Let’s start this story by saying, it’s no secret I’m vegan. Almost 2 years of being consciously vegan. That doesn’t translate to perfect, better than you, or anything other than the words themselves. I make a conscious and dedicated effort to not ingest animal products. However, I respect everyone’s right to choose their own path.
Yes, I am vegan.
No, I do not throw it in people’s faces.
Yes, I do ask people to pick a place where I will eat too.
No, I don’t preach at my friends if they eat and order meat in front of me.
Yes, my friends say how can you not eat…fill in the blank.
No, I do not respond with, how can you eat that.
Yes, friends say, oh, you can’t eat that, can you?
No, I can, I just choose not to.
Yes, I do get asked questions…A LOT, and I answer as honestly as I can.
Annnnnnd this is where things go sideways.
People ask and ask and ask, but then take personal offense at my answers. It’s like they ask, but they only want certain answers from me.
Sorry, that’s not how questions work. You either want an honest answer or you do not.
They get upset when I say how I don’t believe my diet or appearance has to involve killing or cruelty. I don’t just randomly spout this to the table at large between my very tasty salad course and cauliflower steak.
Immediately everyone’s an expert in all aspects of meat and dairy production, and registered dieticians, but I’m “judgy” since I became vegan.
When that fails to get me to “admit I’m just following a trend,” they start with the impossible scenarios.
If you can only save a person and let a dog die, what will you do? Will you starve to death in the zombie apocalypse before you eat meat? Etc, etc, etc.
I decide not to tell them that I like dogs more than most people, so who knows in the moment. I also don’t explain how life and death versus diet and wardrobe choices are not fair comparisons. There are other things to eat right here and now, there may not be after Negan bashes in skulls and Hilltop is destroyed, I don’t know what will happen then. You bet I will choose to live in a life and death situation, but ordering a cow at a bar & grill, versus a plant is hardly life and death for the diner.
It baffles me further as my vegan chocolate raspberry cake with dairy-free ice cream arrives, while they are still explaining how killing an animal for a burger is tasty and humane murder, but I remain silent. Mostly, because they don’t want an honest opinion from me, and my mouth is full because my cake is fucking amazing.
“But don’t you miss steak?”
“I literally just ate one, Karen, you saw me do it.”
“No, I mean real steak.”
“It was real, trust me, it’s wasn’t an illusion. My scale will tell me so.”
“Now, you’re just being difficult you know what I mean. Don’t you miss real food.”
It’s usually at this point that I realize there is no correct answer that will satisfy someone with this stance. Real food is code for animal products. I then say the most real thing I can think of in the moment because it’s so fucking true.
“No, I don’t miss it, what I miss most is being (ignorant) unaware.”
Annnnd, now I have a vacancy in a friend position, so if any vegans need a bestie…
But it’s true and I can’t take it back. Once you see things through a different lens, and this applies to many aspects of life, you can’t unsee them.
Ignorance really is bliss, or at the very least, it has more friends.
Once you notice how your choices can impact something or someone else, you think twice when you make them.
And that folks is a LIFE THING, not a VEGAN THING.