Since embracing a plant-based diet (90% Vegan Plus), one of the most frequent questions I get is “why?” — why go vegan? At first, this question confused me in its audacity. If someone told me they were embracing a diet or exercise regimen, I wouldn’t ask why. Rather, I would ask how it was going for them. I’d ask them what the experience was like. And I would assume they were adult enough to make their own decisions and leave it at that.
But not veganism. Because deep-down, Americans think vegans are freaks.
Our relationship to food is a fervent one. We “follow” or “practice” a diet — words often reserved for the faithful adherents and disciplined disciples. And in the U.S, we bow at the altar of The Meat, The Dairy, and the Holy Wheat.
Of the nearly 2,000 pounds of food consumed by the average American, nearly 50% is animal meat, dairy, cheese, or eggs. In fact, the single largest food group — 30% — is non-cheese dairy products (i.e., think sour cream, yogurt, and milk. Unfortunately, vegetables come in a distant second at 20%.
Or think of it this way — how many American admit to rarely eating meat?
- 23 million American adults — about 10% — say they rarely eat meat.
- Only 3% of American adults follow a vegetarian diet.
- Less than half of 1 percent are vegans.
So, I have a request for my friends: please try and understand my position here. For the past 5 months, 90% of the time I’ve been an outsider, a heretic. Instead of asking why I’m trying this experiment, please ask me how it is going, or what I’ve learned.
But if you are really curious as to why — please take this 8 Question Vegan IQ test first.