A Long, Incomplete and Still Evolving List of Disclaimers to Accompany My Food Photos and Links

You all are going to make me lose my mind, you know that, right?

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

As someone who likes getting the word out about new vegan food options on social media, I have learned the hard way that it’s wise to preface your shares with a long list of disclaimers. A variety of disclaimers that will preemptively reply to every spoken and unspoken question and acknowledge every possible concern. A list of disclaimers to address a litany of issues that the most neurotic person on the planet would would have to get up early to imagine into existence and a list that would acknowledge even the most uncommon allergies. I had no idea the human species was so hair-splitting and doggedly determined to find something to complain or worry about until the advent of social media but I know now. Boy, do I know.

Maybe it’s because vegans are accustomed to looking at and thinking about food critically, but I have found that herbivores will put on their fault-finding goggles with even the most innocuous of food posts. When did we become a nation of obsessive finger-waggers? Maybe we should reserve that for the truly messed up things in the world and not for the fact that I posted something with almonds in it and you don’t eat nuts.

I have come up with this list of disclaimers, many of which I use in a preamble to any food post these days. I just copy and paste all that apply. It is by no means complete because we are also a creative and determined species — upside — but it’s a start. Feel free to use this as your own list of disclaimers and modify to your needs the next time you want to share about some new vegan recipe or link item and you don’t want a side of migraine with it.

Are we ready? (Long breath…)

  • No, I don’t know if it’s gluten-free. You can probably check on the website just as easily as I could, right?
  • Yes, I know you can make it yourself. Better. More deliciously. More healthfully. I know, I know.
  • No, I didn’t notice the sodium count. Is it high? Are you?
  • Yes, I know you don’t eat “processed foods.” Here’s a cookie. Oops — never mind. I take it back.
  • No, I wasn’t aware that your neighbor has a peanut allergy. Not sure how that is relevant but…
  • Yes, it has a lot of carbs. Like carbs in carbs on carbs dipped in carbs. Whoa, look all those carbs. Behold the carbs. Bask in them.
  • No, I didn’t know that the parent company took out a mafia hit on your father, threatened your puppy and bulldozed your family home. Sorry ‘bout that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Yes, it’s probably fattening.
  • No, I don’t want any information on becoming a breatharian.
  • Yes, the photo quality is poor. I’m sorry???
  • No, I don’t know how much sugar it has in it. I’m guessing a lot???
  • Yes, I am sure it has oil in it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the oil was injected with oil and then soaked in more oil.
  • No, I don’t want to watch a two-hour long video on the evils of olive oil.
  • Yes, I understand that you want to know how you can find substitutes for 90% of the ingredients and still have it taste the same but believe it or not, I’m not getting paid to develop recipes for you.
  • No, I don’t know if it has GMOs but I am fairly certain that even if it’s not organic, it’s not “loaded with GMOs.” I’m no food scientist but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that. Like they don’t have needles filled with “GMO” serum they inject the food with, I’m guessing.
  • Yes, I know you are a minimalist and you’d be happy with just an apple. Maybe this link isn’t for you? Maybe your computer or your phone isn’t, either.
  • No, I don’t know the sugar source or why they created something sweet when people should just eat fruit anyway and — I think this is actually two disclaimers here. You’re welcome.
  • Yes, I know you don’t and won’t shop or eat at the place that sells this. Thanks so much. That was really important for me to know, person I will probably never meet in real life.
  • No, I don’t know if the ink they used on the package is vegan. God. Seriously? You’re just making shit up at this point.
  • Yes, I understand that just the picture gives you a stomachache and/or a toothache. Again, very critical information for me to have.
  • No, I don’t know if they have it by you yet or why it’s not there. You could look on the locator on their website. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Believe it or not, I have no control over this.
  • Yes, I am sure you don’t like the taste of meat replacements and I am not sure how it’s relevant to my life but feel free to tell me.
  • No, I don’t know about separate grills. Seriously. I just posted a freaking link.
  • Yes, I see you’re one of those people who extrapolates vegan food is not vegan if it’s not health food “beCauSe arEn’t We alL aNiMAls???” and you want to tell me allllllll about it in the comments. You could feel free to disregard this post. It is not for you.
  • No, I don’t know if it’s compliant with Keto or a million other random diets. You can always check into this yourself, though. That’s part of why I provided a link to the website, which you can click on.
  • Yes, I know you don’t consume products like this. But…there are other people who do. I know it’s weird to consider that not everything you see on social media is curated to you specifically.
  • No, I didn’t know that you are now a raw foodist and you only need to sleep for two hours a night. Thanks?
  • Yes, I know you can make this at home with just some kale, bananas and chia seeds. You go right ahead.
  • No, I don’t know if it’s free of nightshades. Why would I know this? I like nightshades. I even like the word nightshades. It’s very Morticia Addams’y. Further, I am not here to move units of this product I posted. I do not get a kickback on any level. I am not here to twist your arm. I am simply providing information. In the meantime, please don’t use this thread to tell me about your various dietary restrictions because, honestly, it’s not my business.
  • Yes, okay, knock yourself out. You’re going to tell me why this food is all kinds of WRONG anyway, right?
  • No, I’m not cranky. Why do you ask?
  • Yes, I understand that we should all be eating joyless, soggy squares of 100 percent post-consumer recycled and unsalted cardboard and wash it down with water from our rain barrels everyday and be happy with it because the occasional pleasure is surely a sign of moral depravity and moral depravity is NOT vegan. Got it.

So that about covers it, right? What’s that?

  • No, I have no idea if they ship to Canada. You people were supposed to be nice.

GMO status: unchecked.
Organic status: unchecked.
Gluten status: unchecked.
Oil status: Unchecked.
Soy status: Unchecked.
Sugar source: unchecked.
Cross-contamination status: unchecked.

I have left them for you to check. Consider yourself deputized.

We’re good?

Marla Rose is co-founding partner of VeganStreet.com and VeganStreetMedia.com. Please follow on Medium to get updates when each new article is posted and find us on Instagram.

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Marla Rose is a Chicago-area writer and co-founder of VeganStreet.com and VeganStreetMedia.com.

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