The Offensive Vegan

August 14th, 2011 by NashVeggie Leave a reply »

This post was originally written 8/8/11. I waited a few days before posting to be sure it was how I still felt. It is. It’s a little rough as I typed it up quickly as the ideas were fresh in my mind. Many will not agree with some of these statements, vegans included. Whether you agree or disagree I still appreciate you taking the time to read.

I can’t count the number of times someone has taken issue with me being vegan. It happens quite regularly. Most often it occurs when I tell someone I’m vegan only when offered something to eat. I’ll politely decline and then I’m asked “Why? Do you not like (fill in animal product)?” I’ll reply “No, I’m vegan.” Most people know what what vegan means when I tell them. After all, Oprah, bless her money-filled little heart, taught the soccer moms everything they needed to know in order to be a perfect vegan right down to what processed plastic food to buy so little Jimmy would like dinner**. Still, I sometimes get the blank gaze of confusion like I just proclaimed to be from the planet Garzepon. “Duh, what is vegan?” After explaining that I don’t drink milk, eat cheese, eat eggs or any animal product including meat the obligatory “But you eat chicken, right?” or “Fish is OK, right?”  You see, people can’t grasp the idea of going without the cholesterol laden foods they’ve come to love and in turn they can’t imagine anyone else doing without.  So, naturally they believe, though you state emphatically you consume nothing from the animal world, that you’ll indeed eat chicken or fish because, let’s face it, those aren’t really animals, are they? Well, at least they clearly aren’t considered such by these brainiacs.

Today I was working at a local business while an employee had lunch nearby. She went on about how she enjoyed the McDonald’s she was pushing into her face like a person stuffing an already overstuffed suitcase. She asked me if I had tried something that was apparently a new item at the Poison Arches. When I told her no she jumped to insist I go right away and try this dreamy concoction. Then upon telling her that I’m a vegan I was quickly met with, “That’s not healthy! You need the vitamins in meat!” I need the vitamins in meat? Not wanting to quickly lose a client based on my diet and arguing about it while making the money they pay I decided to just let her talk. Listening attentively, the non-intelligence that ensued from the woman’s mouth ranged from the original, “Those sharp teeth are for meat.” to, “I bet you have no energy.” At that point I politely invited her on a 100+ mile bike ride with me and asked if she’s tried P90X. I told her I have more energy now than at anytime in the 28 years I consumed animal meat.  No excuses from her or explanations of my high energy. I asked her to explain, she couldn’t. You see I get these arguments all the time. None of her statements were new and neither was the last thing out of her mouth: “The bible says…” I don’t know what she was going to state from her bible as at that moment I finished my work and interrupted her to say have a nice day and then leave.  I wasn’t about to give her my thoughts on what she was surely about to spout as religion and work never mix well. I clearly offended her by choosing to abstain from the consumption of animal products.  It is not the first time I’ve had this experience with someone and it is sure to not be the last.

If you’re a vegan chances are you’ve been in this situation before. You may have handled it differently. I get it so often I try not to carry out the argument. I’ll inform them, if they seem open to the discussion, that since being vegan I don’t get sick nearly as often. I have more energy that I ever did. I pay more attention to what I eat and how I prepare what I eat now than before being vegan and in turn I eat healthier. Do I get enough protein? 90-120 grams a day, thank you. Yes, I keep up! Do you? No? Then why the hell are you asking me if I get enough and how would you know that I don’t or, even better, that YOU get enough?

Here’s how it is with me: I don’t preach the vegan mantra 24/7. I’m not the guy walking up to you with VEGAN tattooed on his forehead asking you to please put down the cheeseburger because the cows love you. If you want to eat that slab of beef then fine, that’s your choice. But DO NOT tell me my choice to be vegan is wrong. DO NOT tell me my decision to not fill my body with poisons will be a decision that will kill me. DO NOT sit gorging yourself on your pus-burger and tell me that I’m not getting the proper nutrients. You sound like the fat idiot drone the cattelman’s association has grown your lazy ass to be. They would be proud of you.  Send them a picture.

I’m sure some vegans aren’t happy with me. I don’t go gung ho, all out vegan like I’m a PETA die-hard. I’m sure there are some meat-eaters that may be reading this ready to jump and tell me where I’m wrong similar to what Ms. Big-Mac-Is-Clogging-My-Bowel wanted to try to point out. Go on and try but remember, you’re doing it because you feel guilty. Yes, it’s true. Deny. Deny all you want but in the end you will be the one in a nursing home hooked to an oxygen machine with a colostomy bag at 60 years old. I’ll be the one biking down A1A in the sunshine. But I’ll think about you lying there. Yeah, you should have put the Whopper down.

In the end I just care what my family puts in our bodies. No processed foods. No junk. No poisons. No pesticides. No cruelty. I also care about animals. Oh, I guess I’m not manly enough because I care for the little animals. I care for them because I have the human quality of compassion. It covers all living creatures. Practice it and it might make you feel a little better about yourself.

**Mentioning Oprah is typically done with massive amounts of disdain and sarcasm. Here it is no different.

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28 comments

  1. LK says:

    yes, yes, yes, +300000. I don’t understand why something that affects others so very little offends them so very much.

    • NashVeggie says:

      Exactly. How does it affect them? I have a steak-loving friend that simply says “More for me!” and never makes jabs at my vegan choice. Why do so many people get bunched up. Thank you for the comment.

  2. Mel says:

    I’m not vegan, but I am vegetarian and eat very little eggs/dairy. I have to say I agree w/ this rant. I get slack just for saying I’m a vegetarian, although most people are unwilling to engage me (I guess I have that look about me). I usually just see them shaking their heads in pity at my foolish diet.

    Somehow I just never could mentally separate my pets (whom I love) from farm animals (who are also cute & fuzzy).

    • NashVeggie says:

      What’s the look that shuns them from engagement? Maybe I need that look.

      You are right, farm animals, pets, all the same.

      Thank you.

      • Marie says:

        Me too! I also need “that LOOK”. Ppl give me crap all the time about how weird I am for not eating meat, poultry, fish. (Vegetarian here)

  3. Pat McCord says:

    I am a vegetarian and totally agree with the thoughts. I will not eat the animal for many reasons but I will eat the product of the animal, Animals are our friends and should never be harmed or killed in any way. They are our treasure.
    Pat

  4. Estelle says:

    You make a valid point, and as a veggie, I agree. However, I don’t think its fair to assume that every meat eater is a cholesterol-dense slobbering idiot, or even that meat can’t be a part of a healthy diet.

    Take liver, for example, or other organ meats. Inuit tribes in northern Canada have lived off high-fat, meat-heavy diets for centuries, with virtually no access to fresh produce. Yet, scurvy and other vitamin deficiencies don’t seem to occur – and the reason is their consumption of liver and organ meats, which have much less fat, tons of natural vitamins, and plenty of protein.

    But then again, that’s different from the crap most people put in their mouths, I agree. After all, who eats LIVER? Instead of using the whole animal, letting nothing go to waste, people slaughter for the fat, greasy parts.

    Oh, and the whole Chicken/Fish thing pisses me off personally. I get that all the time. As well as the idea that vegetarians and vegans don’t get enough protein, which is just… just stupid. Protein is the LEAST of a vegetarian’s problems, the focus should be more on iron, calcium and b vitamins.

  5. maye says:

    I am not a vegan in any way, but i have no problem with anyone that is. You say you are tired of people saying things about it, well you just did the same things to meat eaters. I really do not think that eating meat is going to kill me any faster than you not doing so. I’m 23, 5’7 123lbs and healthy. i ave plenty of energy, and I’m probably just as healthy as you. I’m not trying to change your mind on you choice, but this is just plain rude. If you want respect then give it.

    You know what bothers me? Hypocrites.

    • NashVeggie says:

      Did you miss the part where I said I don’t walk up to people to preach to them about what they eat? They love to do it to me. It’s what the article is about. Maybe you should check that.

      You’re a meat eater who came to a vegan site to attack the vegan. That sounds familiar.

      Hey pot, meet kettle.

      Thank you for your comment!

    • Kate says:

      Sounds to me like the article is about respect given and none taken away. Perhaps you’re reading what you want into it.

      BTW, I’m a meat eater. I have met vegans and never given the trouble like the lady you mention. More power to you.

      Great article.

    • Kate says:

      Just wanted to be sure you knew my first comment was directed at Maye.

    • Katherine says:

      You know what bothers me? Stupidity of meat eaters. Instead of LEARNING about vegan diet, they attack us with standard (boring) pseudo-scientific arguments!

      I knew this girl once who kept telling me that she was a vegetarian and I was something else…. she could not get a name for me. She was eating fish and chicken though. :)))

  6. Brian Woz says:

    And How! Totally agree with you. And like your McDonald’s lady, these people never seem to be able to back up their ignorant remarks with facts. Pulling quotes from the bible?! Please.

    And no offense to the 23 year old dude who commented about being a perfectly healthy meat eater, but you’re 23! Trust me, bro, you may be healthy now but wait and see the affects of what you’re doing to your body when 33, 43 and 53 roll around.

    • Nashveggie says:

      I believe people think that quoting the bible is an ultimate of some sort. It as if to them there no argument that you can then make and you must take their rebuttal as fact and accept a loss.

  7. Chris says:

    I’m so with you on this. The lack of respect for your decision to be vegan is what bothers me the most; why couldn’t she just ask you questions like you had a brain and you knew what you were doing? But you never know–in some dark, cheesy recess of her mind maybe you planted a seed. It’s really hard to tell sometimes.

    • Nashveggie says:

      Because to her since I’ve made the choice to be vegan I have no brain. I’ve had two similar conversations of this nature this week with people who throw out the same drivel and argue. Is there some type of pamphlet being distributed right now with bologna that gives pointers on arguing with a vegan?

  8. "Meat-Free" Mike says:

    LK – Veganism affects EVERYBODY – in a POSITIVE WAY! Don’t forget how much waste – of energy, supplies, grains, water, etc. it takes to produce meat. Organic vegetable farming uses a fraction of the resources needed to produce flesh for consumption. Plus all the POLUUTION made from factory farm excrement is ruining the environment!

  9. Geez. Yeah, I get tired of this crap. Even though I am a bit sassy when I blog, I don’t talk about being vegan when someone talks to me. UNLESS they bring it up and I try to be very passive. They say I must not love food. And the Bible thing. I did ask once, about what someone thought of texts that were OLDER than the Bible and what made the Bible right? AND, that other people use the BIble to DEFEND eating plants. Sigh.

    • NashVeggie says:

      The whole “Hi, my name is ___ and I’m vegan” thing doesn’t happen with me. Usually it comes out when I’m offered something to eat and refuse then pressed for why I refused. I also get offered steaks, usually freshly slaughtered, from clients and turn them down only to be quizzed why I would not want “such a good steak”.

      When they bring up the bible it shows me they have no reasoning power, no platform on which to build any debate and can’t think for themselves. It’s a sign for me to just move on because they live in a one-track thought process.

  10. Heather says:

    I find people have been so brainwashed about food that they’re honestly surprised when they hear people saying they’re vegan or vegetarian. It’s so new to them that they usually want to know more, but they also want to defend their way of eating because that’s what they know. Some people don’t want to be educated because it would require change. I know a lot, but I still haven’t pushed myself to be vegan. It would require meal planning, learning to cook, etc. and I’m just not there yet.

    I got into conversation with someone about how cows are treated and they brought the Bible into the debate. Personally, I don’t see anything in the Bible that defends their way of eating. God created the earth and humans to take care of it, not exploit it. I don’t think God intended for there to be mass farming and all the nastiness that goes along with it (from cows to corn).

  11. K says:

    The bible says humans can eat meat. It does not say that we MUST eat meat.

  12. Michelle says:

    I love that the woman eating McD’s was all of a sudden the nutrition expert after you told her you were vegan. Good for you for standing up for your beliefs and having a better understanding of nutrition, food and health than most 🙂

  13. Kandace says:

    I’ve been a vegan for the past eight years. I believe tolerance is a main factor that is missing in society these days. Vegans can be just as ignorant to meat-eaters and vice versa, and it’s solely based on one thing: pride. Everyone has their opinions and everyone thinks they’re right. Unless someone literally shoves a hamburger down your throat, whats the problem with them expressing their opinion? Yes, they may be uneducated in the ways of our lifestyle, but who can blame them? Mainstream media does not promote our choices, after all, we make up only a mere 1.5% of the population. My main pet peeve with many vegans is the holier than thou attitude. You made your choice. They made their. Both of you are right. Stop hatin.

    • NashVeggie says:

      Not tolerance, acceptance. Tolerance means you don’t like it but you’ll pretend to ignore and move on. Acceptance means you act positively toward something and receive it. Tolerance gets you nowhere.

  14. janers says:

    Awesome!! Well said!!

  15. snippy says:

    How do you spot a vegan?

    Don’t worry they’ll tell you

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