By Published On: 27 January 2011447 words3 min read

Has everyone seen that article, 10 foods vegans can’t eat? Go read it.  Seriously, I’ll wait.  I’ll be right here….did you read it?  Good.  Because, I don’t want to talk about a list of things I/we can’t choose not to eat.  Instead, I’d like to talk about why I think vegans should choose to talk more about why we are vegan rather than listing out foods we can’t eat.  For vegans, it isn’t about can’t it’s about won’t. And people really need to understand why.

From the comments section of the above article, strangely named “from the community…”

vegans are pussies

Top of the food chain

Vegans make me puke

Vegans suck

vegans are hypocrites

God made companion animals

honey is not vegan

what would eskimos eat if vegan?

Not milking a cow is cruel

Vegan kills farming industries

Vegan is extreme

Vegans hate starving children

Animals are dead anyway

can vegans feed babies breast milk

Do vegan mothers breast feed?

See? Lot’s of different ideas about what it means to be vegan and not one of them is true. Do vegan mothers breastfeed?  Sure, if they want to.  Is it hypocritical to use your own breast milk to feed your baby?  Of course not.  There is a difference between slaughtering an animal and providing your child with breast milk.  Similarly, just because you care about the lives of non-humans doesn’t mean that you don’t care about starving kids or children forced into sex-trafficking.  And bees are animals, making honey not vegan, simple as that.

My point is that vegan folks spend a lot of time talking about food.  A lot of time.  And I get how important that is, don’t misunderstand me.  But it’s also important to talk about what veganism really means- why we choose not to eat honey or drink milk.  The article on Yahoo! had over 2,000 comments on it the last time I checked.  That’s a lot of discussion, mostly incorrect, but a lot of discussion none-the-less.  How great it would have used that opportunity to talk about the “10 Principles of Veganism,” rather than starting the article out on a negative (what we can’t eat).

And lest you think I mean that vegans should run out and start preaching, well- I don’t.  But in a way, I do.  To preach simply means to, “earnestly advocate a position,” that’s all- and it’s not a bad thing.

Full Disclaimer: I do not think that vegans need to yell, holler, scream, act out, or become verbally or physically abusive with another person for any reason- regardless of anyone’s position on veganism.  You can earnestly advocate a position with respect, dignity, and intelligence.  That’s all that needs to be said about that.

Hey vegans, you don’t have to be perfect in this journey, but you don’t have to compromise your values or ethics either.  And you shouldn’t.  There are people out there with all kinds of wrong ideas about what being a vegan is all about.  Let’s fix that- one blog post, one conversation, one email at a time.

By Published On: 27 January 2011447 words3 min read

Has everyone seen that article, 10 foods vegans can’t eat? Go read it.  Seriously, I’ll wait.  I’ll be right here….did you read it?  Good.  Because, I don’t want to talk about a list of things I/we can’t choose not to eat.  Instead, I’d like to talk about why I think vegans should choose to talk more about why we are vegan rather than listing out foods we can’t eat.  For vegans, it isn’t about can’t it’s about won’t. And people really need to understand why.

From the comments section of the above article, strangely named “from the community…”

vegans are pussies

Top of the food chain

Vegans make me puke

Vegans suck

vegans are hypocrites

God made companion animals

honey is not vegan

what would eskimos eat if vegan?

Not milking a cow is cruel

Vegan kills farming industries

Vegan is extreme

Vegans hate starving children

Animals are dead anyway

can vegans feed babies breast milk

Do vegan mothers breast feed?

See? Lot’s of different ideas about what it means to be vegan and not one of them is true. Do vegan mothers breastfeed?  Sure, if they want to.  Is it hypocritical to use your own breast milk to feed your baby?  Of course not.  There is a difference between slaughtering an animal and providing your child with breast milk.  Similarly, just because you care about the lives of non-humans doesn’t mean that you don’t care about starving kids or children forced into sex-trafficking.  And bees are animals, making honey not vegan, simple as that.

My point is that vegan folks spend a lot of time talking about food.  A lot of time.  And I get how important that is, don’t misunderstand me.  But it’s also important to talk about what veganism really means- why we choose not to eat honey or drink milk.  The article on Yahoo! had over 2,000 comments on it the last time I checked.  That’s a lot of discussion, mostly incorrect, but a lot of discussion none-the-less.  How great it would have used that opportunity to talk about the “10 Principles of Veganism,” rather than starting the article out on a negative (what we can’t eat).

And lest you think I mean that vegans should run out and start preaching, well- I don’t.  But in a way, I do.  To preach simply means to, “earnestly advocate a position,” that’s all- and it’s not a bad thing.

Full Disclaimer: I do not think that vegans need to yell, holler, scream, act out, or become verbally or physically abusive with another person for any reason- regardless of anyone’s position on veganism.  You can earnestly advocate a position with respect, dignity, and intelligence.  That’s all that needs to be said about that.

Hey vegans, you don’t have to be perfect in this journey, but you don’t have to compromise your values or ethics either.  And you shouldn’t.  There are people out there with all kinds of wrong ideas about what being a vegan is all about.  Let’s fix that- one blog post, one conversation, one email at a time.

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  1. Raven MacGregor July 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    I had been vegan for about 5 years (I have been vegetarian before that) when i was invited to a standard Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t normally celebrate American holidays and tried to decline because of the food but my friend talked me into it saying that I could bring a vegan dish of my own. I brought a pasta dish that was very popular. However at the end of the meal, a male guest asked me why I had brought something when no one else had. When I told him I was vegan, he punched me in the face. For the next 10-15mins. until the police hauled him away, he kept screaming that I was putting his cattle ranching father out of business. 17 years later, I am still a vegan and there is still animal slaughter.

  2. FireFly July 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Father forgive them for they not know what they do. Amen.

  3. nineveh July 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Like Ward, I avoid reading comments just about anywhere in the mainstream media, no matter what it’s talking about, since I’m sure I’ll probably wind up angry, disgusted, or both. Living well is the best way to prove one’s point, anyway.

  4. nan July 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Some of these comments are the dumbest things I have ever read; especially regarding breastfeeding vegan mothers. The baby feeds from the mother when she iscarrying it, she was only eating veggies, fruits, nuts or whatever is considered to be vegan. So when the baby is born, it’s no different than when she was carrying the baby, it’s still feeding from her. Sometimes people need to really consider a thing before they write

  5. Ward Chanley June 21, 2011 at 10:17 am - Reply

    These days, I nearly avoid comment threads in the regular media that end up commenting on veganism; tons of noise. Not an awful lot of signal. It seems like I can reach more people face to face than I can trying to yell above the din online.

  6. Vivian Grant June 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    These poor misguided creatures (not you, them). Their arguments are merely deflection. Wow, lots of anger there too. Why are they feel so threatened and offended? Why not just shrug it off or laugh and go about their business? Because they know it makes ethical, humane sense and do not want to confront it. Imagine how fabulous farming would be if animal “agriculture” were eliminated. And there are fruitarians (sp?) who are not puny either.

  7. Emily June 9, 2011 at 2:48 am - Reply

    wow, those comments are so full of crazy it’s disquieting! i say this as a non-vegan who occasionally adheres to “vegan days” intentionally or incidentally. truly, i wonder how these ignorant, anti-vegan viewpoints come into being. some perceived threat from vegans to an american (e.g., capitalist, dominant, classically liberal) way of life? uncritical bravado? my question is earnest, because i’m simply mystified. even if i’m not on board with a fully vegan diet, i certainly see some of its benefits, and don’t feel threatened by it in the least.

  8. beetreehugger May 27, 2011 at 12:06 am - Reply

    im glad i read this it is so sad how people seem to judge vegans so much.. its our choose to make our lives healthier and make the world a better more friendly place for all

  9. Nancy May 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    It sickened me to read all your comments. I am a vegan and proud to be one. To each his own. I know as a vegan you can’t shut yourself from everything, but I have made small steps, I check all products and make sure they have not been tested on animals. I have a hemp pocketbook and try to stay away from leather. Read more books about how the animals are treated. The poor cows are milked until they are so sore. The chickens are cooped up in cages where they can’t even move just so you can eat meat. I can’t speak for other vegans, but i am doing this for health reasons and to stop the cruelty of these poor defenseless animals. The animals are given so many antibiotics and that goes into your meat and your body. I say that people can eat what they want. We are not hurting anyone and we have every right to eat the way we want… These poor chickens are given antibiotics so they produce more eggs. The meat and produce industries don’t care about you or me, they only care about filling their pockets at the expense of these animals………………………. I’m not trying to be perfect, I’m just trying to make a difference.

  10. Sasquatch May 3, 2011 at 2:35 am - Reply

    I think my favourite question has been “can vegans swallow?”
    Which I can see how people whould be more confused about that over breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding your child is natural and humane, while drinking the milk of another animal in your adult stages is just weird.

    I really hate how vegans are the ones the usually get attacked first, at least thats the case with me. Many of the people I lived with in residence did’nt even know I was vegan until a month or so into living together when they noticed I kept turning down their offers of pizza and burgers. I only answer questions rather than trying to bring it up out of the blue. Then a couple months later two of my friends sat down beside me while I was enjoying a beer (vegan of course) and spent a good half hour trying to undermine my values!

    Personally I feel people need to educate themselves before they try to tear a vegan down, because most of us are pretty strong in character, since it takes a lot of strength to stand up against waves of uneducated people that give us so much crap for having different beliefs than they do.

  11. Wren and Will April 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Hi guys, we have been vegan for some time now and we have experienced these kinds of comments, sadly, even when we are going about peacefully in our day to day lives. We have yet to understand why our lifestyle can seem like such a threat to others, but we do want to say this:
    For those who have commented on that article and started to talk about not using any medical help and not living in a house–why throw out the baby with the bathwater? What we feel is so beautiful about veganism is our constant effort to live compassionately in the best of our ability. So a vegan broke a leg and needed to seek traditional medical help, would we feel that person is a hypocrite? No–we would feel so sympathetic and wish them speedy recovery, and understand that if they had a choice to get medical care that had no history of cruelty to animals, that option would be quickly chosen. In our day to day paths when we have the choice or option to go vegan, we do–it has taken research and patience, and this is exactly why I find the vegan path to be honorable and noble and should be praised rather than condemned and tried to be brought down a peg by people who think it’s a hypocritical decision when someone decides to seek medical help or live in a house that he couldn’t build himself with wheat-paste (lol)—these people are still noble in all their efforts, more noble than the person who ignores the facts and throws up his hands and says, oh, i give up, there’s no way to purity— because as many vegan websites state, it’s the effort, the journey, the research, the joy, the compassion, over the label and the purity associated with the paradigm… I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone, but that’s how we feel over here :)
    Wren and Will

  12. Kari Chartreuse April 19, 2011 at 12:07 am - Reply

    do vegan mother’s breast feed? what a strange question that’s voluntary for her own child – hardly stolen from another animals.

  13. Ananda Glick March 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I want to THANK all of you. For making the kind and humane choices that you do – every day – and for abstaining from an industry that tortures, kills, and forces animals to provide what they would not do so willingly. You – each and every one – are my heroes. <3

  14. CiarLenA. March 22, 2011 at 12:27 am - Reply

    “vegan’s kill american indrustries such as farming ”

    LOL ! In my opinion, it’s the best statement..
    Because at first, it sounds really funny – also a little bit stupid.
    but when you consider about, you realize, that exactly this factory farming destroys our nature….!!! ….
    Stupid carnivore.

  15. Mandarince March 19, 2011 at 6:19 am - Reply

    oh wow, it can be clearly seen that they really don’t have a clue of reality…really not…

  16. Jodie February 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    I really want to see the commenter who said his/her canines were designed to “rip and tear meat” try to rip and tear right into a large carcass. I mean, I don’t want to see an actual animal get hurt, but I would love to see the look of humiliation when they realize their canines aren’t so sharp.

    On the other hand, the commenter who said America is going downhill and this is the best Yahoo can come up with does have a point.

  17. Laura January 29, 2011 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Wow. What completely ignorant comments. And what ironic timing– I was just discussing with a fellow vegan the other day about how we really need to make a conscious effort to change the dialogues that usually come up. Sooooo often the discussion is framed in this *deprivation* mindset and centers on all the things we “can’t” eat, when in actuality we *choose* not to. And there is PLENTY we CAN eat. It’s just not on the dollar menu at McDonald’s. The focus should be on WHY we choose not to. Why we choose compassion. That’s what counts.

  18. Taryn January 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Reading those comments was very disappointing. Just when I start to see some hope in the world… sigh.

  19. stayingold00 January 28, 2011 at 5:23 am - Reply

    @YourDailyVegan That is ignorant, anyone that frowns on a lifestyle, vegan or not is very sad.

  20. Topsy.com January 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Your Daily Vegan, breeze. breeze said: RT @YourDailyVegan: RT @veganheretic 10 Foods Vegans Won't Eat? | Your Daily Vegan http://t.co/f9J1hx2 #vegan […]

  21. amylswarbrick January 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    @YourDailyVegan OMG those peoples comments!! I dont even know what to say about that really!

  22. amylswarbrick January 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: Have you seen? [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  23. Heather January 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Amazing the [lack of] reasoning and knowledge the “community comments” on this article reflect. I will never cease to be amazed by the vegan breastfeeding question and the canine teeth statement. However, I guess everyone has their own unique experience and process. I just know in my heart that someday vegan will be the norm, and it’s going to take a loooong time, not in my lifetime anyway. But just knowing that my children will carry their knowledge forth as so many others will is promising. It makes me really happy to see the growth in the vegan movement over the last few decades and it’s not slowing down! There is real beauty in living the vegan way, yet with that comes the sadness of knowing so many living beings are suffering horribly. When I find myself feeling upset about such reactions from folks who are obviously ignorant of the facts, I have to remind myself that I was not raised vegan and did not adopt veganism wholeheartedly until well into adulthood after some more life experience and encounters with the right people and communities. And I remember engaging in “debates” with vegans/vegetarians whom definitely did not represent the vegan community well as far as their lecturing demeanor went. At the time it made me want to rebel and eat more meat and down a milkshake. Ridiculous, yes, yet I had very little knowledge and experience and someone being condescending and breathing fire wasn’t going to make me want to become vegan. The passage of time, positive vegan role models and my own maturation is what enabled me to evolve. Being positive role models and sharing the truth with others about veganism is proving to work as more and more people adopt vegetarian and ultimately vegan diets/lifestyles. Stay positive and always keep those suffering close to your heart. Do as much as you can to alleviate their pain and that of future generations of animals by presenting the truth about veganism to those who seek it and ever so gently exposing it to those who aren’t actively seeking veganism. Veganstrong:)

  24. VeRAWnica January 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: Have you seen? [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  25. WorldFestEvents January 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: Have you seen? [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  26. Bill Cherry Jr January 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    I dont know whether to laugh or cry.

  27. Veganlandshark January 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    @YourDailyVegan great information today, thank you

  28. cookinvegan January 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: Have you seen? [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  29. BlyondeVeganGal January 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: Have you seen? [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  30. Strubelmayer January 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    yes that’s the first thing I thought too, I can eat all that but I don’t want to. It’s choice.

    and when I read articles like these I already know what the comments are going to be like, so I stay away from reading them. I might read the first one… which I did… but just the first sentence. I just don’t need to waste my time on stupidity like that.

    I’m always amazed how many people seem to have forgotten what boobies are for. No, not for men to stare at and fondle, they are actually made to feed babies. Who knew? clearly not too many of these ass clowns.

    There are many people who will never get it, but there are those who really want to know and I’ll gladly spend hours talking calmly with them. and food let’s not forget about the food. Amazing vegan foods explain it all way better than words. at least the food part. not the animal torture part.

  31. LauStewa January 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  32. CharleenAngle January 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  33. miramour January 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  34. onelovelivity January 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan

  35. Dritan Vushaj January 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    These replies are just silly. If people knew anything about the philosophy of veganism, they would know that if everyone was vegan, these starving children wouldn’t be starving considering the millions of pounds of grain going to cows, would go to them. Also, killing farming is a silly justification, cuz there would still be farming. Just not the kind that murders helpless animals. And the whole religion thing is SO ethnocentric. Maybe the ambrahamic religions say that (maybe, cuz Jesus wasn’t eating lamb; which is a common dish in that area in ANY depiction of the last supper) but western religions (hinduism buddhism jainism etc) condone vegetarianism Hopefully one day everyone will come to their senses and see how great it is to be a “puny” vegan.

  36. LXESTRADA January 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    @YourDailyVegan those comments are priceless! normies.. ugh

  37. v3gan January 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    @YourDailyVegan AWESOME post! Good job!

  38. v3gan January 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    RT @YourDailyVegan: [New Post] 10 Foods Vegans Won’t Eat? – https://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/01/27… #vegan