Some vegan love…

I got banned from an atheist group a few years ago because I’m vegan. It wasn’t against the rules or at least their stated rules. The mocking started out slowly, a few jokes about vegans… a few comments about how sanctimonious we are. Then it grew to the point where it seemed like the group talked more about vegans than atheism. And one person asked an honest, simple question. Where do vegans get their protein? And I answered.

Within seconds I was facing a barrage of questions? Why didn’t I care about the poor little mice being killed by threshers? Why didn’t I care about the children being worked like slaves to make my phone? I asked that person, the moderator, what phone she used because if she have a fair trade phone, I’d love to know the brand. She had no idea. She didn’t care about the kids, she informed me. She just didn’t like me because I was vegan. And then I was blocked.

When asked, people will claim they don’t dislike vegans per se, they’re just against the militant ones… the sanctimonious ones. You know those vegans. Except that’s not true. Know who else is sanctimonious? Mothers. You go onto a parenting forum and, faster than a toddler can drop a pacifier, there’s going to be a battle (especially about a toddler dropping a pacifier). And, sure, there’s groups devoted to laughing at sanctimommies but it isn’t the widespread hatred veganism receives. Hatred. For trying to do as little harm as possible. All you need to do in order to be “sanctimonious” is to have people find out you don’t eat meat. I think that a lot of people need to look through their dictionary for the real definition.

SciBabe  complained today that vegetarians are petitioning In N Out burger (a U.S. burger chain) for a veggie burger to be added to their menu and, of course, vitriol followed. You’d think from the comments that the head of PeTA was holding a gun to the owner of In N Out’s head, demanding kale and nutritional yeast get added to every product on their menu. Nope, they simply asked for an additional item to be placed onto there, something that’s available at almost every burger chain in Canada. I looked at the hatred and decided it wasn’t worth my time. I vented on my page instead and got this…

“I’m talking about the vegans who go into a fast food place and bitch because there aren’t any healthy options like there are absolutely no other places to go but of course since they’re vegan everyone on the planet has to accommodate them.”

“Like, I know there are vegetarian and vegan restaurants here. I’m not of either persuasion. I don’t like tofu or many other veget./veg. dishes, so I don’t go to those restaurants. I wouldn’t go there and ask that they add a hamburger to their menu.”

Do people not realize that vegans and vegetarians have family and friends who eat meat? We aren’t hatched somewhere then come winging in, fully grown, cawing “Meat is Murder”. We have friends who want to eat out with us, family who want to go for a group dinner, and sometimes those friends and family want to eat somewhere more meat based. That’s how I ended up sitting at Red Lobster a few years ago. I ended up at Swiss Chalet the same way. It’s also how I learned that Swiss Chalet has a vegan burger and that their dipping sauce is vegan too. I used to drink that sauce as a kid, that was an amazing find.

Plus vegan isn’t a type of restaurant, it’s a philosophy of doing as little harm as possible. My current favourite restaurant is mostly vegan. They also have grass fed, pasture raised beef; it would be no problem getting a burger there. That being said, it’s vegan and has vegenaise on top but most people wouldn’t realize it wasn’t meat and mayo.

Know why I think people bash vegans? Because we’re a minority and one of the last groups that are socially acceptable to hate. And that’s simply not cool.

Vegan Mom of a proudly militant vegan offspring

p.s. I only barely tolerate tofu

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Ethical waffling…

Jeremy and I had a long talk on his birthday in which he admitted he was worried about being disowned by our family if they found out about the blog. I assured him he had nothing to worry about in that regard, no one in the family would disown him. They’d think he was weird but they wouldn’t disown him. And it’s true. They wouldn’t understand and probably wouldn’t make any attempt to understand but disowning him wouldn’t even cross their minds.

I’m an atheist and have been so since I was 15 years old. I turn 44 years old next week and my Mom still thinks it’s a phase I’m going through out of a desire to be weird. Same with being a vegetarian (which I’ve been since I was 22 years old). I became a vegan last year and my Mom immediately asked why I’d put myself out of the natural order of life and was denying nature and the circle of life. Why was I trying to be unnatural? Funnily enough, I had absolutely no answer at all to that one. And my Dad still absentmindedly offers me milk, cheese, and ice cream. Flip side is my Mom buys containers of vegan margarine to keep in her fridge for when I come over and checks all the labels for me before she buys stuff. So they won’t understand but will accept.

During that conversation I assured Jeremy that if the family disowned him, I’d disown them. And that comment leads to my waffling. You see, Emma’s now been disowned by a close family member (who I’ll call Karen).

I won’t get into too many details. It involves Emma being an extremely messy 18 year old who was asked by Karen to clean up before her grandparents (my parents) got home from their vacation. Emma responded with several obscenities; she admits she was wrong there. Plus Karen was under quite a bit of stress to have the house looking perfect as my Mom became quite ill over their holiday and ended up spending a week in the hospital. Then Emma called her some pretty nasty names. According to Emma, Karen apparently responded by telling Emma to just go on welfare because she was no better than her father, would never amount to anything, and didn’t deserve anything better. She deleted and blocked her on Facebook too.

Karen immediately contacted Amy who promptly messaged this to Emma:

“You are unbelievable and are just like your mom. You take no responsibility for your own actions, words or behaviour. I have heard enough empty excuses from you. You are an adult now. I hope you move back in with your mother. My family is my business and I will involve myself. Good luck in life.”

Keeping in mind I have barely spoken to Amy in the past five years. I think the Facebook thread I posted about back in March is by far the biggest conversation I’ve had with her; I also don’t think I’m the one who looked bad in that discussion. Emma reacted just as you’d expect considering someone had just verbally attacked her mother. She told Amy not to talk about her mother like that and deleted her off Facebook. Meanwhile Karen messaged me to say she’d had a major issue with Emma but it was done and she hoped it wouldn’t affect our relationship. I’m telling you, this has been a stellar week for family. Amy’s upcoming visit is going to be *interesting*.

That being said, I’m not planning on disowning Karen. I have great plans of staying right out of it.

Jeremy and I were putting away our groceries when I broached the subject.

“It just feels different and I’m not sure why,” I commented. “I said I’d disown anyone if they disowned you over your gender but Karen’s actually disowned Emma and I don’t want to retaliate.”

Jeremy shrugged and kept putting away the groceries, smiling when he found his can of iced tea.

“I guess because gender isn’t something you have any control over. You can’t change it on a whim anymore than you can change your eye colour.” I smiled and added, “Go for it… change your eyes.”

Jeremy laughed then squinched his eyes shut before taking a drink.

“Holy crap!” I blurted. “They’re brown now!”

Jeremy nearly snorted iced tea out his nose. His eyes are not brown by the way.

“If Karen told Emma she was disowning her for having borderline personality disorder, I’d have just walked away from the relationship. But she didn’t. Not only that but Emma started the whole argument off by calling Karen some really nasty names.”

Jeremy nodded. “Yeah, it makes sense Mom.”

I yawned then sighed. “Jeremy? I have a favour to ask you.”

He watched me intently.

“Remember how you came out as bisexual last summer and then realized you were straight. It involved a lot of screaming on your part and you even got your therapist to tell me you were straight. I just can’t do that again. If you’re cisgender can you tell me now and not just drag it out for months before yelling at me.”

He smiled then pulled me against him for a hug. “Don’t worry Mom,” he assured me. “It’s not going to happen and I’m not going to yell at you.”

And, for a complete and total change of topic, I think I’ve sorted out Twitter. I’m using it to share small conversations between Jeremy and I (too small to blog about) and pictures (not of our faces as that defeats the purpose of an anonymous blog). So feel free to follow me and enjoy. Photos of Jeremy’s fancy new water bottle will be up shortly 🙂