My parents and I wandered into a chocolatiers. Dad quickly checked out the chocolates while Mom and I looked around. It was a small shop, there wasn’t much else to look at, so I went over to the cash where my Dad was paying for his candy and joking with the cashier. There, in the box beside him, were two boxes of chocolates. Both were labeled “non dairy”.
“Are these vegan?” I asked. They pretty much had to be because no one puts eggs in chocolate bars but I figured I’d ask to be safe.
The cashier came around the counter and pointed out several bars, “These are vegan.”
“What about those?” I asked, pointing to foil wrapped bars directly under a “non dairy” sign.
“Those are salted caramel,” she explained. “You can’t make vegan salted caramel.”
“My favourite ice cream is vegan salted caramel,” I informed her.
“Salted caramel requires cream and eggs,” she replied. “Your ice cream isn’t vegan.”
“My ice cream is made by a vegan company and labeled vegan.”
She didn’t respond with words but the tone she made was dismissive and I left disappointed. I wasn’t looking for an argument, I just wanted her to hear me with an open mind.
Isn’t it funny how people cling to their opinions, even when proven wrong? I wonder if it’s a comfort thing. You get used to thinking a certain way and don’t want to have to shift your thoughts 90 degrees. And sometimes it’s okay to let someone go on with their beliefs. It’s not going to hurt anyone if Nana keeps a Bounce sheet in her pocket to keep away the mosquitos. On the other hand, it does hurt someone if the government allows an organization to use electroshock therapy, among other things, to try and change someone’s gender or sexual orientation through conversion therapy. Hint. It doesn’t work.
Canada has an election on Monday and the polls are so very close… nail biting close. A margin of 0.9 is all that separates the Liberals from the Conservatives. And the Conservatives are ahead.
We used to have a party called the Progressive Conservatives, an amalgamation of two right wing parties. It stayed like that for decades until an extreme right wing party from Alberta, called the Reform Party, combined with the PCs. They knocked the Progressive off the name. Probably because there’s nothing Progressive about them.
Scheer, the conservative leader, has made no secret of the fact he’s anti-LGBTQIA2S. He’s also anti-choice when it comes to abortion, referring to fetuses as “pre-born babies”. His followers are quick to remind me that Scheer promised not to touch equal marriage, as if that’s the only concern. They have no answer when I bring up trans rights. The right to affirming surgeries, hormones, blockers for teens, to have equal access to jobs and housing. And that scares me. Not just that those are still on the list but that his followers don’t seem to care. I had one woman today claim I couldn’t just worry about a “special interest group”. The special interest group was the LGBTQIA2S community. I’m talking about human rights, not a knitting club who might have to find a new hall.
All it takes is a few minutes, a handful of questions, and an open mind. The cashier I talked to could have said, “You found vegan salted caramel ice cream? I didn’t know they could make it, what’s it like?” And the people voting for Scheer need to listen to the LGBTQIA2S community and understand why we’re scared. And once you’ve listened, then go out and cast your vote.
I’ll be out there on Monday. Will you?