I suppose it is appropriate to explain what the title of this blog means, because you’re probably thinking it means: “uh oh crankyvegan.com was already taken.”
While that assumption is partly true, there is a reason for the name “Vegan-Cranky.” Here’s the definition:
ill-tempered or irritable because of vegan dietary limitations.
“She is vegan-cranky because the only vegan option at the restaurant is stuffed peppers.”
My girlfriend coined this term after she noticed that I display this behavior at least once per day. It usually involves the following scenario: First, I enter a dining establishment. At my school, that means the dining hall, the small school store, or an area we call “The Pit” (yes, that is really what a place that serves food is called). The Pit, which is particularly disgusting, offers various fast food options and a really sad, wilted salad bar. Then, I look around and realize that all I can get is french fries, salad, or cereal. I start to get annoyed and proceed to point at non-vegan options or people eating non-vegan foods and say, “I wish I could have that” or, “It would be nice if I could eat that.” I keep complaining as I pay for and eat my salad. That is a textbook example of someone being vegan-cranky.
But vegan-crankiness seems to seep into all aspects of life, not just when I’m at college. Apple picking in my hometown in New England seemed like a safe space. Just trees, maple syrup and apples. What more could a vegan want? As my Nana constantly tells me: “You can have maple syrup right? It comes from a tree!”
After the apple picking festivities, I entered the farm store that sells other produce along with apple cider and Christmas ornaments. As I got in line to purchase my ornament of Santa mooning a snowman, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. A sense of dread washed over me. I turned my head and focused on a basket filled with a sweet treat that defines every apple picking adventure. How could I have forgotten?
The honey sticks. The flavored, sweet, amazing honey sticks that are 10 cents each, so cleverly placed at the cash register for all impulse buying needs. My vision blurred. My ears buzzed with the sound of bees being exploited, but my mouth salivated at the memory of the sweet, sweet goo.
“How was your visit to the orchard today?” the cashier asked me as she silently judged my vulgar Santa.
“Good” I said as I thought, ‘would be better if I could have a honey stick. But I can’t.’
Another time, I was walking through CVS and I spotted the Cadbury Crème Eggs that as a kid I would scarf down by the dozen. Instead of experiencing happy nostalgia or perhaps a small longing for a treat from my past, I glared at the eggs, enraged. I then fixed my stare on a small child as he picked one up and squealed excitedly, bringing it over to their mother. ‘I hate that child. That should be my crème egg. I wish I could have that crème egg,’ I thought as I continued to wallow in the candy aisle.
Vegan-crankiness can strike anytime, anywhere. Nowhere is safe. Out to dinner with your friends? Have fun eating a collection of side dishes and listening to everyone say, “Wow everything was delicious!” Going out for ice cream after? Enjoy your lemon sorbet as you look longingly at your favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor that you gave up in the name of animals and the environment. Candy? Better be 99% dark chocolate that tastes, feels and crumbles like dirt!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love being vegan. Since I became a vegan last November, I feel the best I ever have morally, spiritually, physically and mentally. Being vegan has made me more open to trying new things, as well as making me more aware of my individual choices and how they can impact the world we live on. Eating old spinach and tepid oil-soaked french fries is a small price to pay for saving the lives of animals, helping the environment, reducing my carbon footprint, and getting to eat as much as I want without gaining weight (not to mention the amazing poops).
But it still sucks to watch people easily able to have a variety of foods while I literally eat salad twice a day. It also sucks to reminisce about all of my old favorite foods that I will never have again. Until I stop surviving on french fries and less-than-fresh salad from The Pit, vegan-cranky is what I will be. ‘Why don’t you cook for yourself?’ You might be wondering. I do cook most of the time, but I was required to buy an expensive meal plan; why am I forced to purchase a $2000 meal plan at a school where I can buy no meals? Let me know. Also, I don’t think cooking for myself is an option when I go to a restaurant (even though I have brought a hummus sandwich with me before when my family made me go to a Korean barbecue restaurant).
I am proudly vegan; unfortunately I’m also vegan-cranky.