Controversial Vegan Opinions and a Product Review (Fit Joy Pretzels)

I’ve run into some wild assumptions about vegans from vegans on twitter lately, and I’d like to get into those more. The gatekeeping by the vegan police is a lot like that game “king of the mountain” where only one person gets to be the winner and the bar for veganism keeps getting raised until it’s pretty much impossible. It’s not good enough to eschew all animal products anymore, y’all!

  1. You can’t be vegan if you have friends or a significant other isn’t vegan. My husband and kids didn’t switch lifestyles when I did and yeah, I bought meat and cooked meat after I went vegan. They eat vegan now, with the exception of parmesan cheese that my youngest eats on occasion. My oldest has discovered nutritional yeast and is fully vegan. Maybe they’ll stay vegan or maybe they’ll eat meat when we go back to eating at restaurants, I’m not in control of what someone else eats.
  2. You can’t be vegan on a budget. Yeah, you can definitely break the bank if you’re eating expensive meat replacements at every meal, but people have been eating vegan without these since forever. I’m not knocking this because these products are vegan and some are tasty, but you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to. (This is probably more from meat-eaters, but a lot of vegans assume we all eat big name items.)
  3. You have to be vegan on a budget. If you buy vegan replacements or vegan junk-food, you’re going to hear from the vegan police.
  4. You can’t be vegan with food allergies. I saw this one again this weekend and I’m allergic to wheat, barley, and rye and I’m still alive. This one probably comes more from the meat-eaters and not from so many vegans, but I encountered this recently and it’s on my mind. It’s rare to find gluten-free vegans but we do exist. (Hi!)
  5. If you aren’t vegan for the animals, you aren’t vegan. This means if you are vegan for health reasons, the environment, etc. you are doing it wrong.
  6. If you didn’t watch such and such documentary, are you even vegan?
  7. If you didn’t go vegan overnight, you aren’t vegan. Meaning if you started by eating no meat on certain days or if you cut one food group at a time, you did it wrong and you don’t belong. This is me because I stopped eating dairy years ago, then eggs, then the fattier meats, and finally “leaner” meats.
  8. If you went vegan for health reasons (or any reason besides ethical ones), you are destined to not stay vegan. I really hate that vegans already have mandated who will stay vegan rather than supporting people.
  9. If you are vegan, you have to buy all new everything. If you have leather seats in your car, leather shoes, leather anything, you must throw it out and buy new stuff. I have a car with leather seats that I’m not getting rid of. I also wear leather shoes that I had before I went vegan. I see no point in being wasteful.
  10. If you buy anything from non-vegan establishments, you aren’t vegan. This means if you buy an Impossible Burger at Burger King, you are supporting the meat industry and your actions don’t count. If you buy vegan Ben and Jerry’s, you’re still giving money to a company that supports dairy.
  11. If you have pets or non-vegan pets, you aren’t vegan. We have a cat that eats meat, a fish that we’ve had for 5 years and the kids have 2 gerbils. I’m not about to try to ditch my cat’s prescription diet and try to get her to eat vegan.
  12. Having children isn’t vegan. Oops. Messed up there, too.
  13. If you take medicines that aren’t vegan, you aren’t vegan. This includes vaccines. Last year I tweeted about getting a flu shot (the egg-free one, even!) and had someone tell me it wasn’t vegan.
  14. If you aren’t a hardcore activist, you aren’t vegan enough. I’m not into posting pictures or seeing pictures of animal abuse and I avoid accounts on twitter that post them. If a meat-eater comes into my mentions, I might respond. More likely I’ll just block them. I don’t go into meat-eating accounts and start drama because they aren’t receptive and open to new opinions. It’s a waste of time and energy. (I watched these kinds of documentaries and I’ll admit, it get me to look for “better” meat options, like cage-free eggs, but I still ate animals. I now know that cage-free, free-range, organic, whatever is all meaningless because you’re still eating animals. You can’t make that humane.)

I’m sure there are many more rules set by the vegan police that I’m not remembering right now. Feel free to chime in with whichever rules I’m forgetting. Again, I think this is a situation where people are trying to “out-vegan” each other and have lost sight of the big picture. I’m not the vegan police and I think if you are TRYING to do better, whether that’s experimenting with “meatless Mondays” or cutting dairy, etc. then I’m all for it. If you like vegan junk-food, cool. If you are a whole food raw vegan, that’s cool, too. If that makes me an apologist, so be it.

And now for that product review… Fit Joy Honey Mustard Pretzels

I ordered these from Thrive Market a couple of weeks ago and I messed up. Yes, these say “honey” in the title, but I distractedly read the ingredients and saw stevia listed so I thought they didn’t have honey in them. Then we got them and I ate them and THEN I saw they have honey in the ingredient list. Totally my fault there. I try not to eat honey but I do on occasion, like with these that I’d already started eating because not like I can un-eat them.

So, if you are plant-based or a honey-eating vegan/vegetarian or even if you aren’t plant-based, I’ll tell you how these are. They are really good! They don’t have that sweetness that most honey mustard pretzels have. I usually don’t like foods with stevia, but these don’t have that stevia aftertaste, either. They are more mustard-y and I thought I got a hint of rosemary, though that’s not in them.

I thought they are a little on the expensive side at $3.89 for 4.5 ounces, but maybe not. I haven’t been to a store since March and I’m forgetting the prices of store-bought foods. We used to get the gluten-free Honey Mustard pretzels by Snyders and those were 7 oz bags for about $3-4 a bag. So I guess it’s not too bad.

The texture is great. If you weren’t on a gluten-free diet, you’d never guess they were made from cassava flour.

I probably won’t eat them again because of the honey but my kid wants me to order them again, so I will. I’m not trying to control what everyone else eats.