from vegetarianism to veganism

today i was training a new dog-walker at the humane society, and in the course of our shift together, she asked me how i got started volunteering there myself. i was all, "blah blah loved dogs, couldn't have one, blah blah animals are cute, blah blah animal rights, right up my alley, blah blah." she took my mention of animal rights and ran with it, saying that she has been meat-free since may, then adding that she still eats fish (baby steps, i guess), and mentioning that it was spurred when her sister loaned her skinny bitch to read. after listening to her for awhile, i let on that i'm vegan (and had been vegetarian for many years before that), and she asked if it was really hard transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism. i find that people ask me that almost every single time. is that common? what do you say? 

i always say something like, "not nearly as hard as i'd made it out to be in my head," and then i can never decide if they'll think i'm lying, so then i blather on and on (and on) about how much of a dairy connoisseur i was, all my life, and yet it really was easier than i thought it was going to be. and then i wonder if my answer is tired and annoying. obviously my goal is to get them to reframe what they are presumably seeing as a Big Obstacle (or i assume they wouldn't all phrase the question that way), but every time, i wonder if they think i'm "just saying that," you know?


  1. i say something like this: it’s really about changing habits, planning better, and not relying on convenience foods so much, which is a bit of an adjustment but it’s just a much healthier way of living. and i wasn’t sure i could do it either, so i did a thirty day trial to see what it would be like. i figured i could do anything for 30 days. and when those 30 days were up, i didn’t even notice and i didn’t want to go back. it was the best decision ever to go vegan. i don’t regret it for a second.

  2. I think you, like me, are over analyzing their point of view. When I’m in that situation, I often feel the same way. Maybe because I haven’t seen real change in many of my peers, and I talk to them about these things a lot (at their urging). Real change will only happen when the other person is ready. So, I think your standard response would be exactly what someone who was ready to be vegan would want to hear. For someone who is not serious/not ready it would be a whole lot of wocka wocka wocka. Does that make sense? (see, over analyzing!)

  3. phoe–yes, you are totally right about all of that stuff. good answer! i sometimes get into part of that if the person continues to ask me more specific questions, but maybe i should lead with it. 🙂
    gladcow–yes, totally makes sense! and i lafted at the whole lot of wocka wocka wocka.

  4. I usually say something like, “Eating a plant based diet is easy, what’s hard is being a cow trapped in a stall all your life, being raped and impregnated once a year to keep your milk flowing only to have all your babies ripped away from you and sold into slavery like you were or, if they are male, penned as veal or just killed for being too weak and not female. Then when you can’t make milk any more you are cruelly slaughtered. That’s hard. Being a vegan isn’t hard, don’t get me started”.

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