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Overcoming Social Challenges as a Vegan

I mic and today I want to briefly talk about social hurtles social challenges on a vegan diet and what I’ve learned over the years that might help you overcome them for example what do you do when there’s a group of people kind of ganging up on you as a vegan or how do you know the right thing to say when people are asking you a question how do you talk about a vegan diet without inciting a riot first I just want to start by saying I definitely don’t have all the answers here there is no silver bullet and I don’t know what’s best for you personally to say to all of the different people that you will run into but I can say what has worked for me and what i have seen work for other people so hopefully this will help at all alright first off to being vegan is to choose to be different at least in your lifestyle and being different means that you’re gonna get some challenges from time to time but I think what’s unique to veganism is the choosing itself the fact that you are making the choice did you ever notice that when somebody refuses dairy because of an allergy or meet because religion people just don’t seem to get offended but to refuse animal products as a vegan is upsetting because you can eat animal products you’re just choosing not to so you are immediately putting up a sort of ideological wall for certain people and that wall needeth be scaled yeah veganism is becoming more normal thankfully and overall tolerance to it seems to be rising but there will still be those difficult situations so how do we react how do you react when somebody is like oh you’re vegan so does that mean you don’t like when i showed me in your face how this happen now tell me how this it can explain how this has your response might be how would you like if I shoved a dead dog in your face or maybe just slap you how about that huh that’s probably a bad idea so we’re gonna explore some tactics so that you don’t burn those bridges that you really don’t want to burn but first it is worth mentioning that there are some bridges that are just kind of made out of matches like maybe your distant cousin ned who also happens to have a flannel shirt i consider myself the anti-vegan I eat meat 17 times a day and only veal another baby animals i love to pay people to exotic endangered animals and i consider the word vegan of profanity and i have another vegetable in four years like I said matches let’s move on to some practical stuff let’s say you are a million in a group of people somebody offers you cheese you say no thanks they say why you say I’m vegan and then pretty soon everybody’s asking you why you are being and other prying questions about where you get your protein how you can stand to live without cheese and the intimate details of how you survive on a desert island in this situation is oftentimes someone asking questions that actually is genuinely curious but others are being dragged into the situation that don’t have respect for the topic and they will quickly inflame things making it tense and awkward most because just aren’t equipped to deal with this type of group interrogation so there is one trick that I feel has helped me and that is to say something along the lines of I would love to answer your questions about this one-on-one later because Ned I see you glaring at me take two I would love to answer your question about this one-on-one later i’m not sure everybody wants to hear about this topic because it’s a sensitive subject this is good not only to give you time to gather your thoughts and not bif the answer to their question but because you probably don’t want to give a presentation on veganism right then and there and there’s probably also somebody who doesn’t want to hear it *Ned* whose sole mission will immediately become making you feel uncomfortable by telling jokes about squishing nearby small animals actual experience but sometimes somebody will respond to this from the whole group being like no it’s totally okay we’re all curious it’s fine go ahead wrong they do not speak for Ned Ned is waiting there ready to make your life miserable now zooming out to social interactions in general where people are barraging you with questions whether that’s your family or your friends I would definitely say arm yourself with some fact you might not be able to memorize every single study but because the most questions will be health concerns i think there are three very good simple things that you can memorize that will help answer a lot of these questions number one the position on vegetarian diets by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the world’s largest organization of nutritional professional says that an appropriately plan vegan diet is nutritionally adequate this answers questions about protein calcium and other nutrients a nuemonic device might help you remember the hardest part Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which is AND if and isn’t good enough maybe a nutty dolphin or whatever you can think of number two according to the Adventist population studies vegans had fifteen percent less mortality than omnivores that’s another way of saying mom no i’m not about to die and hopefully that will reassure people and people will always be concerned about your strength magically dwindling and this one always blows people’s minds number three the only male weightlifter to make it to the last Olympics on Team USA was a vegan and they broke a u.s. weightlifting record i’m talking about Kendrick Farris who yes is one person but his very real accolades will shatter paradigms the links to all three of those will be in the description but it’s not just about saying the right thing on paper it’s about saying it in the right way as well for example here is a more diplomatic tone I’m vegan I don’t eat animal products and here’s an example of a triggering tone i’m vegan I don’t eat animal products ah ah yeah i might have been a really unrealistic example but I think you get the point another sort of general thing which is really just my opinion and sort of out of the blue is I think it’s beneficial for vegans to sort of approach all of this with a sense of gumption or at least strive for some gumption gumption is a good word and it’s a good attitude to have when you are in some way different it’s grit it’s fortitude it’s that initiative that you need to stand by your principles this will keep you from folding in the face of differing opinions because if you cave and say yeah I guess a vegan diet isn’t really that nutritionally adequate and yet animal eyes don’t really matter and cows don’t really love their calves let me know they might just leave him in a dumpster so then you’re going to have gone against your principal well reinforcing the myths that perpetuate harmful modern diet and moving on there is one really quick one that is worth mentioning and that is humor it seems like ninety percent of the times I’ve seen these conversations go awry it’s because things get serious way too fast now don’t get me wrong there absolutely is the place for seriousness in the vegan movement we have plenty of it but a lot of times being serious closes people off so if you have the ability it’s worth trying out some humor the next and final strategy is asking questions conveying information through questions can sometimes be less offensive than telling people that information directly i say somebody thinks they need cow’s milk to live here is an example of the difference your body doesn’t need their humans just started consuming it relatively recently in history bad didnt humans survive without dairy for all of human history until a few thousand years ago better still passive aggressive but better final point I think that well there are social challenges of going vegan there are also definitely social opportunities i would say that there are so many amazing vegan people that I’ve met and that you have the opportunity to meet you can work together to make things better with and that is huge in summary try and keep things from escalating when you’re talking about veganism whether that’s proposing a one-on-one conversation when you’re talking in a group using humor or asking questions to get people thinking or just using a more diplomatic tone yes I am aware that these strategies aren’t going to work for everybody but i do hope that they helped some of you and there are some social challenges that I definitely just didn’t have time to cover in this video let me know down below if there anything you would like to hear me talk about alright that’s it for today feel free to like and subscribe thanks for watching and I will see you next time

100 thoughts on “Overcoming Social Challenges as a Vegan

  1. Where do you get your proteins: Fucking everywhere !!!!, where do you think the dead body you're eating got its nutrients, you dumb fuck.
    Yeah, might not be a good idea…

  2. I don't have Any problem with social challenges. Why, because i'm NOT Vegan in the sense that i'm going to push animal ethics down someones throat at the Expense of causing them to lose their heath. That's Foolish and counter productive. It astounds me most vegans don't see that. Vegans need to realize these people were brainwashed just like Them before they saw the Big Picture. Do you become vegan for the Animals – NO – Thats the wrong idea – you become vegan for your health First, then you can see the horrors of the animal factory farms more clearly. I have to live a "vegan" lifestyle because if I don't, I Will Die. That trumps anything a meat eater can say to me.

  3. At thanksgiving I made my own vegan meal and my cousin asked me do I smell meat on people since I went vegan. I said yes, you gain super senses lol

  4. Hey! I know you dont have much control over this so it's 100% understandable, but I just thought I'd let you know that ads for animal products (meat) are playing on this video and some of your others 🙁 (pizza with meat and cheese ad)

  5. For me the best way to go it is to refuse cheese politely without using the V word. And so the aggressive or passive aggressive questions are avoided! 🙂

  6. I would just say, “I’m just trying to eat healthier, so no thanks.” I think that answer will most likely lead to a dialogue about why I’m avoiding the offered food. Saying “I’m vegan” will most likely generate automatic rejection.

  7. Sometimes I’ll just say I’m allergic to avoid conversations but when I do feel like saying I’m vegan I’m very open, friendly, and not pushy when they ask why.

  8. so helpful, i remember in health class me and 2 other vegans in the class were being interrogated by the teacher who kept asking where we got our protein and how we're not dead.

  9. Wise words from a diplomat: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

  10. I would love to see the look on someone's face when they casually challenge your vegan diet in real life (not knowing who you are)… I bet it's draw dropping. Video idea??

  11. Vegan social challenges: You're brain won't work properly and you'll forgot people's names thanks to the lack of cholesterol and essential nutrients only found in animal products, vital for healthy brain function and hormonal health.

  12. I wish I’d seen this video fifteen years ago. In my twenties I reacted with aggression, not the best strategy! Honestly I’m still a bit passive aggressive… but I’m trying

  13. HAY BRO are you MAD ?? is this what happens when you go meatless. ?? just kidding trying to go meatless HELP ME !!!

  14. HAY mic tanks for the videos I'm trying to STOP eating ALL animals products I like you vid keep them coming TANK YOU

  15. Thank's Mic for this post…I have been challenged and failed numerous times while being Vegan because I comprimise my standard's because of social pressure and I am never happy when I do.

  16. 13 days on a vegan diet after 60 years a carnivore,,my wife and her family are looking at me like I am weird..I am feeling renewed

  17. The problem is a lot of vegans don't have gumption — they fold like clothes. And I say that as a vegan. After a year and a half at my workplace finally people pushed me to eat cheese, I refused, the questions started and it came out. I handled it fine, someone asked me about protein, I reminded them I lift way more than them and protein is in all plant foods, a couple of others asked about vegan alternatives to animal products and a couple of people walked away learning something. Judging by the comments and from the other vegans I know IRL this isn't the norm and most would rather slink away and make the whole movement look bad.

    EDIT: And the ones who don't fold tend to be hyper-aggressive cunts as Mic says. I dated one girl who couldn't shut the fuck up about being vegan and nobody liked her as a result. There seems to be a distinct lack of normal vegans who have a backbone, or maybe I just don't know any of them.

  18. Obviously my comment is late but my strategy has been really working (I’m a new vegan so I get a lottttt of questions. when someone asks why I say “i don’t know, I was just kind of curious about it so I tried it and absolutely loved it” and they actually start getting in to like why I like it and I can tell them all the health benefits I received like less acne, faster mile times, weight loss, mental clarity, and they actually start considering it too. I’ve actually gotten 2 people to turn vegetarian/vegan recently and I’m on my 3rd week of this way of life

  19. Ugh I have an aquaintance who will always, ALWAYS, comment something 'sassy', usually just calling it ridiculous or bullshit without sensible arguments why, with the hashtag #gomeat (yes, even in conversation) whenever I remotely hint at veganism or animal rights. He's no longer in my friend list on social media, but he is in my friends' lists and we meet every now and then in person. He's a big muscular heavy metal guitar playing 'dude' and I honestly feel he sees me as a threat to his masculinity or something. I'm not about to avoid him or be a doormat around him, but keeping my cool is getting harder and harder..

  20. I am not vegan (yet. But I want to get there eventually.) but if I had a Euro for everytime someone says something like "You should eat more meat!" or "That's not a real meal, there's no meat in it." I would be rich…
    Currently, I am debunking the whole prothein-thing for my family… I tell them over and over when they go into their 'veganism is dumb and unhealty' rant, and I am doing a great job so far, staying nice and friendly while standing my ground. Having numbers and studys really helps my case (we're great at argueing effectively), so thanks Mic!

  21. Funny how WE have to worry about burning bridges, but THEY obviously couldn’t give a shit less about those same bridges 🙄. Thank you Mic.

  22. Wow your video is amazing thank you for the tips! I was just looking for ways to talk more positivly with my family so thank you 🙂 !! Please, could you make a video about Vegan Humor 😀 and how to use it effectively ? That would be amazing and funny

  23. Hello. I sent a few of my close friends links to The videos Mic mad about “how your body transforms on a vegan diet”. No one cared to watch them. One of those friends told me they are depressed so I mentioned the videos hoping to shed some light on what could contribute to that depression. She told me I was being too pushy and later cracked an egg while I was talking. I mean why continue to just eat things when you have done 0 research on what it does to you? I think I need some space.

  24. The visual vegan against 'fat' meat eater / body shaming title slide is pathetic at best. You come across as ott / crazy.

  25. Challenger: What about all of the poor plants??
    Me, smiling broadly: Oh, you’re a plants rights activist! I love activists! Hey, you should go vegan! You’d save all the plants used to fatten livestock! 😀

  26. Hahahaha


    They just showed an Arby’s commercial before this video.

    It says Arby’s we have the meats.



  27. I hate that the animals suffer and will continue to suffer. I hate that we farm them for our disgusting, selfish desires. I don’t want to go back to eating animals or their derivatives and i, likely, never will. I’ll continue to make it work and explore more and more over time. But, plain and simple, being a vegan sucks! Finding new and exciting food items at the grocery store is a challenge. Going out to eat is a challenge. Having to request complicated orders sucks. Catching flack for your complicated order sucks. Always having to ask questions before you eat out sucks. Not being invited because there’s nothing for you to eat sucks. Turning down invites because there’s nothing for you to eat sucks. Hearing, “How do you get your protein?” right after you tell someone you’re vegan sucks. Listening to self proclaimed nutritionists simply because they heard that you’re vegan sucks. Having to avoid non food items because they aren’t vegan sucks. Catching flack because you’re not a perfect vegan sucks. Feeling guilty because you’re not a perfect vegan sucks. Realizing you’ll probably never be a perfect vegan, because of the world we live in, sucks. Knowing that the only good that comes from being vegan, comes from within…you guessed it, sucks! Being a vegan SUCKS.

  28. About the desert island question, considering every image of a desert island I've seen has a few palm trees and I have an almost full shelf of hearts of palm in my store cupboard , I think I may do better than a meat eater on said island, psychologically speaking 😊

  29. "…and I haven't had a vegetable in four years"
    LOL, or probably a bowel movement either. Constipation, it's what's "behind" most of the anti-vegan hate.

  30. I recently went vegan and went with a friend to a more healthy restaurant that had vegan options. While eating she said something like: ok this is fun and all but we can’t do this every time we hang out. I didn’t even know what to say…

  31. I am slowly progressing to become a vegan and all I want is for non vegans/vegetarians to be informed of what is going in in the meat + dairy industry. I can only respect someone's decisions once they have the truth. Once in Home Economics we learnt about ethical and sustainable problems in factory farming and the entire class opposed to the facts being shown right on the white board because they were too blind and felt guilty that this is happening to these animals and they are doing nothing about it. When someone disagrees with me, I stay calm and simply state facts. I use big words too so that they think I've done a heap of research and will eventually think about changing for the better.

  32. I just tell people I have food allergies (a lie) because people are very brutal when it comes to a vegan lifestyle. It is amazing how sensitive people are to differences (people are a little silly and immature that way). 🤣😆

  33. The nicest and most supportive comments I've gotten about being vegan have come from strangers when I'm out about. They usually observe what I'm buying at the grocery store checkout and ask if I'm vegan then say they wish they could do the same or that it's such a great thing.

    But extended family members visiting for a week saw I was making cashew milk and then blathered on and on for like 30 minutes about how great dairy is for you and how there's a local dairy farm by their house (which had nothing to do with all of the conventional animal products they literally just bought from the store). :-/ They then proceeded to push milk and yogurt onto their kids all week as if they were afraid their kids would become unhealthy from my WFPB cooking. 😐

    Meanwhile, the dad was literally having withdrawals from the lack of sugar and animal products and ended up running out to McDonald's before the week was out. When your body has sustained so much abuse that you're having withdrawals, you might want to rethink what you eat. 🙁

  34. Also saying you don't want to eat animals because you don't want to kill them shuts people down really quick. I remember before I learned about veganism I met a girl who didn't eat meat and I was like "why???" and was ready to judge her but then she said "it makes me too sad" and I instantly backed off.

  35. If someone asks you to eat meat, or dairy just say, I'm allergic. When they ask what happens just say, I immediately start to show signs of inflammation and heart disease.😁😎

  36. Thankyou mic for the video, some greats suggestions, although I disagree with the suggestion to use humor on the discussion of veganism. Veganism is a serious topic, people should feel depressed and bad about animal abuse, if there is humor on the subject it creates more of a positive association with the topic of animal abuse, it gives people a way of coping with the subject without them making the personal changes that the animals desperately need them to take. On the solution side of things there could be some humor so people get a positive association with the solution, however, jokes about veganism often involve negative stereotypes, self deprecation and alienating descriptions of veganism which are all not ideal when someone already has a negative attitude towards veganism, lacks imagination or is low i.q

  37. I have found that if I say, "No thank you, I eat a plant-based diet" or "I'm ON a plant-based diet".. then people react more favorably and don't have as many stupid questions as when I use the word "vegan", for some reason. If they ask why, they usually let it die at "for my health". It's like when I say "atheist" I get gasps and mean looks, but when I say I am "not religious" or a "secular humanist"… then people are like, oh, ok. I don't know… people are strange with words…

  38. Honestly, I've gotten so fed up with arguing with people who won't be persuaded anyway, I just don't any more so I have developed a standard 4-word response: "It works for me." Further attempts are met with "I've answered that"

  39. I’ve been vegan for 5 months and my friends still don’t know. That’s the extent I will go to too not tell them I’m vegan. Meat eaters are so fucking stupid when they say to stop telling them we’re vegan. MOST OF US DONT UNLESS YOU PUT US INTO A SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE TOO.

  40. I prefer more of the confrontational approach. If they want a conversation then that's fine, but if they think they will bully me they're going to find out that I don't play nice in those situations. Also, if ANYONE wants to have nothing to do with me ..for any reason… then straight peace.

    I work with a bunch of people who are all doing/attempting the keto diet, which means I'm 180 degrees different. They always ask me how I am thin when I snack on bread and they think eating even 5 carbs a day will make you fat.

  41. For me this hardest part of being vegan is going to social events like weddings, baby showers, and parties. It is the worst part of being vegan. Being vegan at home and at restaurants is easy, but when people are cooking for you, it is really hard to get vegan food

  42. I have been a vegetarian for a large part of my life and never even once tried to convert anybody to being vegetarian.. But all my friends new and old have tried multiple times to make me eat meat.. And I have to still explain at all family gatherings why I am a vegetarian after so many years..

  43. I’ve noticed if you say you’re plant-based, most people are okay with it – but if you say you’re a vegan, they immediately act as if you have the Black Plague.

  44. Anything you say that isn’t recanting your views on veganism has the potential to be distorted and inflated into an attack on non-vegans or sanctimony. It makes the person crying foul at my words look worse vis-à-vis my objectivity.

  45. How DO you vegans wash ya hands, face and the rest of ya bodies since most shampoos, soaps and face washes are all made from animal fats? Yeah! 😉 The live stock industry isn’t just about the meat you know! 😝😝😝 If you wanna go vegan go right ahead! But it should be for just paranoid health and safety reasons not so much ethical ones! I mean, will you sit on one of the bus’s seats, a train’s or somebody’s car if you KNEW they’re made of leather? And yes! The vegan diet IS the healthiest option if you REALLY wanna lose weight so badly and if we ever end up in a post antibiotic world most of wor will have to become vegan because meat will become rarer, very hard to get and too dangerous to eat! Plenty of very pure third world countries have no choice but to do so but at the same time, they can benefit immensely from an omnivorous diet and yes! Only very morbidly obese people need to go vegan until they have lost enough weight.

  46. I always just say in response to "Why are you vegan?" that I have read and listened to many studies about eating whole foods and it is very beneficial for our bodies and I like how it makes me feel…happy and healthy. I don't over justify or push the vegan lifestyle. I just do me 🙂 If they ask more questions I point them towards Dr.Greger and cronometer to see how beneficial it can really be.

  47. It's very hard for me to talk about veganism, because people around me tend to use my mental health against it 🙁 it feels like a double hit

  48. tell Ned that in your native tongue "Vegan" stands for "space faring alien that hunts human hunters" and wish him a good night.

  49. For me, it's pretty simple: ditched 5 medications on a vegan diet (truth). And I'm happy to share this with anyone!!! (Sorry if my becoming healthy offends you)…

  50. When I first went vegan, someone close to me said that my diet was extreme. This coming from someone who would go on weight loss diets such as only eating white fish for some stretch of time or only on a cold liquid diet. And then there is the office potluck or birthday where there is always cake, and the one coworker would say "Just try a little", because they felt I was antisocial? Other than "no thanks", what would be a better response to that?

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