Today is Monday. The usual inspiration for writing a great blog post was just not happening. I believe I was trying too hard. I was ready to give up when an occasional coworker intervened. I rarely work with this person and hadn’t seen him in over a month. He came into my facility today and asked me if I was attending the next week’s committee meeting. Lunch was being provided to the committee members and he needed a head count. He said that he had heard that I was a vegan, but all he could find was a veggie pizza. I replied that we could just order my pizza without cheese to make it vegan, as long as the restaurant didn’t add cheese to their pizza sauce. “Why would you do that, “he asked? Can’t vegans eat cheese? He looked perplexed. The conversation went as followed:
Him: I heard you were a vegan, but I could only find a veggie pizza.
Me: That’s ok! We will just order it without cheese!
Me: Because vegans don’t eat cheese!
Him: Wait, don’t vegetarians eat cheese? Aren’t vegetarians and vegans the same thing?
Me: No, vegans eat no animal products.
Him: But you eat fish, right?
Me: No, no animal products at all.
Him: But why?
Me: The animals, compassion, the environment, my health, etc.
Him: Well……..ah……….what’s wrong with cheese? No animals are harmed for cheese.
Me: Animal Agriculture is ugly. The Dairy Industry is violent.
Him: But we have to milk the cows or they’d get sick and be in pain.
Me: Don’t worry about lunch. I’ll bring my own food.
Him: Are you sure?
With the growth of veganism, I don’t know why I am still so blown away at people’s ignorance on the movement. The funny thing is, four years ago, I was right there with those ignorant people. How could they be anything but, with all the advertisements and happy farms thrown in their faces? If our parents ate this way, how could it not be good for you? I really didn’t have a clue, nor did I want one. It was too easy to eat what I wanted without thinking about the consequences. Didn’t my government back that up with the Food Pyramid and the more recent MyPlate? Grocery stores make sure all the cuts of meat are packaged nice and neat and oh so clean for our eyes. What a convenience! If everyone is/has been eating this way, why change?
ONE DAY, I WOKE UP! As intelligent as I perceive myself to be, how the hell did it take me so long?
I’ll make a fantastic vegan dish to share for the meeting. Will some stupid jokes come up? Probably! If I can open up anyone’s eyes, even slightly, that day will be a better day. Sometimes we have to remember that most of us were at one time, as uneducated as that next person. Maybe we just need to help them take the steps to get them underway!