A Part of Being Vegan Nobody Warned Me About

There's a phase that happens when you become vegan that nobody warns you about - it's the angry vegan phase. It might sound silly but anybody who's been through it will agree that it is a very real thing. Learning about systems of oppression is bound to make someone angry! Listen as Carly details this part of being vegan and how to move through it.

Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!

Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. I'm your host, Carly, and I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Thanks for joining me on another solo Sunday episode. Whether you're listening to this Sunday night, getting ready for the week, Monday morning on your way to work for whatever day this podcast has found you, and really glad you're here. Before we dive into today's topic, I'm going to read the review of the week from Apple podcasts. AlexS80 says, must hear five stars, hands down one of the best podcasts right now. It's such a refreshing and engaging conversation, episode after episode. Thank you so much, Alex, for that beautiful review. I so appreciate it. And I'm glad you're listening.

So today, I want to talk about something I've been thinking about for a while. And it keeps coming up on interview episodes with all the amazing people I've gotten to interview so far. So I figured I should talk about my own experience. If you've been listening to episodes in this podcast, you may have heard me talk with people about the angry vegan phase. And if you are not vegan, or if you're vegan, and somehow missed that phase of the journey, let's talk about it a little bit.

So there is a kind of joke or stereotype or whatever you want to call it about an angry vegan phase, or just an angry vegan, that is a part of the journey when you become vegan. And I always thought that it was more of a joke, or more to just make fun of people who were choosing a vegan lifestyle from people from the outside whatever it was. But once I became vegan, I definitely fell into that phase very quickly. And I didn't realize how much anger was there. Until now that I feel like I have been out of that phase for long enough that I can look back and reflect and realize that what was happening. So if this sounds crazy to you, let me explain a little bit. When you become vegan, for whatever reason, there's a myriad reasons that you could become vegan. For me, it was for health, I started digging into health, and decided to start there. And then it was because of the environment, I learned more. And then it was for animals. And then I realized that all of our systems are connected, and it was connected to food too

So it was a domino effect. But when I first became vegan, and when I first started really digging into all of the ethical in terms of animal or in terms of the planet reasons to be vegan, I was so upset. I was so upset. And I'm not saying I shouldn't have been, and that I shouldn't have been angry, don't miss. Take my words here because I think it's valid. But it is so alarming. It's like someone took the veil off. And I saw things so differently. I saw the horror that animals are put through, I saw the disasterous effect the planet, I saw all of these things. And at first I felt lied to how could I have gotten through my entire life, and only just arrived at this place with this knowledge. And it's not that the knowledge wasn't there. I had other people in my life who had been vegan, I am privileged and educated that knowledge was always there. It wasn't not available to me. But once that switch flipped, there was no turning back. There was absolutely no turning back. I saw the world differently. These things I thought to be true, were differen

And it happened similarly in college, when I was learning about all these different systematic issues and different forms of oppression that I hadn't had knowledge of because of my privilege. And it made me angry and upset and want to change the world than to but there's something different about this angry vegan phase. Because once you realize everything that's happening within those systems You just want to fix it. And it's really easy to be disheartened. And it's really easy to be angry. How did I not know this food that is sold to us as healthy? Or as Okay, is garbage? And how are all of these systems of oppression present in our food? How are all of these things happening? It's so overwhelming and anger is often what comes up, I felt lied to and I hate being lied do felt like the world had lied? How did I not know. And beyond that, it was really hard to not talk about it, and to not be upset about it all the time in the beginning. And I think part of it has to do with the fact that when you connect veganism, to not just ethics, but food, you know, when you see it on your plate, or see something else on someone else's plate, we eat multiple times a day, it's there all the time.

So in the beginning, it felt like I couldn't get away from it, I couldn't not be thinking about it, I couldn't not be upset about it. Because it was constantly being reminded to me that I'm vegan now. But I'm a vegan living in a non vegan world. And there's a lot of work to do. And it made me so upset. It also made me really upset with people in my life. How could they not understand how could they not hear me? And I totally discredited that they are on their own journey as well. I totally just push that aside. It took me however long to get there. But suddenly, I wanted everyone in my life to get there at the exact same moment I did. And I think this is really common. But man, I wish someone would have warned me. I wish someone would have warned me that this phase is not just a joke. And I know I'm making light of it. But it's real. It is real to feel like you have learned all of this information.

Because oftentimes, and you can hear and most of the interviews, if not all, once you kind of dig into these topics, you go down a rabbit hole. So it's like you start watching all these documentaries, you start reading all these books, you start watching these videos on YouTube, and you're like, Oh my gosh, I have to go vegan, I'm vegan. That's it, I watch what the health or I watched dominion, or I watched whatever it was. And that's it and vegan. And so once you go there, and once you dig in, it's like, boom, it's happened, you're done. There's no going back. And I truly believe when that switch has really been flipped, there is no going back unless you need to for reasons that we don't have to get in to here now, but I just am trying to address the fact that there is still some privilege around being vegan. So I don't want people to feel bad if they had been vegan and had had to take a step back from that. But I digress. Angry vegan phase is so real. And I wish I could have had like support in that in the beginning because I felt crazy. I felt like how am I emotional about food all the time. It made me want to cry to see me on someone's plate. And I used to hunt and fish and eat chicken tenders. Like every day. And suddenly I was emotional about meat on someone's plate. How had this happen so fast. And I thought I was crazy. And it made me that made me even angrier. And then that phase is what I think a lot of people associate veganism with is that angry vegan that wants to tell you about why what's on your plate is wrong, or wants to be kind of a Debbie Downer and tell you about how the planet is dying because of animal agriculture or any other connected issue.

But what I realize now that I'm not in that phase, is that that's not the phase people were reaching out to me for support in being vegan or being more plant based or just asking for information. Nobody was interested when I was in that phase, because it's a really unapproachable phase. And now let me reiterate. I think everything I felt was valid, and I still feel all those things. I am still angry about climate change due to animal agriculture. I'm still angry about access to healthy foods. For populations in our country, I'm still angry about the ethical problems with big farming, and pharmaceutical companies supplying drugs to all these animals. I mean, I could go on and on, I'm still angry that all these things are still happening. Do not get me wrong. But I don't lead with that all the time. Anger isn't bad. I don't think we should shy away from it, we should feel it and investigate why. But when I was in that phase, I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't know what to do with the anger, I was feeling over these issues. So yeah, I was angry, and I was vegan. But then what? And I think that becomes the problem is if you get stuck there, it feels like there's nothing you can do. It really feels like there's nothing you can do.

And that's actually when I first reached out to Claire Mann who I interviewed a few episodes back, the vegan psychologist, because I felt insane. And I felt like nobody understood me, which was an even worse feeling that no one in my life really understood. And it wasn't their fault. But it was hard to explain. It was really hard to explain the pain that I was feeling for learning all these things. I was so angry at the world and angry at anybody who didn't understand why I was angry. And it was hard, it was really hard. But that's kind of a phase I think you have to go through. But maybe it would be easier if you can listen to an episode like this or read something or have people in your life for sure. But that awakening process doesn't come easy. And I think that happens with any topic. Whenever we wake up to the reality of something, it is jarring. It is completely jarring because it feels like everything we knew is not true. And that is scary as hell. That is so scary. And that's okay. That's okay to be scared. It's okay to be angry.

But don't let that be the place you stop. Don't let that be the place you stopped because, one, it's a hard place to live in. It's not healthy for you. And if you are talking about being healthier, and wanting to help other people and animals and the planet, you have to be coming from a healthy spot and to sit in anger 24 seven, does not do your body any good. does not do your body any good. And two, it's really hard to talk to somebody who's angry all the time. I know it was hard for some of my friends and my family to talk to me about this because I was so upset. And again, valid, completely valid. But I couldn't even explain why I was upset. I couldn't fully even articulate it. They're like, well, maybe something's wrong with you, you went vegan and you're angry. That can't be a good sign. But it's how it happens. It's what happens when you learn about these things. But when you get past that, when you're not angry all the time. It's more approachable. I have had so many more people approached me about being plant based, or recipes or any of these things. Now that I am not so scary to talk to you about these issues

It is intimidating to talk to someone who wants to yell at you, I should be vegan. That's scary. That's not a great approach. And I fully own that I went through that. Not that I'm not going to sugarcoat the realities, or the problems or the real anger, I still feel but that's not all I feel. I also feel healthier. I also feel more connected to my body, I feel more connected to earth. I've learned about other systems of oppression that I would not have learned about. I'm still learning because of this journey. And I those are the things I hope to highlight not only with this podcast, but if someone reaches out to me, my newsletter, whatever it is, that's what I want to highlight. But this angry vegan phase is real. It is so real. So if you are going through that, right now, if this feels exactly how you're feeling right now, it's okay. It is okay that you're angry. It means that you're listening to the reality of the world and that is scary. And that is probably making you angry. It's okay, but don't get caught there. Reach out to someone in your life, find another vegan for support, reach out to me, it will get better and easier. And if you are thinking about going vegan, and you are now scared that this is going to happen, that is not my intention either. It is okay to be upset about something when it's really, really bad. That's a part of the process. It's a part of the journey. And now you have this information and you will know what you're feeling and why and you will be better equipped than many of us have been as we go through that phase. I hope this helps. I hope that this is inspiring if you're in that place. And I hope it's validating if you went through this and feel bad about it. You can be angry, you should be mad as hell about these things. But you can also make sure that you keep moving through that and you channel it into action, because that's what we need

Thanks for listening to another episode of consciously clueless and so loving getting to connect with you week after week. And I hope you are too. If you're enjoying this podcast, hit subscribe wherever you're listening. If you want to help me get this into the ears of more listeners, send it to a friend text it to a family member share on social media. whatever you can do to help me grow I would so appreciate and if you want to be read as a review of the week on an episode, head over to Apple podcasts, leave a review and you could hear it on air as a review of the week. Until next time.