Holy shit, kids. It’s been a while.
I got distracted starting my other blog, Tell Me So, Monroe. It focuses on self betterment, relationships and not letting people piss on the wall instead of in the toilet. Check it out.
There’s another deep, dark, terrible reason that I stopped posting here.
I’m not really being vegan right now.
Oh, the shaaaaaame.
As I mention in my bio here, I drunkenly agreed to veganism a few years ago when the boyfriend and I decided to shack up. Before meeting him, dating a vegan was so far out of the question that you would have been more likely to catch me on a date an unemployed chose your own adventure writer who was 5’3″. I openly despised veganism because every vegan I met was a raging douche. Ranting and raving, judging and snarking. No better than religious zealots or republicans barking about legitimate rape. Of course, I didn’t understand the concept fully at the time. I just knew that I was apparently an asshole for eating cheese.
Education is key when switching to a vegan diet. You can’t give up so much without knowing why you’re doing it. I never met a vegan who could explain why they lived that way without getting smug and superior. I HATE condescension. I will fold my wee little ears and start rapping Salt N’ Peppa in my head while you drone on and on.
The boyfriend is far from calm and is almost always a little superior when it comes to discussing veganism. He’s taken a tremendous amount of shit from people over the years and it’s left his fuse incredibly short. Luckily, we fell in love pretty damn hard and incredibly quick so I had very little time to think about what he was putting in his pie hole when we went to dinner.
Our household now and for as long as we’ve lived together is vegan. We cook only vegan. When my parents come to visit and my mom wants to make vegetarian dishes that include dairy, I don’t tell her no. She would cook nothing but pasta otherwise. I know that for some people that’s a big no-no and it probably pisses off the boyfriend. But it’s not something I want to make a big deal out of.
After two years of struggling with it. I decided to relax. For the sake of my relationship and my sanity. I’m dealing with so many issues in myself. My relationship with food and health is one of many things that I need to work on. When I look at the whole picture though, I get overwhelmed. I need to start with one thing and work my way down the list.
It’s also a lifestyle change that I need to make for myself, not for the boyfriend. I don’t eat meat ever, yes that includes fish too, mom! But when dining out I’m eating some dairy.
This all goes back to how I wish the vegan community was more supportive of people making changes, however small they might be to start. Instead of shitting on people when they decide to do Meatless Mondays, why not support it and be thrilled that they’re trying. Maybe that will lead to Meatless Tuesday or Meatless Month! Quick trying to force people into making huge changes all at once. If someone is eating vegan 50% of the time or 25% of the time that’s better than nothing at all so quit being such a dick.
I believe in the cause. I believe it’s the right thing to do. I’m sure that the more I learn to cook and the more I learn about healthy eating, the more I will go back into full time veganism.
This blog was started to document my journey. It’s never been about being perfect. It’s about being honest.
I’m still feeling ranty. Still a word.
I broke this up from the first rant because this has an actual question to go along with the rant. I’ll try to keep my thoughts concise but I make no promises because for some reason I’m gut rumblin’ angry today. Not about this specifically but I’d just like to punch something. Not a kitten or anything. Probably not a child. Most likely just a pillow. Or Miley Cyrus.
Last Thanksgiving was my first almost all vegan holiday dinner. I remember eating a tiny bite of turkey the year before that and thinking: “This is dry and flavorless, why the fuck would I bother eating an animal if it’s not even amazingly delicious?”. So last year we made vegan mashed potatoes, pecan pie and a Tofurkey turkey to bring with us to the family dinner.
(Side note: I seriously dislike Tofurkey turkeys. Maybe I haven’t had one made properly. The boyfriend douses it in soy sauce and then cooks it. Is that normal? Plus the shape is disturbing. It looks like a giant goat turd pellet. I’m open to try it again but I’m happy with just side dishes as well.)
The boyfriend had told me stories of the amazing vegan Thanksgivings that he and his friends had here in Portland. At this point we were living in southern California near his family and therefore we we certainly in the minority at the dinner table. One story he told me though, always bothered me.
Apparently, the majority of his friends here were vegan and everyone was super down for an all animal free Thanksgiving. But one couple, close friends with everyone, was not vegan. They asked if they could bring turkey to dinner. Not cook it there, but bring it prepared and have it for themselves. The boyfriend was absolutely adamant that this was NOT okay.
His thinking was that everyone can enjoy ALL vegan dishes, even meat eaters. I get that.
I don’t think his relationship with food is as emotional as mine is. Holiday food especially has a lot of emotion tied into it for many people. It’s a time of year to be nostalgic, to enjoy flavors from your childhood. It’s like eating memories. Memories of family, togetherness, tradition. There are foods that I’ll eat just because I miss my mom and eating a dish that she used to makes me feel closer to home. People are very attached to food and the traditions they grew up with.
Is killing a turkey every year a good tradition? No. It’s fucked up and they don’t even taste good.
The thing that bothered me was that it sounded like his friends were trying to be respectful. They didn’t want to bring in a raw ham, cook it in the kitchen and then slice it up in front of a bunch of vegans. They wanted to bring what they wanted to eat, a small portion for themselves, prepared. Instead of being respectful of what their choices were, even if they’re not the same or even wrong choices, it was made difficult for them to come to dinner.
What I’m getting at is that human connection and friendship is incredibly important. If these people are good enough to be your friends, if you love them enough to hang out with them, stay in touch with them when you’re away, go to their wedding and all that, then why make them feel so shitty for turkey?
I know that the boyfriend would STRONGLY disagree with me on this one. And that’s fine.
The situation randomly came up with some other people who had been at dinner that year (vegan people) who were a little confused by the decision. So I know I’m not the only one who feels like things like that, especially around holidays when we are all pretty much orphans, shouldn’t matter so much.
If your veganism is more important than your friendships, perhaps only have vegan friends?
I went to a BBQ a few years ago where the hosts were vegan. Everyone was encouraged to bring food that they wanted to eat. The hosts made little flags for each dish that said “VEGAN” or “NOT VEGAN”. There were two grills, one for meat one for veggies and Boca burgers. Everyone was having a great time and I never heard any food discussions while there. Why can’t it be like that?
You can’t force your friends to make a lifestyle change.
I’m curious as to what others think. I can see both sides of the argument. But I’m sure I’ll get my ass reamed anyway.
Okay. I’m feeling ranty. Yes, that’s totally a word.
As a friend pointed out on the irritating vegans post, vegans get a whole lot more shit than they give. I’ve seen the boyfriend trying to remain calm as his dietary practices were mocked. I’ve also seen him not remain calm. As for me, I haven’t experienced anything terrible yet. But I’m new at this. My grandma repeatedly asks me what I can possibly be eating if it’s not meat and potatoes. But she’s 91, very forgetful and didn’t grow up with Tofutti cream cheese. She’s not being a twat, she’s just genuinely confused.
I’ve asked my friend to write a post about his experiences dealing with taking shit from non-vegans. I’d like to try to see both sides. Vegan or meat eater, you can be an asshole. One doesn’t make you a nicer person. Both sides are handling things in idiotic ways.
Here’s my problem though, generally a non-vegan who gives a vegan shit about their diet is doing it out of ignorance or some deep down feeling of guilt. (This is my theory anyway, mostly based on my feelings from when I ate meat.) Most people have no idea what kind of cruelty and needless violence their diet is party to. Is it completely dumb to NOT research where your food comes from and how it was treated? Yes, duh. But we were all that person at one point. Not many of us were born and raised vegan. Some of us started questioning things young but some didn’t start until later in life. Even at 60 it’s not too late to start researching and looking at the facts. The vast majority of people making bacon jokes to you don’t actually want to go field goal kick a piglet and then shoot it in the head.
Gah, too many arguments in my head.
Okay, but vegans who are outright angry and aggressive to meat eaters are coming from a place of anger. They’re sick of people questioning their morals. They’re sick of being made fun of for choices that they know are smart. I get that. But what are you helping when you use anger to get people to understand why what you’re doing is so important? Using anger in arguments with ignorant people is not helpful.
Just to remind you:
I thought about taking down the irritating vegan post because I feel like I’ll probably change my tune later on. But this blog is about the journey (oh god, I want to slap myself right now), so it would be dishonest to not write how I feel right now. And how I feel RIGHT NOW is that YOU ARE ALL ASSHOLES. I don’t care what you eat, you’re assholes. Stop fighting. Stop being angry. *
*Don’t stop being angry about the practices in factory farms, don’t stop being angry about the shit going into our food. Just stop getting angry at the wrong people. Put your energy in more useful places.
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.