Choosing to become vegan comes with inevitable lifestyle adjustments. You could be doing it for a trial run or committing to a lifestyle change. Although you may have had certain reservations yourself about “going vegan,” the transition wouldn’t be complete unless your friends knew and had something to say about it. Here are some common responses from friends who have come to be informed of your new dietary choice:
The encouraging friend: “OMG, let’s cook a new recipe for vegan ravioli that I found!”
This friend is likely to know other vegans, and although they may not be vegan themselves, will completely support the cause. Their enthusiasm may be a bit unexpected, but it is comforting to know that they would usually be down to try new vegan places that open up around the Bay Area with you. They are always one to have something prepared for you at a party and always check in with you. This friend will make sure you get food at a restaurant that doesn’t have explicitly vegan options.
The friend who could never give up meat: “I could never do that. Steak is too good.”
This friend will accept you for who you are, no matter what, but they also want you to know that their support is limited. They may sometimes forget that you are vegan when you all go out for dinner, but will be sure to remember for next time. This friend may mention that they have tried going vegan before, but couldn’t do it for even an entire month — or that they know someone who is vegan.
The questioner: “What about cheese? Do you miss cheese?
They will probably look incredulous at first, and then ask a question about how things are going. This friend is genuinely curious and wants to learn more about the lifestyle. They might even show interest in becoming vegan themselves. This friend shows a similar excitement to the “encouraging friend,” but channels that energy into a bunch of questions. You are always left thinking after eating out with this friend. You learn together, and that is beautiful.
The expert: “Oh yeah, I’ve tried every vegan option on Telegraph.”
They are going to be thrilled to know you have decided to go vegan. They will follow up your announcement with a bunch of tips. This friend is probably a vegan themselves or has a vegan housemate. They can spot a non-vegan dish from 10 feet away and even detect if a dish has meat by smell alone. This friend probably owns faux leather and gets excited when someone asks if it’s real. The expert is more likely to keep you on track and call you out when you are straying from the vegan path.
The apathetic friend: “Oh, cool.”
This friend is just happy that you’re happy, and isn’t really sure how to respond. Don’t be fooled, though. The apathetic friend will always remember and make sure that you feel accommodated whenever there is food. Additionally, they will make sure you don’t feel othered and will put in the least effort to mention it during restaurant excursions. This friend won’t treat you any differently than they did before they knew you were vegan.
The choice to become vegan does partially hinge on support from friends, but no matter what people say, if you want to do it — just do it. I started being vegan around sophomore year of college, and it is so great to come across all the support and different responses I get from friends.
Contact Malvika Singhal at [email protected].