Every time someone tells me she's a vegan, I hear, "I'm a vagina." Weirdly, I hear that even when a man says it.
It's not that I think they're making any sort of sexual statement. What they're saying is, "I'm a compassionate, sensitive, caring person who doesn't want to hurt any living creatures."
Nothing wrong with that, of course. Most mammals, like us, are sentient creatures, with as many nerve endings as us. Many people become attached to their pets; perhaps more to the point, their pets become attached to them. And if women hadn't evolved a certain free floating maternal instinct, the human race might have gone extinct.
The problem is, the accompanying attitudes. A woman who announces her veganism is also telling you she's a leftist, and quite possibly a man-disliker, if not an outright man-hater. A guy who does so is telling you that he has renounced his manhood, and thinks he is a better person than you for having done so. (Who knows, maybe he is.)
I've met maybe one or two pleasant vegans, but the vast majority seem suffused with at least a little self-righteousness. Opting for a special diet is one thing, being strident about it another. It's sort of like the difference between someone who doesn't bother going to church and someone who sues others for their Christmas displays.
Strict vegans (as opposed to more casual vegetarians) abstain from milk and eggs as well as meat, on grounds of morality. This stance has always left me a little confused: if you don't eat eggs for ethical reasons, shouldn't you also be anti-abortion?
Next time someone tells you she's a vegan, ask if she eats eggs. If she replies no, say, "Ah, so you're pro-life -- admirable!"
That should stimulate an interesting conversation.
(I'm pro-choice, but claim otherwise to vegans.)