Making the decision to go vegan can cause you to experience a world of judgment from family, friends, pets, house plants (who also have feelings, according to some), and even — on very rare occasions — strangers on the internet.
What kind of person would choose this life of ridicule? Truth be told, it’s such a social inconvenience, and not to mention all those lettuce leaves you have to eat. It can all be a bit much. There are so many reasons not to go vegan, but here’s a list of the top ten, to help you realize why you absolutely should not embrace the plant-based way of life.
10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Go Vegan
1. The Food is Terrible
Everyone knows that vegan food is all carrots and rose petals. It’s definitely not possible to get your hands on vegan pizza, burgers, pasta, ice cream, donuts, or anything that isn’t green or resemble a leaf. Unless you live near a supermarket that stocks those items, or maybe even a fast-food chain.
In the UK, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Iceland, Asda, and Marks & Spencer all offer a wide range of plant-based ready meals and comfort foods, including chicken nuggets, kievs, sausages, and veggie fingers. Pizza Hut offers jackfruit pizza and so does Pizza Express, even McDonald’s offers a vegan wrap. But if you want to follow a true vegan lifestyle and only camp out in fields of wheat, it’s impossible to get hold of these things, and eating grass every day truly is terrible.
2. You’ll Miss the Taste of Meat
Unlike meat-eaters, vegans cannot season their foods with herbs, spices, condiments, and sauces to add flavor to the texture. It is this common practice that makes meat desirable and actually tasty, and it cannot be replicated in vegan food.
Unless, by some miracle you manage to come across Iceland’s jalapeño “No Bull” burgers, or Quorn’s crispy chicken nuggets, or Honest Burger’s juicy “bleeding” beef-like Beyond Burger, which is also sold in Tesco, the biggest supermarket chain in the UK. Without easy access to recipes on the internet, you also can’t mimic the taste of fried chicken using simple ingredients like seitan or cauliflower or create your own version of pulled pork using plant-based ingredients like mushrooms, jackfruit, and even banana blossom.
3. You Will Become Protein Deficient
Protein deficiency is a genuine fear among the vegan community, this is because of the lack of access vegans have to sources of protein. Unless you live near a store, vegan sources of protein — like beans, nuts, seeds, plant-based meat products, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, and a wide variety of legumes — are hard to come by.
If you are an athlete, it is also tricky to be a success in your field without eating meat for protein. Lewis Hamilton — a plant-based racing car driver who won 11 Formula One circuits last year — proves this. As does Icelandic weightlifter Hulda B. Waage, aka the Vegan Viking, who broke three national records last year.
4. You’ll Miss Cheese Too Much
It’s not that you’re addicted to cheese, it’s just that you can’t foresee a life without the gooey, stringy, melty, tasty yellow stuff that’s made from cow’s milk. It’s understandable.
This is one of the ultimate reasons not to go vegan, because if you do, you’ll have to eat cheeseless pizza forever — unless you buy Ristorante’s latest spicy vegan cheesy offering, or pop into Pizza Hut or Zizzi or Pizza Express or order a takeaway from Papa John’s, which all offer dairy-free cheese options.
If you don’t want to eat out, or you fancy making your own cheesy dish — like this one by Panceas Pantry — you simply can’t. Unless you buy a supermarket own brand vegan cheese from Asda, Sainsbury’s or Tesco, or you try out plant-based cheddar, red Leicester, or mozzarella from popular Greek brand Violife, which is hard to find because it’s in most major supermarkets.
5. You’ll Miss Eggs Too Much
Eggs are a staple of many people’s diet, and a key part of many meals, like a traditional full English breakfast. There’s no way you can make a vegan version of an egg. It’s ridiculous.
Unless maybe you were a top chef like Gaz Oakley, who created a vegan egg for Japanese-inspired chain Wagamama. Or if you were Gordon Ramsay, who added tofu eggs to the menu at his London restaurant Bread Street Kitchen. Or even if you were just an ordinary non-professional chef, who could pop into their local supermarket and buy tofu to scramble, or who could use the internet to buy Follow Your Heart vegan eggs to scramble or bake with.
6. You Can’t Easily Buy Food on the Go
It has always been difficult for vegans to grab a sandwich on the go and in the last few years, there has been no change to this fact. If you don’t count the fact that Boots now offers a number of vegan-friendly sandwiches as part of its meal deal range — including an all-day breakfast option –, Tesco has a large selection of wraps and sandwiches by plant-based brand Wicked Kitchen, and even convenience store chain Spar has launched a vegan coronation chickpea sandwich, then there isn’t much at all.
If you’re passing a Greggs, there’s a chance you might be able to quickly grab a vegan sausage roll, but no guarantee. It’s now sold in all 1,800 stores across the country, so it’s like gold dust really.
7. You’ll Become B12 Deficient
Following a vegan diet is not the only time you will be at risk of a B12 deficiency, a number of experts have said that most people — plant-based or not — are vulnerable to becoming deficient in this vitamin. Getting it on a vegan diet though is particularly hard, unless you buy yourself one of the many B12 vitamin sprays or tablets on the market from supermarkets or health food stores like Holland & Barrett.
You could also try eating particularly uncommon vegan foods, like marmite, mushrooms, cereal, and plant-based milk.
8. You Can’t Eat Out Easily
Eating out as a vegan is harder than it has ever been; a major issue is that there seems to be not enough plant-based choice on the menu.
At Frankie & Benny’s, for example — an Italian American restaurant chain — there are now 20 vegan-friendly options on the menu, including pasta, pizza, and burgers. At Pizza Express, you can eat a three-course meal, and you have to decide between Vegan Giardiniera or vegan jackfruit pizza as the main course. In Wetherspoons — one of the UK’s most popular pub chains — there is a whole separate vegan menu, including chickpea curry, a full English breakfast, and a meaty burger. So, yeah. It’s pretty tough.
9. You’ll Always be Hungry
As has been highlighted throughout this list, there just isn’t much for vegans to eat, aside from vegetables and leaves. Unless you have access to nearby supermarkets, restaurants, delivery chains, or the internet for an abundance of simple plant-based recipes, you’re going to be hungry. It’s just a harsh truth of the plant-based way of life.
10. It’s Too Expensive
Going vegan can really break the bank, especially with all that extra lettuce you have to buy.
Jokes aside, it’s not easy for everyone to switch instantly to buying plant-based foods over their normal shop. However, whole foods and vegetables can be some of the cheapest items to buy from supermarkets and more and more affordable supermarkets — like Iceland, Aldi, and Lidl — are adding healthier, plant-based products to their shelves.
If you’re yet to be convinced, according to a study from earlier this year, cutting out meat collectively saved British consumers around £2.8 million in 2018.