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Never Trust an Ex-Vegan?

Should one trust an ex-vegan?
Portland's local vegan grocery store, Food Fight! has a sticker that says "Never Trust an Ex-Vegan." I recently learned that a friend who was once a vegan is now a happy consumer of cheese products. These cheese products are not locally milked from cows enjoying pasture life, but the cheese from chains such as Safeway, Subway, and who knows where else. My friend is aware of the abuse dairy cows endure, yet he continues to chomp the cheddar, gobble the gouda, and munch the mozzarella. It just confuses me so much, because he is well aware of the lives of dairy cows. He has the know-how to be a vegan, and has spent his life in Portland. I'm coming closer to the conclusion that he just does not care about the dairy cows who provide cheeses for the chain establishments he patrons, and would rather give people money and satiate his cravings than stay a vegan. Should I trust a non-vegan who regularly consumes cheeses without guilt or shame? Are there any other vegans out there with advice? Is there any way to bring him back from the cheese side?

Cheese out of dumpsters tastes like real cheese... 05.Jan.2010 23:20

with none of the ethical concerns.

I too have friend who have abandoned their ethics in exchange for the increased nutrition or satisfaction or whatever reason. I know from my own observations that I do better on a diet with animal proteins than just plant proteins and much worse on a diet heavy in soy. However it's not worth sacrificing the happiness of another being to have a healthy digestive tract, so I say pull it out of dumpsters, or go to food church, and get it in a way that doesn't support factory farming.

strange days 06.Jan.2010 00:22


I would not judge someone by their diet, but it seems dairy is just as disgusting an unnecessary as meat. I prefer non-dairy substitutes, but vegetarians don't seem to care? Go vegan!

this sucks 06.Jan.2010 00:32


I think this sticker sucks, and the entire culture around political and ethical purism sucks. I believe in the social, political, and environmental justification for being vegan, but I don't think people deserve to be disenfranchised from radical community because some folks think it's a sin to consume animal products. I think animal products suck too, but consumer-choice based political initiatives are not, by any means our most effective tactic, yet we infight about whether or not we can trust our friends who eat cheese?

as far as I'm concerned the revolution will be fed by whatever it damn well needs (but not necessarily what it wants).

why 06.Jan.2010 01:08

do you

even bother discussing a (bike trailer) bumper sticker, or taking it seriously, or treating a slogan, far less than even a sound byte, as a philosophical treatise...vegan or not...it's just a silly sticker..

respect or disrespect, associate with, or disassociate

eat or don't eat

Who Cares!

I think it's freaking funny (and the 'tudes of some who work at Food Fight! are funny too, like wow, do we take ourselves way-too-seriously, afterall, "You're just an errand(girl) sent by grocery clerks to collect the bill,"

for all the suffering of the millennia...so a little levity would help a lot...and, your greatest gift to others is your peace, not your righteousness.)

i don't trust you 06.Jan.2010 02:54

you don't trust me

I'd say trusting somebody in the first place because of their diet would be the mistake.

Trust and Veganism and Solidarity 09.Jan.2010 13:04


I am concerned at how some people want to dismiss the importance of who we are eating. Ex-vegan thinks it's just being "purist" to give a shit about whether people are causing unnecessary suffering and death with their consumption habits, and that we should be able to eat whatever we want no matter who it hurts because, hey, we gotta revolution to feed. (What kind of "revolution" doesn't recognize the rights of non-human animals to their own lives?)

"Do you" thinks it's funny. Funny that anyone would care about such a "trivial" thing as the lives and deaths of dairy cows. After all, they are invisible behind the facade of happy red barns and rolling green grasses on our milk cartons, right? Their suffering is out of sight, out of mind, leaving "Do you" free to self righteously laugh at anyone "serious" enough to have a "tude" about it all.

And "you don't trust me" can't imagine why we would judge anyone based on their diet. Again, who cares if our comrades are causing the suffering and death of non-human animals with every mouthful they take. Everyone does it, so what, right?

The fact is, what we consume MATTERS. Why kill with our forks if we don't need to? And we don't.

I actually cannot even relate to ex-vegetarians, and am getting that way about ex-vegans as well. (I have been a vegetarian for many more years than I have been a vegan, so it's easier for me to relate to people still beguiled by the call of cheese, even if I can't imagine it being worth the lives, deaths, and suffering of cows and their calves.) If one more person tells me how they "used to be vegetarian but then their naturopath told them they had to eat meat," I think I will beat them until they come to their senses. (Oh yeah, point out the "irony" in that, liberals. About how "non peaceful" it is of me to talk about hitting a person. And then realize that I am not a pacifist by any means, am not advocating pacifism; I am advocating an end to the intentional infliction of oppression, suffering, and death upon all of the non-humans on earth by humans. This is a war, and I know which side of it I'm on, and it is not the side of the oppressor.)

Anyone who believes they "have to" eat the bodies of others for "health reasons" needs a new naturopath. The theory about eating according to your body type, complete with a type that "needs" meat because of their ancestral genetics, has been completely debunked. It has nothing to do with science or reality, it was made up out of whole cloth, and get over it. And anyone who gave up meat and dairy on moral and ethical grounds? How shaky must their foundation be if they can abandon their sense of morality for the flimsy excuse of taste? Why should anyone want to trust someone like that, ever, for any reason?

I know I wouldn't.

local dairy is also an atrocity 13.Jan.2010 13:47


Concerning the cheese/dairy issue. Dairy is a murderous, commodifying, objectfying, tortuous industry no matter which farm the cows are housed at. The myth that local is somehow better is not justified considering that dairy farms locally abuse the ecosystem, waters, and take a huge unnecessary energy consumption that cannot be justified.

Is safeway cheese worse than Organic Valley cheese... when prices people choose to pay are lower and they switch to non organic milk, thousands of cows are slaughtered at an even earlier age because their "worth" has just plummeted. There is nothing humane about the breeding and slaughtering cycle of dairy. It is wrong--cheese is pus filled nonsense that has no nutritional value and even if it did, there is no excuse for animal abuse.

Cheese isn't even vegetarian 15.Jan.2010 09:28

mostly vegan

(First, I should say right off that I eat honey. Many vegans would say that's exploitive of bees, and they are entitled to believe that. I really appreciate that they care about bees and other inspects, as too many people do not. The reason I really have no qualms about eating honey, though, is this. I do not see it as exploitation, I see it as mutual aid between species. Bees are not abused, neglected, tortured, and injured by bee keepers. A lot of vegans don't really understand how bees are kept, and where honey comes from, I think. I don't know, maybe there are factory bee farms somewhere that I don't know about. But I get my honey locally, from local beekeepers, and I know exactly how they get the honey. And believe me, they do everything in their power to keep the bees happy, safe and protected. No, they do not kill off their bees and get new ones every year - that's ridiculous. A beekeeper's greatest challenge is keeping the bees happy enough to encourage them to stay with that keeper. If the bees are not happy, they swarm away, and nothing any beekeeper can do will stop them from doing that if they want to. Often, they stay. Because the keeper protects them from the elements, protects them from predators, feeds them through lean times, and generally takes really good care of them in exchange for a portion of their honey.)

Whew! Having said that, here is my take on cheese. For the most part, cheese is not even vegetarian. Bizarrely, even some soy cheese has rennet in it. (Check carefully!) Rennet is an enzyme used to coagulate cheese that comes from one place only: The stomach lining of unweaned ruminants. In other words, it comes from the bellies of butchered calves. Calves who were killed for their mothers' milk, and whose bellies are then used to coagulate that milk, so that your friend can eat the resulting cheese. Blek.

You might also introduce your friend to the joys of Daiya. Go to food fight and get a tub of Daiya cheese. Take it home, put a little bit on a bagel, possibly with a few kalamata olives. Place the bagel under the broiler in your oven for a couple of minutes until it... MELTS! MELTS!!! (Vegans will truly appreciate this.) And then give it to your friend. This is the first vegan cheese that I have found that actually melts and tastes like cheese. Yum!

Other than that, I don't know what to tell you.

cult confirmation 18.Feb.2011 14:12


There are many viewpoints here that confirm the prejudice that veganism is an unruly fundamentalist cult as opposed to a viable approach to living: people who come to different conclusions than I do regarding ethics are to be dismissed! Really? How ethical is that position, and how many positive changes is that approach likely to instigate?

In Response to "Trust and Veganism and Solidarity". 07.Oct.2013 20:57

AntiXciv grenadevsfreighttrain@yahoo.com

"(Oh yeah, point out the "irony" in that, liberals. About how "non peaceful" it is of me to talk about hitting a person. And then realize that I am not a pacifist by any means, am not advocating pacifism; I am advocating an end to the intentional infliction of oppression, suffering, and death upon all of the non-humans on earth by humans. This is a war, and I know which side of it I'm on, and it is not the side of the oppressor.)"

In my honest opinion that is the best part of the best response to this comment/question "Never Trust an Ex-Vegan". Can we please hang out whoever you are who said that?

In addition, speciesism is a real form of oppression responsible for the unnecessary torture and murder of millions. The privileged human animal's selfish desire for taste/nutrition/tradition pales in comparison to the urgent necessity to attack ALL oppression to preserve the freedom of ALL. Anyone who dismisses that urgency is in a position of privilege and needs a reality check. To abandon the fight against speciesism is a compromise that de-legitimises any struggle against inequality, hierarchy, and oppression. Any oppressor-apologist can't be trusted. As simple as that. Oh, and I too am not a pacifist. Total Liberation by any and all fucking means necessary.