The old joke about vegans is “How can you tell someone is vegan? Don’t worry they’ll tell you”. Just to try and disprove this stereotype, I think I have managed to avoid mentioning on this blog that I’m vegan, in the just over three years since I started. I also hope I don’t go on about it too much to my friends and family, but they may tell you differently.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a strange time to be vegan though, just like it’s a strange time for everything else. The first time I went to the supermarket after panic buying started and stock levels got low, I felt a little smug (typical vegan, I hear you say). There was virtually no meat left, not all that much dairy or eggs, but plenty of tofu and hummus. Then when I went back the following week all my favourite vegan foods had been decimated too, and I wasn’t quite so smug. I wonder if the vegans had just taken a week longer to start panic buying, or whether everyone else had just run out of non-vegan items to buy, panicked again, and started snapping up all the vegan food too.
It got me thinking about how well my principles would stand up to practical difficulty. When I went vegan in 2017 it was already a pretty easy time to be vegan, and it has only got easier since. Every supermarket has a decent vegan range, most restaurants have vegan options, and a lot of fast-food chains. I even have a vegan cafe (currently closed of course) withing 5 minutes walk of my house, and my area is hardly the first place you would expect to find one. I have a lot of respect for people like one of my friends who I have known since school. She has been vegan for 20 years plus, back when it was really difficult and Holland & Barrett and random health food shops were your only friend.
As it gets slightly more difficult to procure the vegan foods I prefer, will I crack? There is definitely a temptation to say, oh fuck it, I have enough to worry about it right now. I haven’t cracked yet, and hopefully as supermarkets adapt to pandemic and stocks improve it won’t be a problem.
The one time I have knowingly eaten something non-vegan in the last three years was one Friday night, when we ordered takeaway pizza. We waited ages, my pizza arrived and it was not the vegan one I had ordered I phoned the restaurant, waited another hour, a new pizza finally arrived, again not vegan. By this time it was so late, and I was so hungry that I just ate it rather than waiting for the restaurant to try again, or cooking something from scratch. So I suspect that if it became really inconvenient for me to be vegan I might not last long. Hopefully I won’t have to find out.