Vegan Nazis…Watch Out for Them

Via David Romanelli
on Oct 15, 2011
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I left yoga class in NYC with my friend Bryce.

We walked by one of those doughnut stands.

I’m not sure the last time you’ve been to Manhattan but those doughnuts sure do smell good.

I got myself a doughnut.

Bryce quickly muttered, “Y’know, I’m vegan.”

“Cool Bryce,” I said enjoying the first bite of my chocolate doughnut.

Bryce continued, “That doughnut is fried in oil, made with butter, white refined sugar, and bleached white flour. It’s disgusting.”

But it sure did taste good.

Bryce went on, “Eating just one doughnut will boost your trans fats intake to its daily limit and throw off your blood sugar, not to mention the death and destruction that went into the making of that doughnut.”

It was fast becoming clear that Bryce is a Vegan Nazi.  (I use that term lightly being that my grandparents were European Jews who escaped the Nazis during World War II)

Bryce kept chattering, “David, that doughnut won’t nourish you in the slightest and you’ll be hungry again soon.”

A Vegan Nazi loves to tell you they’re vegan, and shove (and I mean SHOVE) down your throat the fact that when you consume animal products you are a disgusting person who will die young.

Vegan Nazis are bad for the Vegan movement and they crush your buzz, especially if you get a buzz off food.

Bryce still had more to say, “David, all said and done, you need to lose weight and that doughnut isn’t gonna help.”

With the freezing rain slapping down on my head combined with this nonsense, I snapped, “With all due respect, fu-k you Bryce! I’m freezing, I’m starving, I’m pressed for time…can’t you just let me enjoy my doughnut in peace?!”

It’s been over 60 years since World War II when the Nazis haunted the earth.

But the battle lives on for those trying to reclaim art stolen by the Nazis during the war.

Holocaust survivors and their heirs are still scrapping with museums and governments for the return of thousands of pieces of looted art.

An estimated 100,000 pieces of art remain out of legal reach to those who watched, or whose relatives watched the Nazis steal their art from their dens, living rooms, and bedrooms.

Take Michal Klepetar, for example.

He is a real-estate project manager from Prague, and has been trying for nine years to persuade the Czech National Gallery to relinquish 43 paintings that once belonged to his great-uncle, Richard Popper.

Along with his wife and daughter, Popper died in Nazi camps during the Holocaust.

Popper’s closest living relatives is Klepetar, now 63.

But the National Gallery has refused to return to the paintings to Klepetar, citing a law adopted in 2000 by the Czech government that entitles only Holocaust victims or their “direct descendants” to file claims for stolen property.*


My mantra: A beautiful, funny, delicious moment a day keeps the stress away.

For many of us, the masterpieces of our lives are not works of art, but rather those little beautiful, funny, or delicious moments that form our greatest memories.

Whether driving to work and hearing the first notes from Jerry Garcia’s guitar…or enjoying an all-too-unhealthy but oh-so-delicious doughnut on the freezing streets of NYC…

Don’t let your moments, your treasures, be plundered…whether by the Vegan Nazis… or the sheer velocity of life.

As Emerson said, “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Use them wisely and they will be the brightest gems.”


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About David Romanelli

David "Yeah Dave" Romanelli has played a major role in pioneering the modernization of wellness in the United States. He believes wellness and feeling good is so much more than fancy yoga poses, green juice, and tight-fitting clothes. Dave launched his career fusing ancient wellness practices with modern passions like exotic chocolate, fine wine, and gourmet food by creating Yoga + Chocolate, Yoga + Wine, and Yoga for Foodies.  His work has been featured in The Wall Street JournalFood + Wine, Newsweek and The New York Times; and his debut book, Yeah Dave's Guide to Livin' the Moment reached #1 on the Amazon Self-Help Bestseller List. Dave's new book launches in Fall 2014 from Skyhorse Publishing. Check out his new show Yeah Dave! brought to you by Scripps Network, the people behind The Food Network, Travel Channel, HGTV, and more.  He is a current contributor to Health Magazine, Yoga Journal, and various other publications. Discover more about his journey on


16 Responses to “Vegan Nazis…Watch Out for Them”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

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  2. __MikeG__ says:

    I am completely sick and tired of people left, right and center calling other people Nazis because they disagree with each other. Your "friend" is not a Nazi and calling him a Nazi is disrespectful to the millions who were killed by real Nazis.

  3. stephanie says:

    "Whether driving to work and hearing the first notes from Jerry Garcia’s guitar…" ~ love that you inserted that in there.

    I enjoy this article, I see your point very clear. Unlike your friend, I do not live a complete vegan lifestyle or make every choice with vegan philosophy in mind (although it is a goal of mine to someday doing so). I do, however, stick to a vegetarian diet and have learned over the years that preaching does not persuade my friends to make healthier, more conscious choices about the foods they choose to eat. Setting an example without words, rather, and showing them that there are many delicious options as to what you can eat that may not involve any animal products is probably the best way to get a positive reaction from friends and family, in my opinion.

    Maybe you could suggest to your friend that he start carrying nice vegan treats with him to offer to his friends when he'd rather see them eating something else…otherwise I think you justified your thoughts just fine 😉

  4. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    I don't think it's necessary to be upset by this post or to feel angry toward David for writing it. I truly believe that he's not trying to 'hurt' anyone with his provocative sense of humour. What about Seinfeld? Has anyone seen the Soup Nazi episode?

    Why must we fight to hold onto assumptions – assumptions that assume the worst in people?

  5. Steph says:

    I see your point, MikeG. But on the other hand, there's a risk that by treating the word 'Nazi' as so off-limits and not even open to ironic usage, that we turn something 'evil' or 'blasphemous' into something 'sacred' or at the very least 'precious' or rarefied. While those who suffered under the hands of the historical Nazis deserve our respect, the word 'nazi' itself does not deserve any veneration.

  6. Jenna says:

    Don't worry the Vegan nazis cannibalize each other.

    Here is a great account of someone who has been great for the vegan community actually proclaiming she isn't a vegan anymore because of the way vegans treat each other.

  7. I think I agree with your point, but I don’t think you finally made your point in the article.

    I’ve been vegan for over 12 years now, and I think for people who are vegan, environmentalist, overly political, etc it’s very very easy to get a little bitter or jaded and to snap at people or come off abrasive. When I became vegan 12 years ago, I had my ‘vegan nazi’ stint where I yelled at anyone who ate a chicken burrito, but I found it turned so many people off they stopped listening to me, and even ate more meat in front of me purely out of spite.

    For the better part of 10 years I’ve chosen to live by example, answer questions about veganism when asked in a calm, empirical way using hard facts and numbers (mainly health and environment statistics usually work best with meat eaters) and negate any stereotypes that people have of vegans like: 1) we’re all skinny and devoid of protein (I’m an iron man triathlete), 2) our food doesn’t taste good (I’m a damn good cook and prove to my friends that it tastes great and is filling), 3) you can eat vegan on a budget (I don’t spend any more on food than any of my friends do), and 4) all vegans are abrasive assholes. I found the softer handed approach MUCH more effective for spreading information and getting people to eat more healthy.

    (I’ve even gotten my 70 year old parents to eat vegan 5 nights a week for health reasons, and they love it!)

  8. __MikeG__ says:

    Veneration of the word "Nazi"? Nowhere in my post did I ever suggest that. Your claim that I suggested that is completely baffling. So, let me clarify. I am tired of ad homenim attacks being mistaken as valid argument. Equating the word "Nazi" with someone who had the temerity to question the authors choice of snack is ludicrous.

    And there is nothing in my original post were I claimed any word were "off-limits". That is another curious conclusion you have come to that does not appear in my original post.

  9. Valerie Carruthers says:

    After more than five and a half decades or 55 years (whichever sounds longer to you— that's needed for emphasis) I still cannot stand egg salad sandwiches made with gobs of mayonnaise and slathered soggily between slices of white bread. Here is why: when I was a little girl in grade school, I was a really slow eater. So slow that long before I had finished eating whatever my grandmother had packed in my lunchbox, the other kids would have gobbled up their lunches and gone to the playground out back to goof around under the noonday sun for the remainder of the lunch period. Nonetheless, I wasn't sitting there by myself. A classmate named Sharon would usually be there, too, sitting right next to me. Something about my lunch or my slowness in eating it seemed to fascinate her. So this is what happened:

    Whenever I would unwrap the waxed paper around the aforementioned egg salad sandwich, she would inevitably say, "Ugh that looks disgusting." Thereby ruining my lunch period.

    We will never know what demons dwelt in the depths of little Sharon's psyche that would impel her to slander my sandwich, right though she may have been. All I know is that to this day I have no wish to be associated with runny egg salad sandwiches.

    Now I could say that in slandering my sandwich that Sharon was also insulting my grandmother who had so lovingly made it for me. I could even call Sharon a runny-egg-salad-sandwich nazi. Only taking either or both of those stances would not serve any real purpose. Sharon was seven years old, too. It's my job to forgive her for blurting out her culinary verdict. Why? Because hurt though I may have been at the time, I can now say that she didn't know any better. Likewise your friend. Likewise me, in my hardline vegetarian zealot days—and perhaps it's "zealot" that you really meant to use but "nazi" was more expedient— when I expected a dear family friend with false teeth to enjoy chomping on my deliberately undercooked (so as not to destroy the enzymes!) carrot chunks. And a year or so ago, a vegan zealot of my acquaintance invaded my group's table at a luncheon to "educate" us on the error of our menu choices. Yet there's a greater, unifying truth at work below the surface.

    The truth is, as with little Sharon, there is something deeper, darker and sadder going on. Ask yourself:

    What blinds someone so to feeling for another that all they (me/us can do is condemn?
    What causes them to be so rigidly cemented into their agenda that they (me/us) have lost the lightness and spontaneity of responding to the moment?
    What secret fear causes them (me/us) to wish to eradicate another human being's simple, desperate joy for a taste of sweetness as a panacea to being caught short because they live in the world and life is playing on the survival channel?

    Maybe it's time to turn the tables, so to speak. Not to give those guys a taste of their own medicine. But, when they hand your snack choice a brickbat, instead of swatting them back, why not share with them the egg-salad-in-runny-mayonnaise of loving kindness, slathered upon the soggy white bread of compassion? In other words: eat the damn doughnut with gusto and no matter with the other guy says, keep your mouth shut.

  10. Valerie Carruthers says:

    Make that keep your mouth shut and your heart open.

  11. Suri kate says:

    Dude im with you on this one …i call them vegan taliban though ……there is nothing like a good chocolate muffin or a creamy blueberry cheescake …..and vegan desserts never get as good as the real thing . I was a vegetarian/vegan for about 8 years and realized it changes nothing ….being a vegan made me feel really miserable… i eat a little bit of everything and couldnt be happier or healthier. I couldnt care less what other people choose to eat …really.

  12. I think you could have written this about many groups…vegan, christian, aa members…sometimes people feel the need to proselytize and convert everyone to their point of view. Not sure why…insecurity? I'm always happy to explain why I make the choices I make if someone asks me, but otherwise I stick to managing myself & try not to worry about what other people do. (Try being the operative word there!)

  13. […] forward to my mid-twenties and I was living as a raw food vegan. High and mighty I was eating the healthiest food around; mostly vegetables and fruits, and some […]

  14. […] with our language. I’m as guilty as the next guy or gal. But, somehow referring to individuals as “Nazis” or “Bitches” seems oddly out of place and sadly inappropriate here on the pages of elephant; an […]

  15. […] a non-psycho-vegan, I’m fine with animal-D as long as it stays in the animal. Not so fine, of course, with all the […]

  16. georgia says:

    Sounds to me like you don't give a shit whether the animal holocaust comes or goes! If it means bringing on a better world, bring on the vegan nazis!!!