“10 Reasons why I’m Vegan and You’re Wrong.”

Via Waylon Lewis
on Mar 24, 2012
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NSFW language: not for children.

I’m vegan, but I don’t love self-righteousness, pre-judgment, or aggression, or evangelicalism, even in fellow vegans. It hurts our cause, if anything. ~ Waylon

1. I’m vegan ’cause I’m nice and you’re a selfish asshole and you know it.

I’m vegan ’cause I can eat a healthy diet with lots of protein and have a ton of energy without killing animals. I don’t like killing animals, even if they taste good (sorry, bacon and sausage, I miss you).

2. I’m vegan ’cause I like being a pain in the ass in restaurants.

I’m vegan despite the fact that I don’t like noisy righteous mean vegans, I don’t like calling myself vegan, I don’t like describing myself as vegan in restaurants (I don’t like being a picky pain, generally) and I like to eat out a lot, and that means being vegan all I can ever eat out is, like, salad or a bowl of, um…fruit.

3. I’m vegan ’cause I want to live longer than you.

I’m vegan because meat isn’t healthy, actually. Fish is so bad for all of us that pregnant women aren’t supposed to eat it in all 50 states, now. And meat is, you know, flesh, and animals eat all kinds of crazy things and are fed crap diets and, speaking of crap, living in little cages and are tortured and separated from friends and family and walk around in their own sh*t their whole life. And then you eat them. That’s kinda gross.

4. I’m vegan ’cause meat is basically just cut up burned flesh from tortured animals that’s then frozen and shipped around in plastic and you buy it in groceries, so unless you hunt there’s nothing macho or tough about eating it, and you’re a fat loser.

I’m vegan ’cause those who work in the meat industry are generally those who are the most horrified by the notion of eating hot dogs. I was hanging with a meat-packing-plant-working college kid the other day that said he still loved burgers, but that a lot of the meat that he worked with was disgusting, and if you eat hot dogs, you’re an idiot. This was coming from a guy who looked like he was a pale version of Jersey Shore’s Situation.

Okay, speed round.

5. I’m vegan ’cause I’m better than you are.

6. I’m vegan ’cause chicks dig compassionate guys.

7. I’m vegan ’cause I’m smart and educated and you’re not.

8. I’m vegan ’cause coconut ice cream is good, though it’s a total rip off.

9. I’m vegan ’cause I didn’t want that delicious amazing hand-rolled goldent buttery croissant with my Americano for Sunday brunch.

10. I’m vegan ’cause I don’t like having fun delicious barbeques with my friends.

Fuck…I’m giving up this vegan bullshit.


PS: on a serious note, whether we’re vegan or not, boycott conventional meat that hails from factory farms. That shit ain’t cool, clean, healthy, kind. It’s bad karma, broooo.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


119 Responses to ““10 Reasons why I’m Vegan and You’re Wrong.””

  1. onlyonelikethis says:

    Ya! So you think you found a flaw in some vegan somewhere so that gives you an excuse to continue to hurt more animals?

    Look, been vegan for 5 yrs vegetarian 26 and have one child of my own and adopted two other kids as a single mom as well as numerous animals. We get it, we get all of it an we do our best to avoid doing as much harm as possible to animals because they are the target of the largest form of slavery ever to be induced in the history of our planet.

  2. Kelley says:

    This article was meant to be a joke, and I found it somewhat humorous, but I don't begrudge people who didn't see humor in it. And I don't particularly like the way EJ and others are talking to these people, acting as if everyone who didn't find it funny are just feeding the stereotype that vegans don't have a sense of humor and should get a life. I personally am not offended by this article because I know it's just teasing vegans (and vegans are just normal people with imperfections like everyone else) and not taking a stab at the ACTUAL movement of veganism. However, some people do see jokes like this as a threat to veganism itself, which I totally understand, because the sad thing is, there really are some people who refuse to go vegan just because of the way other vegans behave instead of listening to the values of the movement itself. My message to the world is: WHO CARES IF OTHER VEGANS DON'T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR! If you have a sense of humor, becoming vegan will not magically wipe it out, as is proven by this article. But once again, condemning vegans for not always finding vegan jokes funny is just plain sad. These stereotypes exist for a reason, but people easily forget the root of why vegans behave the way they do: because they love animals and it DEEPLY hurts them physically and emotionally to know that they are exploited and seen as nothing more than commodities by the vast majority of people. When you're deeply spiritually disturbed by something that you can't change anytime soon, it's human nature to become frustrated, lash out, and yes, not find jokes about the subject funny, especially while the atrocities are still happening. Back in the days of the Holocaust, there weren't very many jokes about the 'judgmental Jews who had no sense of humor'. Now that the Holocaust is long over, some people joke about it. Even my Jewish friend made a Holocaust joke. She finds it funny because she never had to live through the pain of its existence. But if she had lived during the Holocaust, I can guarantee it would have offended her. I think the same is true for vegans. Someday, when the majority of the human population is vegan, we'll all look back and joke about how self-righteous and serious we were. But not right now, not all of us. I think meat-eaters need to stop automatically branding vegans as egotistical, humorless maniacs and vegans need to stop branding themselves as better than meat-eaters. While vegans are making a more ethical choice, that does not make them perfect and it doesn't make them morally superior. It does mean that they are living by their values, the same values that every good person has. It's just that most meat-eaters were taught that animals are less important than we are, mainly here for the sake of our nutrition and pleasure, therefore they can't receive the benefits of these values. I do not judge them for this because these perceptions are not Who They Are. It is simply a result of cultural conditioning. And we are ALL affected by cultural conditioning. Our goal, as vegans, should be to send the message that our bodies were designed to fit our natural desire to love animals. (Even for people who say they feel healthier with meat, I would chalk that up to what your body is USED to, not designed for, because the human body traits are physiologically herbivorous.) In short, we don't have to commit violence to be healthy. The very act of premeditated violence itself (whether against humans or animals) is not healthy, and if more people had to kill, skin, and gut their own animals, they would see that. So to my fellow vegans: lets stop arguing with people who will never understand us and instead focus on peaceful education and spreading videos like Gary Yourofsky's speech, Earthlings, and Forks Over Knives. Lets try not to get defensive and remember that it's not about us, it's about the animals.

  3. Jenifer says:

    I was vegan for several years. My husband is and has always been an omnivore. I'm an omnivore now, too.

    I went vegan because I wanted to. I never considered it "the most compassionate" diet. I never considered it anything at all. It was just what I wanted to do.

    My husband is an omnivore. When I became interested in veganism, he became really interested in food sourcing. We discovered eating locally and seasonally, we discovered organic foods and free range (real free range, not labeled in a grocery store so it probably is free range — we knew the farms). Our diets — though different — were very healthy.

    I had a number of vegan friends — a small community. It was nice to get together and have nice BBQs where we didn't have to worry about food cross contamination and the like. It was fun to chat about new produce that we'd discovered and swap recipes. And, also where to source our shoes. 🙂

    5 years into my veganism, I was diagnosed with hypocholesterolemia. This means that one's cholesterol is so low that the neurological function of the individual is affected. I was starting to have those problems. I went back to eating eggs.

    All hell broke loose with my "friends." Suddently, I was a 'traitor.' I should 'give up my health for the animals.' Except that none of them were having to make that decision, where they? Easy enough to say, but not easy enough to do.

    I was accused of never really caring about veganism, being a fraud, being a terrible animal murderer, of being heavily influenced by family and society (weak minded). And the funniest of all? Being told that I just did it wrong, and had I been doing it right, then I would be able to be vegan.

    At the very least, the person who accused me of this one had the courtesy to somewhat "ask" me about it. But she knew how I ate. She knew it was local, diverse, organic. She knew that I was well aware of vegan nutrition — she knew that I knew more than she did! In this group, I was the go-to person for research on nutrition! How could I possibly have "gotten it that wrong." She said "well, behind closed doors, you must have been eating junk food."

    Yes, that must be it. It couldn't be because veganism doesn't work for *every* body!

    I'm now paleo. I still eat local, seasonal, organic. I community garden, we're learning to forage, too. I eat sustainably caught fish, shellfish (not my favorite, but they are abundant and able to be foraged right outside our door). 90% of our food comes from a 100 mile radius, and as much as we can outside of that comes from the wider country (new zealand).

    I'm happy with this way of eating. It's simple, healthful, compassionate, earth-friendly, and it keeps us all healthy and happy.

    I am just of the mind that people need to find their own way, without someone telling them they are a bad person for going a way that is different.

  4. […] said customer will not feel at home, will feel like a pain, and will take their money (and friends, vegan and otherwise) […]

  5. Dr me says:

    If this were about a minority or women or any other small group, it would be totally inappropriate. The fact that it’s about vegans — many of whom adopt the lifestyle as much for health as for animal concerns — somehow makes the so-called humor appropriate? It’s really too soon. We haven’t come far enough as is this more reinforcing to stereotypes than it is a joke. If it were easy to laugh off, sure, there wouldn’t be such an objection. However, this is like Archie Bunker was in the late 1970s — reinforcing to stereotypical and inappropriate behaviors rather than undermining them with humor.

    And by the way — there’s absolutely no difference between huge factories of death and destruction vs small ones. The exact same things happen. If you think small nuclear arsenals are ok but large ones aren’t, then maybe your logic works but the whole objection to factory farmed animalag vs smaller farms is faulty logic. Billions or trillions of animals are getting slaughtered each year. There’s no getting around that number and whether it’s done on a large scale or small, the end result and suffering caused is the same. Except — the profit margin for “perceived” happy meat and dairy is much higher.

  6. Liv says:

    Hey there!
    You may not even get this because this post was over a year ago, but you can totally have pillsbury buttery crescent rolls; they are made with so much fake nonsense that they are actually vegan. ☺

  7. Everybody has a choice to choose what he/she will eat but those who are eaten have no choices.

  8. Indeed the reach of the hideous factory "farming" industry is vast and pervasive but that is not an excuse for condoning the continued rape, torture, and murder of non-human animals for human greed and gluttony.

  9. Laura says:

    I actually want to do the same thing. Because I know vegans are hated which sucks for me because I am 0% like the stereotypes in this article. In fact, my boyfriend and his entire family I live with eats meat and they make fun of me when I never try to push them. Ever. or even educate them. I stay away from vegan/omnivore debates like they're the plague. haha

    So yeah, at restaurants I will say I am lactose intolerant a lot.

    The meat I just try to figure out if it's in there on my own or I will check websites. Sometimes I will call way in advance and ask them super politely about my options so that when I come in they may not know it's me. haha

    I know you said you're vegetarian and no longer vegan but same thing. I never like to use the label because it invites attacks. Maybe not from a waiter cause they are kinda paid to be nice but then I assume they're holding it in.

  10. Michael says:

    Cracks me up when vegans act like fruit and vegetables aren't living, feeling flesh. How simple minded is it to be so animal-centric?

  11. lana says:

    i really like this article, fair play to you, im not vegan or anything, but im not offended. i enjoyed reading it, 🙂

  12. Jeffrey says:

    Long time Vegan, after reading the comments , was I suppose to be offended? I thought the article was funny. Did I miss something?

  13. msannomalley says:

    One of the components of mindfulness is accepting things as they are; that is, not forcing reality to fit your vision of what things should be. You let things be, knowing that you can handle whatever comes your way. In other words, you acknowledge that the only thing you really have control over is your own actions and words; not those of other people. Mindfulness also means you extend the same acceptance you have towards yourself to others, knowing that they are the best judges of what is right for them.

    I am not a vegan; however, I'm slowly changing my eating habits to favor plant based, organic, non-factory farmed food. I honestly don't know if I can ever give up meat and I don't appreciate being lectured and told I'm wrong. I'm doing what is right for me and I am the best judge of what is right for me.

    Veganism *does* have a negative stereotype associated with it. I hope that those who need to will come to see this. I know that not every vegan is self-righteous and preachy. But if you're citing compassion as one reason why you've chosen to become vegan, it would also serve you to be mindful and accept that you cannot force everyone else to bend to what you think the world should be like. That, too, is also showing compassion and respect.

  14. Elien says:

    Is this just me or do a lot of people here lack a sense of humor and the ability to put things in perspective? I think what EJ tried to say here was that we need to get off our high horse when it comes to veganism/vegetarianism, because it is not helping us, and all you guys just totally proved that they have point, which is pretty funny…Let's keep it light and loving, no? You are all dragging the same carriage, loosen up the reins a little!

  15. vegetarianmeateater says:

    This of course is 100% pure BS, animals eat animals, fish eat fish, bugs eat bugs, humans eat whatever they want because they can and they the top of the food of chain. There's no such thing as vegan or vegetarian in the wild. Even the supposed fruit and veggie eating creatures eat meat on occasion too. The veggy and fruit only people make up less than 1% of the population, they will never take over the world, gays won't either. Me, I eat vegetables, fruit and meat and I'm more healthy than most vegans and vegiarians. Food is a preference for humans, if you were in survival mode, and no plants around, you would have to eat meat to survive and vice versa. Don't mess with my food preference and I won't mess with yours. If you say some stupid thing like did you know the animal you are eating was tortured, I'm going to say, so what, it taste good.

  16. HWFG says:

    "I’m vegan because meat isn’t healthy, actually. "

    Actually, this is pure, unadulterated BS, with no scientific basis to back it up.
    The study which originally proclaimed this (NHANESIII) was funded by a number of stakeholders in a plant based nutrition company.
    Facts never got in the way of the vegan lobby though huh?

  17. juststarted says:

    I tried vegan for months and constantly felt ill. As soon as I put meat back in my diet I felt better. My vegan guide kept trying to give me vegan supplements to fill what i was missing. Eventually i asked in which inhabitable region of the world could a tribe find nutrition only from plants? I eventually gave up. The universe is a hostile place, nature isnt concerned whether it harms us, we dont have to starve to prove we have a heart. We’re part of the predatory animal kingdom, sorry but we are. Veganism is just fine if you dont judge others. Chastizing meat eaters is an insult to the hunter / gatherers who struggled for our species survival. Maybe vegans can go tell the road builders, electrical workers, truck drivers and essentially the entire human race how awful they are as they provide for your free choice existence instead of making one-off disrespectful attacks. By the way, plenty of people eat meat their whole lives without getting cancer, and the rudest vegan i know is fighting cancer and epilepsy as she burns fossil fuels around town while talking on a cell phone with a suspended license, with an animal in a cage, putting human lives in danger. Silly.

  18. Marnie says:

    Disappointing Article. I am Vegan . . and I will admit that some Vegans do look down on others and consider them selves to be better then those that consume animal products. That being said, not all Vegans feel that way. I am Vegan because i believe in non-violence towards all animals . . . including humans. I am not superior to anyone. One bad apple in the basket does not make all the applesl bad. I am disappointed and surprised to find such a insulting article on elephant journal.

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