A friend of mine posted this on my Facebook wall this morning. It made me laugh. I both loved it and hated it. I was like “bitch!” and “that’s bloody hilarious!” all at the same time. This incredibly intelligent friend of mine is clearly mocking me, but I completely understand why. Taking on the role of the passionate asshole makes you a target for such things. Well done Kylie. Well done 🙂 This here, encompasses exactly WHY I hate the idea of pigeon-holing myself into a category such as “vegan” or even “vegetarian.” These very adjectives have a tendency to tickle my gag reflex. These words are supposed to be used to simply describe one’s eating habits, but somehow there is a whole load of dirty laundry that accompanies them. Even though I am quite convinced that becoming either one of these things is a better and more ethical choice, I cringe at the thought of ever having to say, “I’m a vegetarian” or “I’m a vegan,” because I know what people are thinking when you say that. Their first thought would be something like “Ah shit…here we go…” followed by “what the hell am I supposed to cook you for dinner?” and my favourite is the rolling of the eyes to the back of their head (Of course they do the latter when you can’t see them). I know all of this, because I’ve done it!
I’m due to go to a friend of mine’s house for dinner this Saturday. Now this friend of mine and her family eat meat everyday. Yep. Everyday. She takes very good care of her family’s health and I think in many ways she is even a more environmentally-friendly citizen of this planet than I am. She grows her own food and shops locally. She never or rarely wastes. I mean she eats cow tongue for crying out loud! She cooks healthy and balanced meals for her family. She buys most things secondhand, from her furniture to her clothes. I mean I truly admire her efforts. What I also like is that she doesn’t demand to be labelled anything as a result of her choices. This demand for an adjective, is exactly what pisses people off about vegans and vegetarians. We’re all thinking “just shut up! just shut-UP!” Anyway, I phoned this friend of mine earlier today just to talk the regular crap that we do, and I asked her if she’d been reading my blog and what she thought of it. She reluctantly responded with an “ah ya, I read it, but I don’t agree with what you’re saying.” My reply was, “I don’t care if you agree or not, but do you like my writing?” Her response became rather positive after that, and she disarmed…but then it came…she said, “I don’t know what the hell I’m going to cook you for dinner on Saturday.” I told her to just cook whatever she would normally cook, and not to change a thing. You see, this right here is precisely what I am unsure about. Should we or shouldn’t we impose our dietary choices as a guest? Is it not a bit rude or unfair to push our carnivorous friends out of their cooking comfort zones, right there in their own homes where they have so kindly invited us to sit with them? I’m really undecided on this one. Predominantly I like to think its best to just shut-up and eat it. I mean take the opportunity and enjoy that lovely roast duck for crying out loud! Here’s your chance! Eat it!
As I discussed in my last blog entry, it is important to reflect upon what ultimately we are trying to achieve here and what is the best way to go about it, socially. Where is that balance between being true to yourself and not imposing yourself upon others, especially your respected friends? Is it possible? I think of my Christian friends next door coming over for dinner. They don’t pray or “give thanks” before our meal. I always forget that they’re Christian to be honest…until I start swearing…thennnn I remember :s. But now that I really think about it, if we are truly good friends, then I would like to give them the space to be themselves in my home (i.e. pray or “give thanks” before a meal), and for them to feel they can be themselves in front of us in their own home or wherever we are. I mean regardless of the beliefs we do or do not share, is it not a lovely thing to “give thanks?” I think it is. So maybe once we all get over these “adjectives,” omnivores and herbivores alike, and remove the obligation to accommodate each other in our homes, then maybe willingly we will begin to accommodate each other and accept the challenge. Being friends is about making room for one another. You can cook me a tasteless vegetarian lasagna, and I’ll return the favour with a boiled chicken 🙂 Cooking, I believe, comes from the heart. It is not just food, it is something that someone has prepared for you. Maybe this simple consideration of the other is the way to long-term positive change. I think that if all I do in life is preach my ideals, then we are just going to end up with a lot of pissed off carnivores, and the only people reading this blog will be fellow bleeding-heart tree huggers like myself. Just think about it 🙂
My current status is this: I haven’t really begun any dietary adjustments as of yet. I am currently observing my eating habits and dependency on animal products. I’m just trying to find a way to share it with you that isn’t so boring that you are tempted to stab your eyes out with a carrot stick 😛
Have a great day everyone! Remember, it is important to get uncomfortable sometimes 🙂