Is Veganism A Luxury Of The Privileged?

Is ‘going vegan’ really easy to do, or is it only a luxury of the priveledged?

The supposed ease of being able to adopt a vegan lifestyle is touted almost as the primary reason for doing it.

Yet, is it really easy to go vegan or is it only easy with privilege?

Take for example a few comments by a self proclaimed vegan identity. This individual gleefully boasts all over facebook about the abuse that they level at those who are still consuming animal products whilst out and about. Yet this person’s partner and pet weren’t ‘vegan’.

How easy is it really?

The truth of the matter is that unless you are a single person earning a relatively modest income, there is a good chance you may struggle with it.
I remember way back in the old days when I was vegan I drove trucks for a living, and one of the jobs that I had was working for a seafood company. I literally spent my day driving tonnes and tonnes of frozen seafood around to supermarkets, restaurants, etc.

After I left that role, I did general freight for a while, and one of the regular deliveries that I had was delivering kangaroo skins to the tanner in Brisbane.

Did those two roles mean that I was no longer vegan? I am sure that there are those who would say that I was betraying the cause and I should have just quit, though it wasn’t as easy as that. Whilst I would have loved to have done that, I still had the usual obligations to contend with.

Or how about if you are a part of a family where the others don’t want to go vegan? Or how about if you are in a possesive relationship where the dominant partner decides what the meals are going to be and you aren’t able to make something separate?

Or what about the same person who has to feed their family when veggie sausages $5.83 for 8, yet homebrand beef sausages are $7.00 for 21.

I am sure there are those who are saying that it is easy to just go without ‘sausages’ or ‘burgers’, though that isn’t really the point here. If someone is new to being vegan, and doesn’t have that compelling reason, then it may just be easier for them to go back to consuming animal products because it is cheaper and easier.

Then the new vegan has to consider the challenge that they will face in having to read the labels on all the products that they intend to use. For some, this can be a daunting task that can be even more difficult if the only chance they get to read labels is at the supermarket whilst shopping.

All this is without even going into the difficulties someone will face if they have a pet, live in another country, or their peer group isn’t ‘on board’ with their decision.

[GARD]Whilst running around telling everyone going vegan is easy, and putting up catchy memes to reinforce it may get these ‘gurus’ followers to keep promoting their misleading statements, it may not do us any good in the long run. I think it is time that if we truly want veganism to be widely accepted that we stopped making false promises and sugar coating things in an attempt to lure people in. If we don’t, and the newbie finds that things aren’t exactly like they were in the brochure, they are less likely to stick with it into the future.

What do you think?

Should we continue to sugar coat the reality of going vegan, or tell it like it is?

3 thoughts on “Is Veganism A Luxury Of The Privileged?”

  1. I honestly think it is a privileged. I am actually vegetarian, i eat cheese and sometimes eggs. The point is i get paid minimal wage and with all the bills i have to pay sometimes i do not have enough for those 8 dollar sausage or pattys or anything else of that sort. It adds up once you go to whole foods . it is every tough being vegan or vegetarian where you earn so less

  2. Thank you for writing about this topic, Cam, I think it’s an important one, and one that really needs addressing with a bit of honesty.

    Most humans don’t recognise or accept their position of privilege, so when it’s suggested to them that the claims of “veganism is easy” are offensive (which I believe they certainly are) they may not understand why or how those claims are so elitist or even simplistic. The problem is, with so many vegans struggling at some time, these claims lead those people to assume their struggles are unique to them and that there’s something wrong with them. They don’t ask for support because they fear being ostracised and referred to as “not vegan enough”, “immoral” or all of the other claims that are implied by the insistence that “veganism is easy”. It can be devastating for so many vegans who are struggling – for whatever reason – to hear claims such as “[O]nce you decide that you regard victimising vulnerable non-humans as not morally acceptable, it is easy to go and stay vegan”. No, it’s not always easy in the real world, particularly if veganism is about more than a diet, so, please, stop it!

  3. I don’t think veganism is for the privileged and I don’t think it is any more difficult than any other diet. No matter what diet a person chooses it requires taking responsibility to find out about nutrition. Veganism is much easier now than it was even 5 years ago. There are excellent websites, books, products that provide all the information needed. I would really suggest to people who feel that vegans are judging them for not being vegan enough to ignore those and talk to the majority who are, in my experience, only too happy to help.


What are your thoughts?