I’ve been vegan for 6 years — things I’m sick of hearing – INSIDER

  • When I went vegan 6 years ago, I found it surprisingly easy and haven’t looked back.
  • Some people are hostile when they hear I don’t eat animal products, while others are simply curious.
  • People seem perplexed about what I can even eat, and some are concerned about my health.

In 2016, I decided to do “Veganuary” — that is, I stopped eating all animal products for the month of January.

I had already been vegetarian for more than 20 years, so I found the switch easy. I decided to continue it for another month … and then another. Nearly six years later and I’m still a vegan, with no intention of ever going back.

At the time, my decision came down to choosing a healthy diet and doubling down on my commitment to animal welfare. There are many reasons why people make the switch, from improved health to environmental concerns, but there’s one thing we no doubt all have in common: We get asked the same questions time and time again.

Here are some of the comments I regularly hear, and the responses that go through my head each time I hear them.

‘What do you even eat?’

Homemade vegan cheese.

Lydia Warren/Insider

I eat everything you do … without the meat! Pasta, tacos, soups, curries, noodles, cakes, salads, and so much more.

Sure, sometimes I have to be more creative in the kitchen, but I can now make anything from fresh pasta to paella, cheesecake to ice cream. I even made a fully vegan cheese board from scratch. Plus, the boom of plant-based products in supermarkets has made it so much easier for vegans to make a quick, satisfying meal. Anything is possible.

‘Don’t you miss bacon?’

No, I simply don’t see bacon as food.

Some vegans who once enjoyed the taste of meat may miss particular foods or may salivate at the smell of them cooking, but this isn’t true for me or for other plant-based eaters.

‘I don’t understand meat substitutes. Why not just eat the real thing?’

Impossible “meat.”

John Raoux/AP Images

I hear this one all the time, but some vegetarians’ and vegans’ decision to give up meat has nothing to do with its taste, so substitutes make it easier for them to quit meat while still getting that taste they like. While these products typically contain more sodium than real meat, experts say they’re still a healthier option.

“All vegan foods, including processed foods and vegan meats and cheeses, can have a place in a balanced, healthful diet,” said Taylor Wolfram, a registered dietitian.

While I’m personally …….