–the vegans and vegetarians exclaiming their borderline psychologically troubling love for other species every chance they get, to anyone who will listen. Associating the nutters with all vegans, though, is like assuming all white people are just like Fred Phelps.

Most vegans do not launch blogs and picket outside McDonald’s. Personally, I am glad that some do (I’m not a PETA fan but I am glad there are people trying to do well and taking up a fight for such an important philosophical distinction). Most vegans, though, do not care if anyone knows they are vegan. They do not care if you are worried about their protein (don’t worry–they are probably getting more protein than you are). They do not care what you think about being vegan anymore than you care what vegans think about the Chicago Bears being called “bears”.

Most vegans are not trying to scare you, harm you, blame you, or shame you. Most non-vegans seem to do that to themselves. Vegans do not care if you know they are vegan, I promise. The vegans I know just want to enjoy great food that didn’t cause any pain in the world. Not even to your ego.

And maybe that’s worth bragging about , but we try not to.

 

REVIEW: QUEEN OF SHEBA (RESTAURANT)

RATING: A-

WHAT: Ethiopian Restaurant

WHERE: 3636 Henderson Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609

PRICE: $48.66 for two, including tip. We had the Vegetarian Combo #2 (6 sample items, $13 per person), a tomato salad appetizer (highly recommend), and 2 hot teas.

ATMOSPHERE:
Traditional Ethiopian themed. The interior is dark brown, dimly lit (romantically lit, maybe?), and the decor is simple, with a mix of traditional seating and “traditional Ethiopian” seating for your preference.

HOW VEGAN IS IT?
Very! All “vegetarian” dishes are also vegan. No substitutions necessary. Appetizers are appropriately labeled, as well. There are no vegan desserts, unless you count the Honey Chips, which… have honey… obviously.

THE GOOD:
The food is great! Like, really great. It’s authentic (as compared to our experience at other Ethiopian restaurants across the U.S.). The staff is very friendly and genuinely seemed to care that we liked our food, but not in that overly creepy way, like when the owner of the restaurant hovers by your table and wants to talk more than you want to eat. You know what we mean.

THE BAD:
Well… the restaurant could be a little cleaner overall but it’s about what you might expect from a small family owned place. There is a good bit of dust around the place. The tables are covered in disposable paper and the lighting is quite dim. The outdoor seating is minimal, uncomfortable (metal lawn furniture) and on a loud, busy road.

The prices, in our opinion, are a bit high for the amount of food received, especially considering most of these dishes are extraordinarily cheap to make at home, if you know how. Still, they are not as outrageous as, say, Byblos, but certainly on the high side.

You might have to deal with a bit of a language barrier, too, if you have a complicated order or just like to talk to the wait staff. As far as the staff goes, the service is not what you would expect to find at most restaurants. During one visit, for example, our waitress (who was the only employee working), literally left the restaurant for 20 minutes, just trusting that we would be there when she returned.

THE SUMMARY:
This is a nice restaurant for a change of pace.  It is not every day that it is acceptable to eat with your fingers and share food with everyone at the table like it is when you eat Ethiopian.  There are so many menu options! Everything we tried has been good. Of course, we like some things better than others, but all great fresh food.

 

 

How our reviews work:
We accept no sponsors or advertisements so we can give honest reviews of everything we try. We are regular customers (but we don’t try to hide what we are doing–they can see us taking notes and pictures). If approached, we will explain ourselves and ask probing questions. We share our thoughts about the experience with each other and then each of us gives a letter grade (A to F). We take the average of both grades to create our rating and share our notes with you!

How Do I Go Vegan?

“I think the only thing that’s keeping me from being vegan is not knowing how!” Somebody said this to me (Michael) recently and I am sure I said something like that when I first committed myself to an animal-free lifestyle and diet.

After being vegan for nearly two decades now, I can offer five simple tips to help you get started (or help you help someone else get started), and make it stick. Here are five things that worked for me…

 

     1.  You do not have to go vegan all at once. It’s not an all or nothing game when you start. Just replace one thing at a time. For example, olive oil can replace butter, no matter how you use it—even on toast (it’s actually better-tasting!). So one night, put olive oil on your corn cob instead of butter. You’ll find you can totally survive it. When it’s time to replace one pair of your shoes, choose a new pair with no leather uppers. Baby steps.

 

     2. EVERY meal is already vegan—if you just take out one or two things. The irony of being vegan is that people think vegans eat nothing but salad. “I could never go vegan!” they exclaim, but they are already vegan. Everybody already eats what vegans eat (we would of malnutrition if we didn’t eat vegan foods). Vegans eat salad, sure, but it is more appropriate to say vegans eat an extra helping of salad–not “just” salad. If your dinner is steak with a side of green beans and a side salad, all you have to do is have an extra helping of salad or green beans instead of the steak. Congratulations, you’re vegan.

 

     3. Find the stuff you don’t have to give up that is already “accidentally” vegan. Oreo cookies, Fritos chips, Cracker Jack, Pepsi, Spaghetti Marinara, Black Bean Soup, most bagels, and a bunch of other stuff is vegan by default so you don’t have to give it up! Being vegan does not mean “never eating anything you love”. It means finding new things you love to eat on top of the vegan things you already eat!

 

     4. Don’t beat yourself up. I tried to go vegan three times before it finally stuck. The best advice I heard when that helped me finally break through my meat and cheese coma was this: “It’s okay to miss the food you love.” I felt so much guilt when I would drive by an Outback Steak House and secretly enjoy the smell. I would hate myself for wanting a hot dog at a family cookout, trying to admonish thoughts of enjoying the smell or taste of charred animal flesh. When I realized, “It’s okay to miss the food you love,” I also realized my helpful vegan friend used the present tense: “love”, not “loved”. It hit me, then, that it’s okay to pine after the smell of barbecue or pizza. But sometimes you have to give up food you love even if you are not vegan. Diabetics, for example, have to give up certain things, but we don’t even have to go to medical choices. Sometimes you don’t have room for dessert or you don’t want your breath to stink before a date so you pass on your mom’s lasagna. Being vegan is similar. You don’t have to feel guilty about everything you are missing—and it’s okay to miss it. After all, being vegan is simply a choice you make at each meal.

 

     5. It’s your choice. The real trick to how I have stayed vegan for 20 years is simple. I don’t look at it like something I have doomed myself to for the rest of my life. It is just a decision I make when I eat. “I think I’m going to skip the cheesecake this time,” is probably something I say to myself at least once a week! Being vegan is not a prison sentence. It is just a decision you get to make at every meal. Maybe one day in the future I will decide not to be vegan, but so far, it is a decision that feels pretty good, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Plus, if it did, we would have to change the name of our blog!

 

 

If you are struggling with being (or becoming) vegan, hope those five tips help. If you are a long-time pro vegan and you have a tip or two to add to first-timers, let us know in the comments. If you find value in our little blog, be sure to share it. Thanks!

 

ALL INCLUSIVE VACATION MADE VEGAN

Earlier this month, Michael and I had the opportunity to go on vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun with non-vegans.  This was my first all-inclusive vacation and I did not know what to expect.

Of course, I was worried about the food options. I wanted to share my experience and some of the lessons I learned on how to get good vegan food at an all-inclusive. I am not promoting the resort we visited or saying the options were great… just how we navigated them. With this being my first experience, I don’t know if this is normal or if it will work at most all-inclusive resorts.

I understand different resorts offer different things, but this resort had a breakfast buffet, one restaurant open for lunch, and four restaurants to choose from for dinner. The breakfast buffet was surprisingly easy and had great options.  In the buffet, there was an omelet station. We asked the chef to saute just the veggies for us.  There was some cross-contamination but we did not expect perfection. This was tasty even without seasoning. There was also fresh fruits and veggies.  They usually had a potato option like roasted potatoes with olive oil or hash browns that were good. They had cereal and soy milk by the smoothie/juice bar. On some mornings, they had other vegan options, like roasted tomato, zucchini, and eggplant stack, or strawberry tamales.

Lunch was the hardest meal with the fewest options. They only had one restaurant regularly open for lunch and it only had one small salad and one sandwich option. This got boring. There was one day that another restaurant was opened.  It was Italian themed.  We had a horrible time getting this one right, but the server was very kind. First, we ordered the Arrabbiata and were going to share it.  Well, it was presented with grated parmesan cheese, so it got sent back. Then it was too spicy for me.  Michael got to enjoy it all to himself and I ordered a marinara dish. Glad that we weren’t paying for each plate.

Dinners  were easier than I expected.  They asked if anyone in our dining party had food allergies. I took this as an opportunity to tell them we were vegan. Sometimes we had to explain what that meant and sometimes the language barrier was a little challenging, but in the end, the food was great and, we have to assume, vegan.

All of the staff were more than willing to assist and go out of their way to help us (and we tipped them graciously to show our appreciation).

If you go on vacation in Mexico, be patient if their English is not the best. Remember, this is their second language and it isn’t like we learned the local language before visiting, so we could converse with them.

Do you have any all-inclusive tips that you found worked? If so, we would love to hear them in the comments!

Stop People Abuse!

Vegans hate animal cruelty. Like, really hate it. It is probably the number one reason most vegans become vegan–because they watched an internet video, or saw a documentary, or read a book detailing the many follies of factory farming.

In protest of animal cruelty and protection of animal rights, some of us begin the very difficult journey of abstaining from eating or wearing anything that is, or comes from, any animal. Some vegans even begin treating animals better than humans. They become militant. These vegans take up the war cry for animal rights and putting an end to cruelty. They begin shaming their friends and posting general rants on social media extolling the virtues of their life decision while pointing out the worst in human behavior.

For me, that is a problem (this is Michael, by the way). I think it is not only ineffective for helping animals but it is also not a good way to invite other people to become curious about veganism.

Militant vegans, though filled with good intentions, hurt the movement. 

It is certainly frustrating to see story after story about animal suffering and I sometimes feel a swell of anger at the world for not understanding basic cause and effect relationships. Nonetheless, I remind myself to share the anger with my closest friends if I need to, but keep the conversation going with those who are not aligned with the values of their better angels yet.

I can’t say I have found the secret formula or perfect argument to make every person I meet become vegan, but I know what worked for me… and what didn’t. I also know by following three simple principles, I have been able to grow curiosity about veganism in more non-vegans than I ever would have thought possible. People tentatively approach the subject when they meet me but then use me as a resource as they take one step at a time closer to an animal-friendly world.

Maybe it’s slow (probably no slower than any other approach), but it works… and no one gets hurt. I hope some of my militant vegan friends will adopt the same easy principles in their conversations and postings, and maybe… just maybe… we can add a few more vegans to the roster instead of pushing some people away altogether.

Here are my three guidelines:

1.  Do not judge non-vegans. Everyone has a choice to make and I was well into my twenties when I decided to live a more peaceful life with respect to my fellow creatures. There are probably many other bad decisions I need to correct, as well–most of which I am probably unaware of. That is why I do not judge others for their bad choices… or at least I keep my judgments to myself, unless invited to share my opinion.

I didn’t know I should be vegan until I did the homework myself. More importantly, people like me (and probably you) are the exception. Most people do not do much research into factory farming, animal cruelty, or ethical health choices. It’s not on their radar. It isn’t taught in school. There are no commercials for going vegan. They do not know what you might know. You were them just a little while ago and if somebody gave you the “Don’t you know how veal is made and where milk comes from?!?” rant, you would likely not be swayed. In fact, the first time you heard that rant, you probably did not believe it or were not that concerned about it. Eventually, you looked into it.

2.  Avoid blaming and shaming. This is probably the worst thing I see well-meaning, passionate vegans do. If your post or rant starts with “You”, “You people”, or “Why don’t people just…”, start over. It’s not Us versus Them. The people you are trying to reach are just as human as you are. If they are having a bad day already, the last thing they need to see in their social media feed is their judgy-vegan friend going off on them about their life choices. Instead of venting your anger vaguely at the people you supposedly love, try sharing about YOUR journey. Rather than, “When will people start understanding the suffering of animals? I can’t believe it’s 2016 and we still eat meat!”, try “I remember the moment when I understood why I could not eat meat anymore. It was when…”. Tell YOUR story rather than try to change everyone else’s.

3.  If no one asked your opinion, don’t assume they want it. I do not tell people I am vegan unless it comes up naturally in conversation. For me, it is not a bragging right. It is a life-choice. I don’t tell people I am a non-smoker, either. It’s just part of who I am. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your commitment to non-cruelty but most of the rest of the world just don’t care about your choices or opinions. If you want an audience, start a blog. If you want people to listen to you, create a podcast and find people who care enough to tune in. But your non-vegan mother, cousin, or work mate really doesn’t care to hear about baby seals being bludgeoned or seeing videos of how hamburgers are made. Only PETA does, and they probably don’t care what your opinion is on it, either, because–like your mother–they already made their choice. Pointing out how wrong or right it is doesn’t matter to them.

 

As a long time vegan advocate, I can tell you the biggest trap I see passionate vegans fall into is this: they believe in stopping cruelty and animal suffering… but they forget humans are animals, too.

 

If you like what I said here, I would like to recommend this article from Kolene Allen as well, one of our friends at VeganGR. It’s excellent.