14 Things We Wish We Knew Before We Went Vegan


A few years ago Matt wrote a post called 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Vegan.

It was a reflection on his first two years as a vegan, and all the things he wished someone had told him before he made that change. Now that I’m inching towards my two year anniversary, we revisit that topic together and compare lists.

In today’s episode, we discuss those lessons, how they’ve impacted our experience so far, and why some of Matt’s have changed since his original post.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • This is the joke that never ends
  • Pizza … is it ruined forever?
  • How our cooking has adapted
  • Why it’s more than just a change in diet
  • The community is bigger than we thought

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  1. “listen to this conversation” I am Deaf and don’t listen what you say so please make either closed captioned or scripts.

    Thank you


  2. Great episode! People make jokes because it’s new to them or it makes them uncomfortable. But it’s a great opening to discuss why you’re vegan. So throw your own joke in to alleviate any tension: “Did you hear about the fire at the vegan cheese factory? The cheese still didn’t melt.”

  3. I am currently traveling on a medical mission trip in Guatemala. It is hugely difficult to be vegan here, especially in the more remote areas of Guatemala. I have been about 90% successful, but have had to eat cheese. Not only to be able to eat but also to bot offend people. While I feel ok about this psychologically and spritually, physically I don’t feel very good and I can’t wait to get back home to my regular lifestyle. I have found traveling to be very difficult and don’t really have a solution to that.

    • Unfortunately this is part of experiencing the world. It is not your home nor your comfort zone. The only way to travel without being miserable and more importantly without offending locals is to honor the old phrase “when in Rome”

      If it is absolutely not within your purview to honor this then such travel should be reconsidered. We don’t need more Americans going in to the homes of others and effectively communicating that our culture is more right or important than theirs. If we believe this, then we didn’t we stay home to begin with?

  4. Nadine R says:

    I would state that using the terms ‘fake’ cheese vs. ‘regular’ cheese can be not only be a little annoying to me personally, I think it is an unappealing way to classify vegan cheeses. There is no rule that ever said (to my knowledge), that cheese MUST be made using some animal’s milk. If you are eating a cheese made with an alternative milk it is cheese plain and simple. Using more accurate and appetizing words like non-dairy or animal free or alternative milk or simply vegan cheese, it indicates that it is in fact cheese and not ‘fake’. It takes the ‘ew’ factor down a few notches so it is more likely to be at least tried. No one wants to eat ‘fake’ food.

  5. Thanks so much for posting your discussion online. It really helps to hear about other people’s vegan experience. I also thought the jokes would stop but they never do! Difference is that I let it bother me so much. I find it so offensive especially since I am the one going to so much effort to do my bit for the environment and to not support factory farming and all the associated animal cruelty. It is very inconvenient to be vegan in rural Australia, there are not many places to eat out that give even one vegan option except for maybe a plate full of lettuce. And you are right in that there are many less invitations to join others for social occasions (as most of them revolve around eating). It is quite isolating. Lets hope the trend towards vegetarianism and veganism continues to grow.

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