25 November, 2007

On dealing with other people...

Also known as the freak out.

I think most vegans have had at least one, if not more.

I remember my first one vividly. I was grocery shopping. (This might be a good time to insert that I hate grocery shopping, or shopping in general.) I usually stock up on things like soy milk because they have a fairly long self life. I had some tofu, some soy yogurt, soy milk and some other veggies. The woman in front of me in the check out line asked if I was lactose intolerant. The exchange went something like this.

Annoying Lady (AL): So you must be lactose intolerant. It's too bad you have to buy all that expensive stuff.

Me: No, I am vegan.

AL: So you don't eat meat? Do you eat sea food?

Me: No.

AL: Why?

Me: (sounding like Satan) Because I don't think that animals or anyone else should be forced into slavery.

Could I have handled this better? Yes. This woman, who really was not that rude, most likely thinks that all vegans are psycho. Oops.

I have had a couple more and I try not to beat myself up over them. I mean really, I can only take so much poking and prodding before I lose it. What if I asked omnivores to justify their meat consumption to me at every turn? What if I would have asked AL what it felt like use murder to get her food? This is what it is like for a vegan every day. We are constantly asked to justify why we eat the way we do.

I have another example. My husband is an omnivore (I don't want to hear it, that's for another post) and we went to a vegan restaurant in Chicago. He is really trying very hard, but had noooooo idea what to eat. I asked him how that felt. I then let him know that's how I feel every other time that we eat out.


  1. The restaurant example is a very good point. I never thought of it that way, I'll be sure to use that in the future.

  2. I would love to see a post regarding your omni-husband! I'm trying to figure out how to deal with my omni-boyfriend, and I could use some help...

  3. I've had my share of these encounters, mostly with clientèle.

    One such one was just before Thanksgiving and I made an off-hand response to the effect of my being "vegetarian" (though I am vegan; seems a lot of people can't differentiate between the two). She came back with something like... "I have friends who are vegetarian but they still eat fish and chicken".


    "I don't consider that vegetarian" ...missy. It's amazing how uninformed people can be about this issue. Blows my mind sometimes.

  4. Excellent blog by the way!