I was vegan for about a year and it was hard (vegetarianism with dairy and eggs is easier). Not in the “OMG I so want a stick of butter” way – that was easy to get over. The second hardest part was closely related, though: all the tiny, hidden animal ingredients in all sorts of food items. My first few trips to the grocery store after going vegan were long.
But the hardest thing is this:
Frustrating, too, is the lack of social support. When Ms. Salisbury baked vegan doughnuts to share with her family, “they said things like, ‘I’m going to go eat some eggs now,’ ” she said. “They were very condescending. They don’t understand and don’t make any effort to understand.”
There’s this weird popular image that vegetarians and vegans are snobs who look down at meat-eating brutes. For the most part that’s not true. What is more true is that there are lots of people who never think about their diet, eat whatever they want, and then turn into complete dicks when confronted by someone who does.
Then again, that’s what it’s like to be in the mainstream of anything, I’ve noticed. It involves doing anything you can to marginalize those who are different.