1 When you’re questioning the ethics of avocados
Avocados and vegans go together like peas in a pod. But the plant-based community has been rocked by claims that the trendy, emoji-fied vegetables might not actually be all that vegan after all. It’s because avocado trees are pollinated by bees, meaning they’re technically animal by-products. Cue a fierce debate in the Time Out Dubai office, with a guacamole line drawn down the middle of the carpet between the two resident plant-eaters (one on #TeamAvo, the other on #TeamBee). Of course, everyone else just rolled their eyes.
2 When you can no longer look your luxury heels in the eye
We love shoes, but we also like not feeling guilty every time we slip on our footwear in the morning. That’s why we opt to quite literally wear our veganism on our feet, whether it’s faux-leather or fabric. You’ll find us stomping out of Stella McCartney’s Dubai Mall boutique in our Dhs2,800 polyurethane boots.
3 When you’ve watched Earthlings
We can’t think about this one too much or else we’ll well up and need to dash home and hug our dog. If you’ve not watched it yet (and you really should) Earthlings is a documentary about the way humans use animals for food, entertainment, clothing and science. And after viewing it you’ll never see the world in the same way again.
4 When you start thinking about what eggs actually are while you’re eating them
It strikes halfway through an omelette. You freeze up while slicing into your eggs Benedict. Or you just can’t fathom another forkful of that previously delicious croque madame. All former egg-eaters have experienced that overwhelming realisation of what they’re actually eating in the middle of breakfast. Yes, that’s right – the egg is the very earliest stages of a baby chick. And suddenly that huge trough of scrambled eggs in the hotel buffet suddenly becomes a ceramic dish of guilt.
5 When you start salivating while walking past a freshly composted allotment
In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews gleefully sings verse after verse about her love of schnitzels, cream-coloured ponies and warm woollen mittens. But that’s far too many animal by-products for our liking. Instead, we can’t get enough of the smell of fresh dirt. And where there’s fresh dirt, there’s fresh vegetables. Bring on the carrots.
6 When you just couldn’t imagine putting Fido in a sandwich
If you’re happy to eat a cow, then why won’t you eat a dog? So goes the vegan logic trap that we’re all guilty of whipping out on occasion against stubborn meat-eaters. It turns out that we’d much rather throw Fido a bone than eat his. And yes, don’t worry, that’ll be made out of rubber too.
7 When you start pitying the work/life balance of bees even after you’ve been stung
While we’re not particularly fans of wasps, we’ll defend bees to the hilt. The second a flash of yellow and black swoops past, we descend straight into a screaming heap – until we realise it’s actually a bee, at which point there’s an immediate sense of peace and calm. After all, they’re only trying to go about their daily honey-producing business. And of course, when they sting it results in a massive abdominal rupture that will ultimately lead to their untimely demise. Poor little buzzers.
8 When you actually enjoy vegan cheese
French people, look away. Whisper it quietly, but we can’t get enough of vegan cheese. At first it seems deeply unnatural to bite into something made of tofu or cashews that tastes like dairy goodness. But then you’ll quickly realise that you can enjoy those addictive savoury flavours without a single tug of an udder.
9 When you realise there are crushed beetles in your lipstick
Manufacturers like to play sneaky tricks. Bafflingly, Oreos, Starbursts and Skittles are all vegan, yet on the flip side some apple juice is processed using fish bladders, many jams contain gelatin – and don’t even get us started on figs (many of which contain dead wasps that got trapped inside while trying to pollinate. Yes, really.) After all that animal product-induced stress, why not get glammed up to make yourself feel a bit better? No! Stop right there. Cosmetics aren’t immune, with many skin creams using snail slime – and as many as 70,000 dead beetles in every pound of red dye that goes into lipstick. Feeling all made up? No, us neither.
For everything you need to know about being vegan in Dubai, click here.