Vanity: The Fourth Door into the Vegan Room

Amy Wozny
8 min readJan 15, 2020

When I attended vegan culinary courses, the chef explained veganism as a room with three doors. The three doors he cited are pretty easy to guess:

  1. Health
  2. Environmental
  3. Animal welfare

The chef then added that once you’ve entered the vegan room, it’s a win-win-win.

It’s a lovely room

Having drunk the vegan Kool-Aid back in 2016, I’m entirely here in the vegan room. I have become a better version of myself as a result of this lifestyle change. I’m all-in. I cannot imagine living any other way.

I’m so vain

Sure, the three doors the chef spoke about are significant, but part of my reason for finding myself in this vegan room is vanity, the secret door number 4. I am vain. It’s important to me to be fit, have great skin, and embrace (not fear) getting older. At this point, my acts of vanity include vegan food, exercise, expensive face creams, occasional use of mascara, eyeliner and lipstick, being picky about clothing, wearing sunscreen, avoiding booze, avoiding smoking, and using hair dye. No surgery, no botox.

A self-proclaimed vain 29-year-old once told me she was interested in trying a vegan lifestyle because “this world is a better place when you’re thin and beautiful.” I remember thinking there was something sad about that statement. Isn’t this world a great place when you’re 29?

Upon further reflection, there is nothing wrong with being motivated by superficial desires. I have visual images of young-looking, glowing, svelte vegans I’ve met over the years burned into my brain. Those images are motivating to me; I want all of that.

People are often motivated to take action when there is something in it for them. It’s human to want to know what personal benefits you will get from something. It’s human to be vain. Let’s not judge or look down our noses at the vain. Vanity is power.

Vanity has also motivated me to quit smoking

When I recount my list of whys for quitting smoking over half a decade ago, most of my whys were intensely vain. I had kept smoking in part because I feared weight gain. My…

Amy Wozny

Vegan Recipe Developer at I get all kinds of nostalgic for the nineties.