What does every non-vegan have? An excuse. Or a rambling list of excuses. (Now, before anyone starts getting defensive, let me mention that as a non-runner, I have a list of excuses for not running. Fact is fact.) Some lists are short and to the point: “I like meat and cheese.” Others are a nebulous cluster of myths masking an underlying fear of change. Well, this is the time of year for self-examination and organizing one’s thoughts, so I’m offering up my own list. This is the list I never wrote or articulated at the time, but which hid in the shadows and held me back for months.
Reasons Why I Could Never Be Vegan
- When I was vegetarian, I didn’t feel healthy, so how could I possibly be healthy as a vegan?
- I’m not a very health-focused person.
- I’m not much of a cook.
- Most recipes I know focus on meat or cheese.
- I really like homemade cheeseburgers.
- I’d have to give up baking, which I love.
- I’ve never liked salad.
- I don’t even like many vegetables.
- Tofu looks inedible and I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
- I can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods all the time.
- I don’t have the willpower.
- I’ve never been able to stick with a diet for more than 3 days.
- Vegans seem militant.
- I don’t know any vegans.
- My roommate and my boyfriend aren’t vegan.
- I don’t want to put that much effort into what I eat.
- I can’t imagine going a day without chocolate, cheese, or ice cream.
- I’d have to explain and defend my diet, and I just don’t know enough about it.
- I’m not even an “animal lover.”
- I’d feel like an impostor.
Whew. It always feels good to clean out the dark corners of the mind. I surprised even myself at what was hiding there! The list is certainly longer and more contradictory than I would have imagined.
Challenge: write your own list. Make it as long as possible while still being utterly truthful. Don’t leave off any excuse you have, or had at one point in your past. If you want to share your list, or just a peculiar excuse that came up during your inner search, I’d love to hear from you.