You’re all murderers…
Is one thing you WON’T hear me say. In this blog. Or ever. Let me start again…
I recently decided to try a Vegan diet and it’s been an interesting two months. I first kept my decision to myself like a personal project. During this time I did a lot of reading online and asked myself a lot of questions. For example: Cows produce milk because they have babies that they need to feed, but their babies are taken away from them so that the farmers can milk the mothers and us humans can drink the milk. Am I okay with that? Does that sit well with me? For the last three years I thought I was doing the right thing by buying free-range eggs and now I find out that male chicks are killed and hens over 18mo are slaughtered regardless. How does that make me feel? Do I think eggs taste good enough to support that?
It’s pretty boring inside my head. But these are the sorts of things I pondered quietly for a few weeks. Until I told my husband, the meat-eating, carb-loving man that I love. That’s when this whole thing got interesting.
When I say “meat-eating” and carb-loving”, I really should be more specific: hubby eats meat, carbs, and that’s the end of the sentence. So you can probably imagine how he took the news when I gingerly said to him “I think I might be a Vegan”… Whatever you’re thinking right now is probably wrong! He looked me in the eye and said “I’m proud of you, I think what you are doing is noble, I love you and I support you in this”. One week later he surprised me with an epic sleep in followed by breakfast in bed: homemade, vegan, mixed berry pancakes. I can’t (and wouldn’t!) make this stuff up.
It gets better, weirder, and more interesting.
Somehow it came up in conversation at my parents’ house that I was taking on a Vegan diet. Neither of them really cared one way or the other, except of course “as long as you’re still eating something” because that is literally the most parental thing that any parent can say (and don’t parents say this to their kids at least once a week anyway?). And then this happened:
“As long as you don’t lose your sense of humour”
“Ummm, what do you mean?”
“Well, a lot of Vegans tend to lose their sense of humour and don’t know how to take a joke.”
It took me a full 24 hours to respond with (to myself, because no one is ever around when you have the best comebacks) “how many Vegans do you know!?” I know the answer to this is ‘none’, until now. In fact, I’m pretty sure if anyone in my family has to fill in any medical documents with questions like “does anyone in your family have a mental illness”, they will respond with “yes, my sister is a Vegan”.
The final instalment of my two month journey thus far is having my beautiful and amazing and Godly and inspiring and hilarious and kind-hearted friends from Australia visit me here in NZ*. Hubby thought it was necessary to tell them about my new eating habits, while I did not.
Once the V-word slithered its way out in bits and pieces, I got the obvious “why?” question. If you haven’t figured already, I’m pretty shy and keep to myself on almost everything, and assume at all times that no one cares about anything I have to say about myself. Ever.
Do any of you watch Parks and Recreation? If you have, you would have already picked up on one small homage to the show in this blog entry, but here’s another one: I’m like Jerry after more than 20 seconds of talking. I’m not used to talking for that long. I’m definitely not used to talking about myself, and I absolutely hate being different or noticed. So, when hubby wants to tell people I’m a Vegan, I go red and bashful, when people ask me about Veganism I feel judged and embarrassed for being different, and then I feel paranoid and guilty for being a “picky” eater… the list goes on.
So, the point of this post is not to tell you that you’re a murderer, it’s not to try and convert you, and it’s definitely not to make myself feel superior in anyway (seriously, did you read the previous paragraph!?). It’s to tell you that I’m a Vegan…and to unashamedly practice telling people why.
Here goes nothing… I’m a Vegan.
I’m a Vegan because I love animals but I don’t love how they are treated in the meat and dairy industries. I’m a Vegan because I want to live a healthier life. I’m a Vegan, but I’m still me. I still love eating at restaurants, my sense of humour has not changed, I still love, feel, live in the same way I always have. If you want to know more, just ask, be genuine, don’t judge. Being a Vegan doesn’t make me better than anyone else, it just makes me a better version of myself.
I stole that last line from the interwebs, but it’s true. And beautiful, don’t you think?
*Those friends are Kate, wonderful and brilliant Nurse and author of this blog, and her husband. When Kate heard I was Vegan, she said “Whatever you do, don’t post an angry rant about meat-eaters on my blog” and I couldn’t agree more with her! I’ve been eating meat (and cheese *drooling*) for the last 24 years of my life, and most vegans probably have too, so why hate? I wish the extreme Vegans wouldn’t make the rest of us look bad. Imagine the world we would live in if everyone treated animals and fellow humans the way Vegans treat animals… Kate, the title of this blog entry is just for you.