I love the fact that I was able to go vegan. But, there are some downsides to it.
- You can’t just go to any restaurant and order anything. This is tough when going out with friends who can go anywhere and order anything.
- Despite the fact that more and more vegan restaurants are popping up, finding vegan fast food when you are in the mood for something fast isn’t as easy as it should be for most of us.
- Going to family gatherings or work outings are not easy because 99% of the food is not vegan – and you are not sure about the other 1%.
But, I can easily deal with all of that. I’ve accepted that I can’t just go anywhere to eat, and I’ve found ways to make sure that I’m fed no matter where I am and what I’m craving.
For me, the hardest part about being a vegan doesn’t have to do with what I eat, it has to do with accepting what others eat and do it while keeping my mouth shut.
Dealing With Ignorance Or Opposing Views
Everyone around me knows that I’m vegan. They know I’m very passionate about animal welfare. But, they aren’t, and they seem to think that I’m okay with the fact that they aren’t, to the point that they tell me about their meat killing and eating endeavors.
For instance, my dad will often talk about the ‘mouth-watering meat’ he had for supper the other night. He licks his lips and talks about how it was prepared, all the while knowing that I’m vegan and I don’t think eating meat is yummy or cool.
It’s hard for me to listen to it. All I can picture is the animal that died, how they may have died, and how the flesh is being cooked and eaten by my dad. But, my dad doesn’t seem to be able to grasp that fact.
I understand that people have other ways of thinking about things, and they want to share those moments they enjoyed with people they care about, but it’s important to be compassionate when talking to someone. It’s important to take in their views.
For instance, when I’m around people who don’t drink, I don’t talk about how great a particular wine was the other night.
I Constantly See And Hear Things That Make Me Nauseated
It boils down to the fact that even though everyone around me says they love animals – they don’t care that they are eating them.
They don’t connect to my view that it’s weird to kill and eat the flesh of another being.
They haven’t opened their awareness around what happens in the meat and dairy industries.
They don’t view eating animals in the same way I do.
And, unfortunately, I can’t communicate that to them because I know that me talking about it won’t change their minds. I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work. They haven’t made that connection. They may never make that connection. And my input isn’t valid or welcome in their minds because it’s nonsense to them.
So, that’s the hardest part about being a vegan for me. It’s the huge difference between my and other people’s views on eating meat and dairy. And that I’m constantly reminded that something is happening all over the world that I don’t agree with.
- I have to watch the commercials making it seem normal to eat meat and dairy when I think it’s NOT normal. Right now, there is a new commercial about eggs where the people eating eggs for lunch or supper say, ‘This isn’t weird, that’s weird!’. And to me, it’s just subliminal messages to keep people (who may be on the fence about eating eggs) thinking that eating eggs is a normal thing to do. In fact, I see these messages in a lot of dairy and meat commercials. It’s hard to convince someone that being vegan is easy or normal when they have constant exposure to messages about how eating meat and dairy is healthy or traditional or right in some way.
- I have to listen to people making jokes about how they are eating animals (even a TV personality chef made this type of joke about eating little pigs in front of her audience) and then watch everyone laugh as if this is the funniest joke they have ever heard. To me, it’s sick.
- I have to watch people eat something that they see as food and I see as a dead animal. It’s nauseating to me.
- I have to listen to my friend talk about hunting moose for sport and how big the wannabe hunters tip her. And, again, it’s nauseating to me to listen to it and think about it.
I’m constantly exposed to stories and visions of people eating something that I get disgusted by.
Sometimes I have an easier time dealing with it. Like when I have family gatherings and try to focus on being with family instead of the dead animals being shoved into the oven. But, more often than not, it just makes my stomach turn and my head spin.
Can You Relate?
You may think eating animals is normal. But I think that most people could best relate to dogs being kept to be served as meat in other countries. Most people that I know think that it’s horrible and disgusting and a tragedy.
That’s how I feel about ALL animals being killed and served as food.
Now, imagine if you were constantly being told about this dog being killed or hearing jokes about how dogs died or hearing about how that dog was soooo tasty. Or imagine seeing constant commercials of dead dogs on a platter and it being normalized. If you get a nauseated feeling, that’s how I feel all the time when people talk about the chickens, cows, fish, pigs, and other animals they eat.