Cheese balls, cheese and crackers, cheesy cauliflower, cheese pizza, cheese on drywall, a big ole’ chunk o’ cheese. What could possibly be better than cheese? More cheese, of course! I would gasp if I heard anyone say they didn’t like cheese. I swear, I know people that don’t. I was indisputably a lover of cheese……until I wasn’t. And here’s why…
I became a vegan because of the book ‘Skinny Bitch’ by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin. I had been a vegetarian for a very, very long time – (I’m vintage). But this vegan stuff is a whole new can of worms (vegan gummy worms – yum).
It’s a great and funny book – well, funny until you get to Chapter 8 – then it gets serious. I think that’s the chapter that reached in and pulled my heart from my chest.
As I was sobbing my guts out, I was touched by a vegan-fairy-godmother and ‘poof’, I’m a vegan. Silly? Not so much. I really did become a vegan on the spot – cold tofurkey. I never thought, “Oh, but I’m going to miss cheese and ice cream, and milk” because the realities of animal cruelty in the dairy industry, so vividly portrayed in the book, were permanently etched into my brain and I didn’t want to be a part of it just because of my selfish desire to eat some cheddar. And by the way, did I happen to mention that I loved cheese?!
I try not to judge non-vegans even though, believe you me, they surely judge me. ‘Believe you me’ – what does that even mean? Googled it – it’s archaic English and is an emphatic form of ‘believe me’. Hmmm, ok – you needed to know that, right? I think, often times, people think I’m going to try and convert them or that I’m going to go into a lengthy litany (is that redundant?) of how much healthier it is to eat a plant-based diet. So they come at me in offense-mode. “Plants have feelings too, you know,” some of them bark. Or “How can you eat tofu? It’s disgusting!” That’s ok because I’m prepared for those folks thanks to another book – ‘Vegan Freak : Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World’ by Bob Torres & Jenna Torres. This book talks about how to deal with the haters, people that don’t have a clue, and people that have a clue but want to keep their head in the sand. It talks about how to handle family, in a civilized manner, during family gatherings. This title ‘Vegan Freak’ makes me laugh because it reminds me of a trip to Whole Foods in my pre-vegan days. I met a lady in the dairy/nondairy aisle and she told me she was a vegan. All I could think of was, “what a freak!”
But I must admit I am judgemental – it’s hard not to be. However, all the criticism goes on in my head because no one wants to be told off, told what to do, or feel they’re being perceived as the devil. I’d rather a situation present itself where I can educate someone – they’re much more receptive that way (especially if they’re tied and gagged! Kidding…not really…yes, kidding).
There are a lot of overzealous vegans out there that make a bad name for vegans when their enthusiasm is used only for attacking non-vegans. Ain’t gonna’ work – hate to tell ya’. Please, vegans – be kind to ALL animals, including humans.
I am the only one in my family who is vegan, none are even vegetarian. But I’m so
blessed – they don’t tell me I’m crazy, tell me I have to eat meat to get enough protein, or think I’m a pain-in the-posterior. Well, they might think the latter, but they never express it. And they always have lots of vegan dishes when we get together for meals. They research vegan recipes, ingredients, meat and dairy substitutes, then prepare delectable eats. And guess what, the non-vegans eat MY food and find it quite surprisingly delicious! Cause’ guess what, gang…it’s real food!
When my boyfriend (soon to be fiance…are you reading this, Stanley? I’m waiting….!!) takes me out to dinner, which is a lot, he goes online to check out the menu at several restaurants and if they don’t have a nice variety of vegan options, he won’t take me there. Oh yeah, he’s not vegan or vegetarian. I know that some vegans choose to hang out solely with other vegans – they shun anyone else. That’s fine for them, but I choose a different approach. I’m hoping that by associating with non-vegans, I am setting an example of kindness to all sentient beings… and slyly infiltrating their psyche.
We must be patient, and understand that no matter how much we want it, not everyone is going to want to become a vegan. Too bad, because the world would be a better place if they did…less animal cruelty, healthier people and a healthier planet.
I’m here to spread some vegan love and pray you’ll give veganism a chance!