Hashtag Vegan Problems

Actually saying, "Hashtag" before some sort of phrase usually makes me cringe but for this scenario I believe it's pretty appropriate. Something else that's equally as cringe worthy is the idea that vegans are their own social "clique" exclusive to only the most compassionate of the self righteous. This couldn't be further from the truth, we're just people who choose to live accordingly to our own ethics based on the knowledge we're exposed to and circumstances we find ourselves in. Funnily enough, I find those who aren't vegan or those who are anti-vegan the ones to place us in the box (mostly) by usages of stereotypes. Whilst we tend to make a joke out of them. This is a perfect Segway into my discussion, five Hashtag#VeganProblems.

Vegan Problem 1: Hashtag Stereotypes.

We've all faced this one in some form or another at some point in our journeys. Whether it's from your uncle flipping steaks at the family BBQ, the Bro at the gym who can't understand the concept of plant protein, your mates when your order the tofu scramble over the traditional Big breaky or even yourself when you finally discover the beyond burger. Initially we laugh it off but it can accumulate into the biggest headache and the ignorance and disconnect of some people can make it even more frustrating, "Yes, I'm eating a delicious salad full of nutrients Paul, Typical vegan I am!" Beating them to the punch usually takes away majority of the carnivore's satisfaction.

Vegan Problem 2: You must be so Hashtag healthy.

Sure, veganism is a great way to boost your health and vitality. Hey, a plant-based diet has been proven to be the best for our health and help prevent, halt and reverse chronic illness'. Whenever someone just assumes a vegan is "healthier" or going vegan will make them healthier I usually reply with, "Well Oreos are vegan". And although I believe health goes far beyond what we digest it can really bring others back down to earth. Because you can still live predominately eating "junk" and be a kick-ass vegan. To be honest, I couldn't care less about what other vegans eat I'm always going to want to hang out with balanced Bethany who enjoys Brunch on the weekends and sweet potato mash on Mondays over kale Kristina who cannot break her vows to only listen to the cries of cows.

Vegan problem 3: Hashtag Vegancult

I'm telling you, as a vegan the clear majority of my social circle aren't. Don't get me wrong, I get on with other vegans like a house on fire (nobody's getting injured). But we're still about 2% of the world's population and although I do get lonely sometimes it just goes to show that most vegans are normal people too – we have interests, hobbies and passions outside the vegetable patch (shocker, I know). To be honest, I've attended a vegan meet up before and it was super boring everyone only wanted to talk strictly-veg which I LOVE but I also love to talk conspiracy theories, video games, Game of Thrones and pop-punk music. Hey, some cabbage patch kids seem to have never left

Vegan problem 4: HASHTAGSUPPS

"You cannot get all your nutrients on a vegan diet", "you must take a protein powder?" "B-12?" All constant myths we love to bust as vegans but get exhausted doing so. Yes, I must be nutrient deficient look at my glowing skin, shiny hair, clear eyes, constant energy and average body composition. Sarcasm is always a great back-handed banter to respond with. We all know by now how EASY it is to get more than enough of nutrients on an adequate plant-based diet. Supplements can be helpful in addition to a diet if you struggle to eat enough, have certain allergies/intolerances or are medically advised to. But, that's what the term "supplement" means, "In Addition to".

Vegan problem 5: Hashtag culinary creative genius'

I always laugh when people tend to ask me, "Oh you're vegan, you HAVE to send me all your favorite recipes". Just like most of us, I'm absolutely clueless in the kitchen. The beauty of plants is that everything tastes good and is super simple to prepare. The most effort I put into a dish is impatiently waiting for it to simmer as I'm ravenously awaiting for the perfectly cooked potato. most of my Lunches and Dinners are just a whole lot of vegetables, fats, grains and legumes tossed into a bowl with seasoning and dressings. I just make sure I've got a great amount of protein and fats alongside unlimited carbs and vegetables. My breakfasts are a big bowl of oats with heaps of toppings and spices. My main struggle is finding a bowl big enough to hold everything – overflowing is real and happens more frequently than I'd like to admit. Our food is only aesthetic at cafes and for Instagram, let me tell you within seconds of taking a snap we've made mess of our piece-de-resistance for optimal flavor combination.

Moral of the story here, What's on our plates doesn't totally characterize us or define us. I'll eat the tofu stir-fry at the Thai restaurant this Friday but that doesn't mean I can't hold my own in our lively discussions and get side tracked by thoughts of plant paradise. Fellow vegans, agreed? Fellow health conscious people and vegetable enthusiasts, agreed? Thought so. I think we can all relate with this one vegan or not.

Alix Laidler

Instagram @alixhlaidler