Monday, February 28, 2011

Vegan guilt?

So today I wanted to talk about vegan guilt.  Is it just me or do others out there often hide the fact that we are vegan?  Or feel like it's something to apologize for?  I feel this way on a pretty regular basis, especially at work.  I am currently reading FREE THE ANIMALS by Ingrid Newkirk.  This is a book about the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and I feel like a teenage boy reading girly magazines in class.  Seriously I hide it inside a script so that people think I'm reading whatever spec just went out.  But here's the thing: I know that if my boss noticed the title (or cover of a masked person holding a rescue dog), I would hear a non-stop litany of shit.  Now my co-workers are not unkind per se, just uninformed and have no desire to learn any other way.  I understand this.  Hell, I practiced it for 27 years.  However, it annoys me that I am made to feel badly about my choices.  After all, I am just trying to live my life in accordance to my ideals.  I want to stop animal cruelty and suffering. I want to end mass pollution.  I want the Earth to be habitable for future generations.  All of these things can be achieved with a vegan diet! How crazy and awesome is that?  To know that we really can make a change.  If only I could convince those around me to join the cause.

I've already managed to navigate the waters of cupcake birthday parties.  I just say that I am trying to lose wait for my impending nuptials. It's funny because I see how badly they feel for me when in reality, I feel bad for them.  Ten minutes from the time they scarf those sugary, milky sweets, they all start to complain about feeling sick.  About thirty mins to an hour later, each of them looks haggard with glazed eyes in the throes of a sugar crash.  They all vow never to eat the cupcakes again but then it's someone else's birthday and it starts all over again.

So here is my question to all you vegans out there: how do you deal with vegan guilt?  I know I should learn more quick sound bytes to combat bigoted thinking and silly questions like "What do you eat?" (Answer EVERYTHING! Except meat and dairy :))  Any advice would be much appreciated.  Do other people work in offices where vegetarianism, let alone veganism, is shunned or looked upon like some alien species?

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