The last time I visited my best friend of 12 years, we started off our night of drinking with a bottle of sake. A couple had left the bottle at a party a few weeks ago because they noticed it had honey in it and they’re new and enthusiastic vegans.
Inevitably a discussion ensued. My dear friend scoffed and posed a question that, at the time, I thought was incredibly valid.
“Why do you have to label yourself? Why can’t you just eat whatever food you eat and be quiet about it?”
No one wants to hear a jesus freak blather on and on about their love for Christ. Just like a lot of people don’t give a shit if you’re gay but would love for you to shut up about the fact that you’re gay. Pray to whoever you like. Suck on the genitals of whatever sex floats your boat. But stop yapping about it. Or if you must yap, do it to other people who love the topic as much as you do.
My friend has known me as a cheeseburger craving meat eater, a half hearted vegetarian and now a best intentions vegan. As a woman who knows her way around a kitchen and puts down some tasty grub for guests, I’m frustrating for her.
At the time she posed that question, I fully agreed. STFU about your dietary choices. Just eat. But now, as I get more serious about it, I understand why vegans like to nerd out over food so much.
For one, food is much less simple now. If you want to dine out, you need to make sure there are menu items that you can/will eat. That cuts out a whole lot of options. When grocery shopping you’re forced to check ingredients and learn all the sneaky words for milk like casein.
You can’t just shove any old thing in your mouth anymore and that is complicated as fuck. For the average joe the only thought that needs to happen is “Is this tasty, do I want to eat it?” or “How healthy is this?”
Of course there are meat eaters who are trying to avoid processed foods, white sugar, corn syrup, yada yada. They feel my pain to some extent.
But it’s still frustrating for other people. I’m glad that I know what it’s like to be on both sides. I used to want to slap the shit out of people like me. Therefore, I’m trying to not label myself. I’m not shoving information down anyone’s throat. I’m just trying to be the best I can be.