So, today at work I had something happen that, honestly, kinda pissed me off. It was our usual monthly birthday celebration and even though I don’t eat the cake (or cookies or cupcakes or whatever) I always go up and socialize and provide another pathetic voice to a horrible rendition of “happy birthday”.
So I head back to work and my co-worker comes with me. He asked if I had a cupcake and I said no – that I’m a vegan. His response… “I feel sorry for you on so many levels”.
Honestly? I don’t care. Not really. I’d lie if I said it didn’t bother me, but it wasn’t his comment, necessarily, that pissed me off. It was the fact that he said anything about it at all.
I dread it when people question what I’m eating – or, specifically not eating – because people, for whatever reason, feel that they have a right to express their opinion whether or not it affects them at all. I have never made a big deal about me being vegan – but meat eaters have ALWAYS made a big deal about me being vegan. I have never asked or expected different treatment. At the most, my friends and family have always made sure there was plenty of variety by way of salads that I’d be able to eat – and at the very least, they let me know what’s on the menu so I can plan accordingly.
I have never made a negative comment about meat being served. I have never made sounds or comments of disgust no matter how I feel about it. I have sat through a prawn boil “feast” where the other attendees were using the empty husks of the prawns as finger puppets. Personally, I found it disgusting – mildly amusing, but still disgusting. If there’s something I don’t like, I leave – for instance, at one Sticky Floor event at work, they had a pig roast and when they wheeled the fully cooked, enormous carcass of ready-to-be consumed meat, I left – and I wasn’t even vegan at the time… though I’m wondering if that was when I was starting to make the transition 1 ½ years ago.
“Opinions are like ass holes; everyone has one”
Just because you have an opinion of something or, in particular, of someone, keep it to yourself. If you weren’t asked for your opinion, keep your mouth shut. Don’t make sweeping judgements. Yeah, there’s some vegans out there who can be obnoxious and, frankly, give other vegans a bad name, but don’t assume they’re all going to leap up on a soap box with a megaphone to go on about the culture you support by eating meat. Frankly? I don’t care what or how you eat. I don’t even bother explaining myself, because I find most people who eat meat don’t care. They don’t care about my reasons for not eating meat – in fact, I find most meat eaters get very defensive as soon as they find out I’m vegan. Though every now and then (though sadly, not as often as I’d like) when I tell someone I’m vegan, they comment “Oh, my girlfriend and I try to eat vegan at least once or twice a week” and we proceed to discuss our favorite recipes.
I still serve my husband meat. Yes, he eats a LOT more vegan than before, but I don’t deny him meat just because I won’t eat it. It’s easy enough to cook up some extra chicken breasts and dice them up to throw into whatever meal we’re having at the time. Or if we’re having burgers, there’s lots of vegan options out there. I don’t force my views onto anyone, and the only thing I ask is the same consideration.
Mutual respect to everyone, whether you agree with them or not.