Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I am new to this forgive me. I am trying to eat no animal products and avoid gluten. When I have control over my schedule and situation this is not difficult.

I cheat sometimes, usually in social gatherings (like birthday parties). Nobody wants to be "that guy" that spoils a birthday party by saying "no dude I don't want to celebrate with you by eating animals, by the way happy birthday."

How often do you cheat? Do you feel bad? Is there forgiveness? How do you change? How do you deal with social pressure?

Responses (19)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by savetheanimals at 01/15/14 18:11:32

    I am vegan. If you "cheat" your not vegan or vegetarian or anything else you "cheat" on. I don't cheat nether does any real vegan. If it is an honest accident that is different. I think your still vegan if it is an honest accident. If you want to avoid gluten that is fine. Gluten has nothing to do with veganism. If you cheat on gluten honestly I don't care but, you should also not tell people your gluten free. Until you stop cheating don't call yourself vegan or vegetarian. It destroys the definition of the words. Just tell people that you tend to avoid animal products and if someone asks if your vegan or vegetarian tell them no. I do hope that you do eventually become vegan. Here is a link to Gary Yourofsky's video:

    Hopefully Gary Yourofsky's video will get you to actually become vegan. By the way I do respect people being gluten free even though I am not gluten free. I just don't care that you gluten free because no one is dying from you eating gluten. Animals are dying when you eat them. Veganism is ethical and gluten free is not. That does not mean there are not good reasons to become gluten free but, ethics is not one of them.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Slipper at 01/15/14 23:46:32

    never intentionally, the word cheat makes it sound like a game, its no game when innocent lives are lost through our selfish actions

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by The Hammer at 01/15/14 23:52:30

    answers to your questions. :-)
    1. I never but than again, some vegans would be more than happy to smear it in my face that isnt vegan and i am not a real vegan.
    2. I only would feel bad from toe to head if i would eat meat just to please the sheeple around me.
    3. The moment you about animal cruelty, there is no Forgiveness.
    4. Social Pressure is the oppression from the sheeple. Bend to Social Pressure and you loose your (or or however you name )
    The happiness i get from being vegan will stay with me long after the sheeple and their Social Pressure have died.

    Advice: do what YOU think is good, dont accept pressure from non veggies around you and not from vegans around you. Listen to your own rythm and speed. ;-)
    And LBNL, watch some undercover videos of animal cruelty, you can never watch them enough. For sure that might help you to ditch the meat and set your priorities straight.
    Succes. :-)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Technicality at 01/16/14 07:21:15

    Thank you for the responses. I am trying to learn more and understand this better.

    I will be honest. I started not eating any animal products because I wanted to be healthier, not for ethics. Maybe some of you will not like me because of that. I started this about 4 months ago. I have eaten zero animal products probably 97% of those days.

    Yesterday my boss's wife had a surprise birthday party at work for my boss. She brought a chocolate cake and a chicken casserole. I took 2 bites of the casserole and I ate a piece of the cake. I enjoyed the cake. I didn't enjoy the chicken, and I would have not long ago. That's beside the point.

    This is a major change for me. I do not tell people I am vegan or vegetarian, although I did put vegetarian on my profile here. I did that mostly because when I wake up every day my goal is to eat no animal products that day.

    I am kind of like an alcoholic that does it one day at a time. I've eaten meat for over 40 years. I love the taste of meat. I love to cook it. I have small children and a spouse with a house that has meat in it. I help prepare it for them, but I do not eat it. My life is complicated.

    This is not something that can be changed overnight. I am trying to change their ways also, gradually. It is a process. Some of you will not like this approach and maybe call me names like "sheeple" or say I'm a phony or not a true Scotsman. That's ok.

    I will watch the videos you all have mentioned. I will continue to educate myself. I will have an open mind. Thank you for reading and for your perspective.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by hole72 at 01/16/14 13:31:27

    Hi Technicality,
    I could not imagine how hard it would be to give up meat for health only. Restricting something you enjoy from your diet is a very difficult thing to do. I wouldn't worry about titles at the moment, but if even for yourself try exploring the ethical and environmental aspect of the lifestyle, these are the areas that make the choice and continued growth easy. I am surprised that after 4 months you are not turned off from the odor of meat cooking (kind of like an ex smoker). If you can find a way to embrace the ethical aspect of this lifestyle, you will certainly place the feelings of others in their proper place. Best of luck to you

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by The Hammer at 01/16/14 22:01:06

    it is nice reading your posts and knowing more about you and why you stopped eating meat. A big step and i admire you for that.
    I know other people who stopped eating meat for health reasons and not for ethic reasons. Because they stopped eating meat, after a while they created "space" in their heart and mind and slowly could see and accept the ethic aspect.
    SO for me, i will never be negative when somebody stops eating meat "just" for health reasons. It is a good beginning.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by rmark25 at 01/17/14 01:06:22

    I've cheated and I'll probably cheat again. I'm not perfect, nor is anyone else. Sometimes I feel a little more guilty than other times....I am still mostly Vegan and Identify myself with that label.
    For example..if eating those clam strips once a year when you are at the Seashore or that piece of cheese at Thanksgiving is something you need to help you fuel yourself the other days of the year-I say go ahead.(with caution) But examine your behavior and why you feel you need to do it and try to empower yourself to change from that.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by MHC48 at 01/17/14 13:54:36

    It's not cheating in the circumstances you describe, it's being a non confrontational person. there's no reason to beat yourself up over it or allow more militant vegans to beat you up either.

    That said I've had several birthdays with groups where I am the only vegan. It's surprising how many restaurants will accommodate you if you ask and are willing to go with the flow.

    I've had to cook non-vegan for others too. I try to provide tasty alternatives to show them how easy and tasty it can be, to open others to the possibility rather than beat them over the head.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by blackcat182 at 01/18/14 04:45:26

    Hi Technicality

    I can understand a little of how hard it is for you, my first step in changing from veggie to vegan was actually for health reasons. I cut down drastically on dairy and then cut it out all together because it seemed that my body was no longer able to process it very well. I found it so tough since all of my favourite foods were dairy based, I was the sort of person who could quite happily eat nothing but chocolate and cake! The thing that helped me in the end and got me to the point of going fully vegan was finding out the horrors of the industries. Even as a long time veggie I was very naive to the suffering of dairy cows. Since finding out that information I have never cheated although I will admit that I still find it hard from time to time, especially if I find myself in a place surrounded by yummy looking treats!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 01/18/14 06:55:10

    Would it be that difficult to just say no thanks to the meat portion of the meal?

    If you eat meat with your friends you're not just being untrue to your own beliefs, you're supporting and reinforcing their choice.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AndyT at 02/05/14 02:43:29

    Just some comment ... it has never happened to me (in 20 years as vegetarian and 4 years as vegan) that somebody did not understand when I said "I am very sorry, but I do not eat that" ... no heartbroken 80-year-old granny whose birthday cake I spurned and no irate boss whose sandwiches I did not touch. People understand.

    If I would, however, now and then say "Well, normally I do not eat this, but as this is your birthday/you made so much work/it looks so delicious/whatever ... I will make an exception ... " then what do you think, will these persons understand if they want to go out for lunch with you and you do not want to go to KFC? "Hey, c'mon, yesterday you also made an exception..."

    And I really HATE it if I come across somebody who then claims "well, but X is also a vegan, but s/he eats fish every friday ... ". This only serves as to dilute the public perception of vegetarianism and veganism.

    Best regards,

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kk14 at 02/05/14 20:49:38

    I am 99% vegan, and I still call myself vegan, even if others wouldn't. When I'm out in a restaurant or someone's house, I'll eat what looks basically vegan, but I don't ask for lists of ingredients. People often say it would be too hard to be vegan, but I tell them they don't have to do it perfectly. Just do your best. If you think of it that way, and one day you eat some Milk Duds, you don't have to throw in the towel and go back to eating meat and dairy all the time. Just go back to being 99% vegan.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by claranson at 02/10/14 04:11:28

    I think it's not helping at all to be calling someone a cheater or non-vegetarian who is making an effort to eat less meat and does so 90sth percent of his time. Not everybody can or wants to be a strict vegan or vegetarian. But the fact that a person starts thinking about this and reduces their meat-intake that's positive and you should all go: good for you! Even people who do meatless-mondas help to make this world a better place. So, who cares about labels?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by HereHere at 02/10/14 07:16:56

    I have found in this day and age, people will respect if you tell them you are vegan and don't eat animal products. It is helpful if you bring enough food for yourself, so the hosts don't have to worry about what the heck to cook for you (and then you find that they've cooked something with butter or other stuff you don't eat).
    Given you are asking about 'cheating', it is clear that you aren't happy about the situation. I say, put it out there that you are vegan and proud of it. You are celebrating your friend's birthday (or whatever) by being there and spending time with them and their friends/family. And don't worry about the vitriolic language thrown at you from this forum or your friends.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AllyG at 02/10/14 23:29:19

    I'm vegan and gluten free. I say "vegan by choice' and 'gluten free' not by choice. I found out after years of poor digestion that I was very gluten intolerant. I was vegeatarian and also was mildly dairy intolerant, so I cut out dairy... Then I was vegan. My knowledge increased, understanding grew. I wouldn't eat my dog or cat, so why would I eat an innocent cow in a field.
    Cheating? No. I've never felt like eating a dead animal again, eggs smell bad, and I'm not a calf so I don't need milk or cheers from a cow.
    Like most people, I've accidentally had dairy, eggs etc because people serving or cooking food don't say exactly what's in the food, or they don't know what vegan really is.
    I'm not judging you, if you slip up and eat animals then that's up to you, but the most powerful thing is to lead by example. At parties take your vegan food to share, or don't eat!
    Every day is a new day and new start.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Laylah at 02/11/14 11:35:39

    I've been a vegetarian for the last 3 years and I haven't had a bite of meat since I made that change. My views are in line with what you guys have already written - you cannot cheat on your vegetarianism/veganism. If you do this, you're not a vegan, vegetarian. End of story.

    Talking about friends and family's reaction - you have to be assertive, that's all. Why should you apologise for making the choice you're making? How could it spoil anybody else's celebration?

    I've had some tough time getting it all across to people around me too, but eventually my friends and relatives started eating vegetarian meals from time to time with me and they were surprised how yummy and filling they can be :) It takes time, but they'll get used to it.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 02/11/14 13:58:28

    No one can really claim to be 100% vegan as we all eat little critters now and then by accident.

    I also kill fleas at times to help dogs (I don't like using chemicals on dogs, and repellants will not get rid of them completely).

    I ate meat and dairy products for many years, so I do not criticize those who don't understand all the implications of our food choices.

    Sadly, most meat/dairy eaters will not even listen to a vegan who politely offers info on the subject. And of course, those who make a living in industries that exploit animals do not WANT to believe anything we might say.

    Even if I quote Albert Einstein who said, more than fifty years ago, that the human race will turn to vegetarianism on a world-wide basis, if not out of compassion, then simply out of necessity, as the only way to feed a starving people.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by anarkitty at 02/13/14 00:06:29

    Never. :) Nor do I desire to cheat. But I remember in the first couple years there were a few times when I would eat "freegan" (things that aren't vegan but were going to be thrown away unless someone ate them). I stopped doing that, though, because it promotes to others that these things are morally acceptable to eat.

    There are many vegans who like you started for health and then became concerned with the animals later on. Sounds like this is beginning to happen for you. It's not an overnight thing. Even though I became vegan for the animals, it took two or three years for me to develop the view that animals lives matter (originally I was only opposed to the horrible conditions on their lives before slaughter).

    Look more into animal rights issues and learn about animal sentience (I recommend the book "The Emotional World of Farm Animals"). This will help you stop wanting to eat these animal foods.

    Also look up recipes online or find cookbooks of vegan recipes for people who like the taste of meat and/or cheese. For example:

    - “Vegan Junk Food” by Lane Gold
    - “Vegan Cooking for Carnivores” by Quentin Bacon

    Both have very good reviews on

    Also learning to cook delicious vegan foods including those that DON'T remind you of meat/cheese will help you stop craving animal foods. New vegans often eat crappy food because they don't know how to cook vegan. For the first while I was vegan I ate untasty food. Same with my boyfriend. Now we both eat delicious food everyday. But you have to put in a bit of effort to experiment with recipes and learn what YOU like.

    Also try to find things you can make quickly! I'm all about spending as little time in the kitchen as possible.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AngelaPoch at 12/12/17 12:58:19

    This is an old post, but it's the first one that comes up in Google when searching for how many vegan's cheat. I have two comments, one, everyone on this list only mentions cheating in regard to food. I firmly believe it is WRONG to throw out things a creature has already given it's life for. The goal is to prevent future death. In other words, I'm not going to sell my car because it has leather seats. This would do more harm to the environment. BUT I don't buy anything NEW with leather. Secondly, having the 'purity' attitude causes many people (30-42%) to give up vegan and vegetarianism over time. They feel like failures because they can't do it. See this article which quotes a VERY large study: 100%.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support