Posted by: conradvisionquest | February 23, 2010

The Vegan Experience & Etsy Finds

During this transformation of my diet and way of life, I am reading everything I can about being vegan and vegetarian and basing  my future decisions on gathered information and how I feel about things.  As I research the subject, I have been made aware of the possible reactions of people to these choices I am making.  So far, I am having a text book experience.

Crew neck tee by Trashrag on Etsy

The other night we went to dinner at a friend’s house.  The hostess knew I had just gone vegetarian, but was not aware of my recent choice to go all the way and only eat vegan.  I knew she was making pasta primavera, so I didn’t have to mention it before coming.  I was nervous, however, about “coming out” to my friend and the other dinner guests.  I was hoping it wouldn’t come up, but it did.

This conversation took place not during dinner, but during the cooking of dinner as we gathered in the kitchen.  Cheese topping for the pasta was mentioned, and I said I wouldn’t be eating that.  “You don’t eat cheese now, either??!!”   “No, no cheese, no dairy, no eggs.”  “OMIGOD!  What DO you eat then??”  I just kinda laughed, still just getting used to the idea myself, and having very limited experience with these conversations.  Thankfully, one of the other guests contributed to the discussion by

Unisex tee by Bethpage on Etsy

starting to talk about the dairy industry and how she saw some movie.  I was relieved that the attention was taken off me.  I was also glad that I refused the cheese, because I had contemplated giving into dairy during this meal so I wouldn’t be “complicated” or “different.”

A few moments later, the hostess said something like “Just be glad I didn’t sneak any meat into this sauce!”  I chuckled, trying to remind myself this comment didn’t come from a place of viciousness, and that it had nothing to do with me.

This whole process is very strange for me, almost surreal.  I am very uncomfortable with my uncomfortable-ness.  This really isn’t like me.  I usually don’t care what people think, but this whole thing is throwing me for a loop.   I am pretty strong-willed when I have an opinion about something, but making the decision to be vegan is something so unlike anything I have ever experienced.  It’s really bringing to the forefront all the things I’ve been taught to think and feel about our food.  I am making decisions now that go against everything I was “taught” by society and people in my life. Like most people, I had never thought about where our food comes from, how it’s made and processed, and whether or not choices I was making about food affected others.  Now that I am, it’s bringing to life all these voices that had always been there, but never had a reason to speak up until now.  And the voices are fighting with each other! I know this is the right decision, but it’s hard to un-do decades of social conditioning. And I find it so interesting how choices that I am making about food that I put into MY body evoke such reactions from people.  As I read and learn, I understand why. Food happens to be very political, like it or not.

Go Vegan shirt from moosomething on Etsy

Even though I don’t know another vegan personally, I am thankful to have an understanding husband through all this.  He is being so supportive and I couldn’t be happier about that.  Otherwise I would be truly alone in this.  Thanks, huz.

Anyhoo, I just find these situations interesting. I find myself being surprised by my own reactions to things. And the responses from others is going just as all the things I have read said they would. I am anxious to have more experience with dealing with other non-vegans, so I won’t feel so uncomfortable. This is almost turning into a social experiment!

Make sure you click on the pictures above to see more from the Etsy shops attached to them!

Newly vegan? Interested and have questions? I’d love to chat…comment below!

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Responses

  1. Thanks for including my shirt!!

    I LOVE the other ones you have included as well. I’m gonna go check out their shops now!!!

    You’re the best, Wendy!!!

  2. Also- some vegan suggestions:
    Here’s an awesome diet plan with Amy’s Organic Food:
    http://www.amyskitchen.com/special_diets/vegan_diet_plan_day01.php

    Best Ice Cream in THE ENTIRE WORLD!
    http://www.turtlemountain.com/products/purely_decadent.html

    A great site to find vegan/vegetarian restaurants near you, (and good resources in general!):
    http://www.happycow.net/

    Hope this helps!! 🙂

    • thanks for the comment and the suggestions, cary! love amy’s organic, but prepared foods are a bit out of my budget right now. i prefer to make from scratch. i do, however, always keep a can of her chili in the cupboard for a quick meal with some brown rice. looked over that diet plan, and i need to eat WAY more than that! i love food! i’m not big on sweets or ice cream, but my fave is toffuti ice cream sandwiches… so delicious. i’ve been on happy cow before, but didn’t expect much for where i live. we live in a very rural area in the bible belt and i am probably the only vegetarian, much less vegan, within a 50 mile radius! oh well. thanks again for the links! 😉

  3. I’ve been vegan for just over a year now, and I find that the more I interact with non-vegans the easier it gets. I just came back from the retreat where out of 30 people I was the only vegan, and whenever we had breakfast, lunch, or dinner our table conversations always ended up on veganism. Not only I found that experience rewarding as I was educating people of animal rights and how easy it is to be vegan but also very educating to me as I found out that a lot of people have a goal to be vegetarian and of the reasons they have for not doing it.
    And once again – Colleen helped me so much with non-vegan interactions 🙂

    • that’s so cool, bliss! i have yet to have an interaction with someone who is genuinely interested in a plant-based diet and the reasons behind it. yeah, i pretty much have all the information, i’m just not comfortable delivering it yet. i get all emotional about things. it’s also helped me alot listening to colleen, she has such a calm yet powerful delivery of her message. thanks for the comment!

  4. I see what you mean about the two of us being on the same wave length – this post could have been written about me!!! Especially the bit about being uncomfortable with uncomfortable-ness. I still find it awkward to talk about veganism with people – especially some of my colleagues, who get a “this woman is crazy” look on their face when I start explaining why I’ve chosen this and what it means practically. I’ve subscribed to your blog and can’t wait to read more! 🙂

    • thanks for the comment and the subscription, esther! yes, i almost hope to have some more uncomfortable-ness soon so i can blog about it. i’m sure it won’t be long… i also find it weird to talk about. right now i’m just saying i don’t like stuff, instead of that i choose to not eat it for ethical reasons. i’m being wimpy. it’s still all so new to me. it’s strange, i never felt weird about being the freak before, i liked being different. but with this it’s a whole new ball game! the saga continues…

      • When ever I feel like I bit of a freak, I remind myself of the famous and successful vegans in the world. Anthony Kiedis, Ellen De Generes, Alanis Morissette, Elijah Wood, Ginnifer Goodwin, Joaquin Phoenix, Liv Tyler, Alicia Silverstone, Zooey Deschanel, Alyssa Milano… the list goes on! These people are in the public arena, so if they can ‘come out’ as vegans to the world, so can we! Actually I’m finding it easier the more I talk about it – it’s becoming more normal to me now I guess.

        PS: I love the ‘don’t eat your friends’ teeshirt!

      • yeah, it’s becoming more normal to me now, too, as the weeks go on. the real test will be the next family holiday!


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