Why Did You Go Vegan?

It is curious what people are curious about.


Being vegan, although becoming more and more mainstream, is still seen as weird or odd by some people.

Vegans are used to fielding inquiries and navigating polite (but usually insincere) conversations about their life choices. It is something to talk about at a party. We get it.

One question that has a tendency to rub me the wrong way, though, is the one that is asked the most: “Why did you go vegan in the first place?”

It is a legitimate question if you are close friends with a vegan and genuinely interested. I would like you to consider, however, that for most everyone else, I think it might be impolite prying.

Choosing a vegan lifestyle is almost always a moral, ethical, spiritual, or personal health choice. Morality, ethics, spirituality, and personal health are typically not topics we broach with strangers or acquaintances.

You probably do not ask people, “Why did you become Christian in the first place?” Or, “Why do you love your children?” Or, “So, why are you a Jew?” Or, “Why are you fat?”

Like nearly all vegans I know, I am happy to talk about being vegan with people who are genuinely interested or considering a lifestyle change for themselves. For people just trying to keep a conversation going or filling dead space with idle chatter… maybe just ask what kind of music I like or where I am from.

Remember, your vegan friends are still people. Being vegan is a fundamentally life-changing moral and ethical choice, not a fashion statement. If you would not want someone prying into your personal choices, consider not prying into theirs. After all, I do not know many vegans who are bold enough to start a conversation with, “So, why did you choose to┬ámurder and then eat the dead flesh of animals and wear their skin as clothes?”