Isn’t being vegan difficult?

There is no difficulty encountered by vegans that compares with the difficulties imposed on nonhumans exploited for our benefit. As author Gary Francione has put it: “If you think it is difficult to be vegan, think how difficult it is for the animals that you are not vegan.”

From a practical standpoint, the common perception of difficulty is simply incorrect. Vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and seeds can be found almost anywhere you go, and convenience foods are more common than ever. We can clothe ourselves without using nonhuman skins, silk, or hair. And we do not need to use personal care items—soap, shampoo, and so on—that use animal ingredients or that have been tested on animals.

From a social standpoint, while it might be awkward or uncomfortable at first to make such a major change in your life that others may not understand right away, this discomfort can be minimized or even eliminated. Respectfully educate your colleagues and peers, plan ahead for events and meals with others, take charge of menus for social events, and so on. Over time, experience will guide you through these situations.

Ultimately, even if a situation does feel burdensome, we should remember that this is a privileged viewpoint to take. Surely we can manage these relatively small burdens in order to stand in solidarity with our fellow animals.