Vegans. They may occupy the moral high ground (hey, you said it, not me) but it turns out they’re not so perfect after all. As per usual, I turned to R/Vegan, scouring several threads to out them once and for all!

Here are just some of the thoughtless mistakes vegans make:

1. Forgetting to check the ingredients list

“Just yesterday, I accidentally bought tea with YOGHURT POWDER in it?? Most times when I f–k up it’s usually my fault for being lazy and not checking but this one is absurd. Who the hell puts yoghurt in normal-ass, store-brand tea bags??” 


“I found crisps that needed to disclose the amount of things like chicken powder and it was 0.003% on this one packet. … The crisps basically had a stroll in a room where a chicken may or may not have been hiding.” 


“I must’ve eaten about 20 bags of Aldi Salt and Vinegar crisps before I eventually realised [they aren’t vegan]. So silly considering Walkers Prawn Cocktail manages to be accidentally vegan!”


… Including, buying a product that has 0.5% milk powder in it  

“Check EVERYTHING for milk powder. I remember after many purchases I noticed my taco seasoning packets had it. Why??”


2. Eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods (and I don’t mean animal foods)  

Media Credit: Bored Panda

“[I made the mistake of] eating fake meats and fake butter with canola oil. I should have kept the mushrooms closer.”


“[I’m a] four-year vegan who is 120 pounds overweight and never hungry because I’m constantly stuffing my fat face full of vegan junk food.” 


Media Credit: @inspiredvegan_

3. Not eating enough 

Under-eating as a vegan? Rookie mistake! Due to the fact that a vegan diet is less calorically dense (meaning, you consume less calories per serving), you generally need to eat more on a vegan diet. (Yay!) 

4. Buying products without checking the company’s animal testing policies

“I accidentally bought a hygiene product with milk and honey in it as it advertised itself falsely as cruelty-free and vegan on the page, but it had no vegan label when I got it.”


“Dove soap is ‘cruelty-free’ and contains beef tallow. Go figure.”


“I find it so frustrating [as a vegan] that every beauty product company requires vigorous research because they’re allowed to consider themselves ‘vegan’ if their ingredients have no animal-derived ingredients even if the company is not cruelty-free! … I genuinely find it more difficult to purchase vegan beauty and household items than eating a plant-based diet!”


5. Failing to take B12 supplements

We all know B12 is a vital nutrient for optimal health. Why? Because Big Ag loves to tell us so! In fact, any Carnist will tell you so! Everyone touts on about it – but what actually is it?

“B12 … is a vital nutrient, which just about every mammal needs. Deficiency can get very nasty. Luckily it is quite easy to get.

We and the animals people are used to getting B12 from the manure we spread out on the fields and got stuck on the plants we ate. Before agriculture, mammals (our gorilla ancestors included) regularly ate feces to ensure B12 intake. In modern times, eating feces obviously isn’t an option. Since we also wash our food before consuming it, we also don’t get any B12 from plant foods (which wouldn’t be enough anyway because of the high use of synthetic fertilizer instead of manure).

Modern society solved this B12 deficiency problem in 1972 when Woodward and Eschenmoser managed to make B12 synthetically in a lab. Since then, we have been feeding this synthetically produced B12 to farm animals in their feed. Since most people eat animal products, they get B12 that way. Vegans don’t do this so we have to make sure we get our B12 directly. Most of the time we use fortified foods which are the most convenient but it is strictly advisable to supplement this once a week with 2,000 micrograms of cyanocobalamin. You can find B12 for a dollar/euro or two in the vitamin aisle.” 


6. Forgetting to pack snacks when going out  

Another rookie mistake. There’s nothing worse than going out, only to discover you can’t find any vegan food when the hunger strikes. For this reason, your seasoned vegan learns to bring a plethora of snacks. (Protein bar, anyone?) 

“I always eat before [I go out] AND bring snacks lol. Those little applesauce things in the baggies? Perfect to stuff in my purse lol.”


7. Accidentally joining a cult

Did you know Veganism is a cult? Me neither. But, according to these Redditors, it is:

“Think of [a vegan] as your average cult member that has superficially coherent claims that won’t stand up to scrutiny.”


“[Veganism] is standard cult practice. It starts with an ego attack. The method is accuse, accuse, accuse. And the purpose is to get the Mark on the defensive and obligate the Mark to ‘justify’ their behavior. Spoiler! There is no justification. The Mark is guilty, guilty, guilty, and only complete submission to the cult’s demands will make the attacks stop.”


8. Pretending to be OK with Carnist behavior

“I would help with the preparation of carnist food, like when I guided my brother-in-law through making my very popular burger recipe, or for family meals, like Thanksgiving. Now, I stay far away from giving the impression that I am accepting of other people’s decisions to practice that sort of violence.”


“[I made the mistake of] thinking I could happily date a carnist… I’ve been vegan for 16 years and when I was younger I dated men who ate animal products. Vegan pickings were often slim and I’d ‘respect their choice’ but I was never okay with it. I think it’s wrong to eat animals and I can’t really be with someone who thinks it’s okay. I’m an activist and I’d feel like such a hypocrite going to protests, working to save farmed animals, then going on a date with someone eating an animal …”


It may seem extreme for a vegan to go as far as refusing to date somebody who isn’t vegan. Can’t we all just have our individual beliefs and move on? Understand that for many, Veganism isn’t simply a diet – it’s a necessity. And behind every ethical vegan exists the pain of knowing how Carnism hurts animals, the environment, and humans. 

9. Telling all their family and friends about Veganism and expecting them to understand 

For whatever reason, people get extremely offended by vegans and will fight head and tooth to defend their choice to consume animals. (They will even go so far as to say Veganism is a cult. Hello, point 7.) It’s not uncommon for vegans to lose friends and face backlash from family:

“If I ask if I can bring vegan food to put at the table for cookouts I basically get laughed out of the room and made fun of …  I just feel like [my family] try to pull any excuse out of their ass to convince me not to go vegan.”

“You get superpowers when you become vegan. One of them is that you get the superpower of learning who your friends really are and how much your family respects you.”


The question is: Why do people get so offended by Veganism? I think this quote sums it up pretty well:

“If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do.” 

– Bertrand Russell, Mathematician & Philosopher. 

10. Misunderstanding that Veganism is more than a diet 

“Realizing that Veganism is more than just a diet is a lesson I keep learning every day in every discussion I have with fellow vegans and carnists alike. There are so many aspects of living that are filled with animal cruelty and exploitation and society is so indoctrinated with it, that no one can truly know all there is to know about where animals are misused.”


Vegans become vegans for different reasons. Some made the change due to the promise of better health and others landed via ethical routes, such as wanting to minimize harm to animals and the environment. In my opinion, the ethical needs to be there for a vegan to properly commit to Veganism. Why? There’s a difference between being on a plant-based diet and being a vegan. “Vegan” is generally used as a blanket term for eating plant-based. However, a true vegan is defined as someone who aims to minimize harm by avoiding the exploitation of animals for food, clothing, service, and entertainment. So, while somebody on a plant-based diet might still buy leather, ignorant of its origins, a vegan will not, as one is keenly aware of the suffering that leads to such material. Not fully understanding what Veganism is about can lead to higher bounce rates (vegans becoming ex-vegans), which undermines the efforts of ethical vegans fighting for animal rights and a vegan world. This makes ditching Veganism probably one of the most thoughtless mistakes a vegan could make.  

So, take your B12 – but, more importantly, educate yourself on the ethics behind Veganism, and why it contributes to a kinder and more sustainable world. 

To learn more about Veganism, check out some of our other articles. This one’s a great place to begin if you’re new to Veganism. 

Sarah is a writer, actress, and filmmaker who aims to inspire insight through her work, shedding light on the truth. From a young age, she has utilized writing to process and communicate "big ideas," including advocating for mental health, social change, and animal rights. Originally from Tasmania, Australia, Sarah currently resides in Vancouver. She is a proud vegan and believes in the power of education and collaboration to influence systemic change within the animal liberation movement.