An open letter to my vegan friends (and others)

Michea B
6 min readNov 3, 2020

TW: discussions of eating disorders, illness, abuse, trauma, violence directed at non-vegans, medical invalidation, and self harm.

Two hands holding a bowl and spoon with various fruits, vegetables, and vegan dishes.

I know you mean well when you tell me I should try to be vegan, I really do. The problem is that I really need you to listen to me (and others) when we explain that we cannot go vegan. While there are a couple of you who do so and who advocate for people like me, far too many of you simply seem to refuse to believe that someone cannot go vegan. You have asked me why I cannot go vegan, so today, I will tell you.

In my case, I have several food allergies that limit what I can eat, including an allergy to soy (which sucks because I love steamed edamame). When that gets added to my issues with texture and taste due to autism, that limits what I can eat down even more. Still adding to the issue is that I am someone who is recoving from an eating disorder. If I have to restrict my diet further than I already have, I will (and have) go right back into that disorder.

It was hard enough just to get diagnosed due to my weight, I don’t want to go back to restricting my diet to the point where I outright won’t eat anything but sugar free drink mix and cough drops for multiple days.

When I open up to you and explain that I cannot go vegan, I am tired of the demands to know my exact medical conditions and the exact reasons why I cannot. My medical history and diagnoses are none of your business, just as yours are none of mine. The sheer audacity of some of you to try to shame me for the progress I’ve managed to make, all because I eat meat and cheese, is mind boggling. In some cases, unless I’m 100% vegan, you’ve come right out to tell me I’m a bad person and that I care more about myself than others (um…what?).

I have wound up in the hospital because of some of you. In one case I tried explaining to a now ex-friend that I couldn’t eat certain foods due to allergies, including a mustard allergy. You know what that friend did? They put it in my food and then were shocked when I wound up in the hospital. They outright admitted that they thought I was lying because “who on earth is allergic…

Michea B

Queer|Pronouns he/they. Owner of Illuminatus Design. Degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies (GSWS, Psychology, English) & Theology (M:Div)