Buzzfeed makes veganism look hard af
Buzzfeed wants to know if you can “make it through one day as a vegan,” as if our days are a bevy of confused choose-your-own-adventure style dining experiences and mixed morals.
In a video they shared, cheerful music and appetizing food photos flash across the screen with messages prompting the viewer to skilfully avoid animal products at a coffee shop, the office, a Mexican restaurant, and the bar. And although a trained vegan may easily pick out which alcoholic beverages they’ve read on Barnivore and which they haven’t, the whole piece feels like a little jab of propaganda.
First and foremost, I sincerely hope the average person isn’t dining out for each and every meal of their day. Although many vegans aren’t in it for the health factors (yo) and will gladly build a burrito bowl at everyone’s favourite Mexican chain, the majority are forced to learn the basics around preparing their own food…even if that prep is throwing a vegan granola bar in your bag.
In the video, they make it look impossible to order a drink with plant based milk without confusing a barista, and label bread, rice, and onion rings as no-nos, though only mentioning them in very specific scenarios. Sure, some restaurants will butter your toast if you don’t ask, and others use meat-based soup stocks to cook their grains. But hey, it’s no different than someone with an allergy or intolerance speaking up, and I think it’s high time the stigma around having food conversations with waiters and waitresses ends. What’s more important, your morals or appearing “easy going?”
The lamest piece of the video comes towards the end, where the poor make-believe vegan in this non-vegan labyrinth of a world can’t eat any food at the bar because it might alter what a co-worker, one they presumably have the hots for, thinks of them. Here’s a pro tip, probably choose not to hide your morals when considering dating Ted. Not only should they be in line with the person you choose to court, they should be more valuable to you than hiding them in a fry basket. And that fear mongering at the end that promotes not trusting that any food is vegan because of what it might come in to contact with? C’mon.
The internet giant has done many, many vegan themed pieces in the past, some of which I despised as much as this one. Games asking for people to “spot the vegan” and pieces on “pretentious diets” that mock vegan food trends has shown their bias and narrow vision for sometime. I’d recommend they stick to showing the “26 spectacular desserts that happen to be vegan” if they want to win back a vegan audience, as veganism has certainly never been about restraint or limitations. Focusing on the animals being spared exploitation might not breed a sexy click-bait headline, but showing a stunted perspective of the “woes” of taking on the lifestyle is a surefire way to make animals invisibilized altogether.
Don’t believe it for a second. It’s exceedingly simple to go vegan.