Vegan, you say? Isn’t that like, impossible? I thought so until I met my stubborn and strong-willed best friend in the seventh grade. Leah and her family were, and still are, devout vegans who strictly follow an organic, plant-based diet. To top it off, every single member of her family has his or her own vegan food Instagram with recipes and dishes they have found all over the country! After eight years of friendship, she and her family have taught me why vegans and vegetarians are the greatest pals out there.

Without further adieu, here are the nine perks of having a vegan or vegetarian best friend!

1. Vegans and vegetarians are extremely knowledgeable about food.

Vegans and vegetarians are always on the lookout for healthy, unique, and delicious new ways to spice up their taste buds!

2. You never have to worry about sharing your food with them.

That plate full of caramel brownies is all mine.

3. They care about the planet more than anyone you’ve ever met.

Starting to regret that cheeseburger.

4. They will open your eyes to different foods and new restaurants that you never would have known about otherwise.

Dairy-free green tea ice cream is so worth it.

5. Vegans and vegetarians are passionate about animal rights.

You’ll hear all about the protests, but then you get to come home with them and cuddle with their assortment of pets.

6. They’ll be your biggest health-motivators.

There are healthy ways to be a vegan or vegetarian, and there are not-so-healthy ways. A true vegan or vegetarian knows exactly what he or she needs in his or her diet to maintain optimal health, which will motivate you to do the same!

7. You’ll get the coolest birthday presents!

From organic candles to hemp bracelets, I am always satisfied.

8. Craving a steak? They can find something to eat anywhere you want to go.

Somehow, Leah managed to find a meal for herself at Outback Steakhouse.

9. Vegans and vegetarians tend to have a great sense of humor.

Criticize their lifestyles all you want, these people aren’t phased.

Although I still can’t manage to give up cheese, I’m so thankful to have a vegan as a best friend. There are never dull moments!

For cruelty-free and organic recipes, follow @VegVibez, @Vegandadnj, @Veganfoodgal, and @Ramseyfarmersmarket! Maybe you’ll find your vegan, too.