Thursday, 8 January 2015

Eating Out & My First Friendly Confrontation as a Vegan

I have found it difficult on my first attempt at eating out - though it is only the first week and its not like we can afford to eat out very much.

My favourite pub does an excellent mushroom burger and I assumed it would be vegan-friendly, but on asking I found out that they pre-cook the mushrooms in butter (always ask!) I had salad and chips instead, not ideal as nil protein.

Whilst at the pub, I turned to a friend to tell him the news, and was cut off mid sentence with:

Friend: Well you're not aloud to wear leather or wool then
Me: Yes - I've thought of that - and I am no longer going to buy it new but...
Friend: Well you're not a real vegan then. I have friends who are vegan and...

Then I just exploded. I can't remember exactly what was said, but something along the lines of 'Don't tell me what I can and can't do, I wouldn't do that to you' and eventually explaining that I buy my clothes second hand anyway, so even if they are made from animal bi-products I am not supporting the cruel trade, I am supporting charities. I am also recycling things, which is even more environmentally friendly than buying new synthetic stuff - as it is normally made of plastic and pumps more fumes etc. Another friend, who was the only other person at the table when the explosion happened (honestly I am normally very calm and hate confrontation) agreed with me and stuck up for me. She happens to be a vegetarian. After my rant he said 'well don't call yourself a vegan then' sheepishly (again - no pun) and left to get a pint.

I texted my friend, who has also become vegan (VEGAN POWER) who agreed with me (naturally) and put it very well:
You need to say vegan in restaurants to make sure you are ordering the right food. Otherwise is is just labelling people and is stupid!
This is entirely true. Vegans seem to have a bad rep for being 'militant' though. The actual definition of Veganism, according to vegansociety.com, is:

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Which is what I am doing by not buying leather and wool products new from industries that are cruel to animals. I am buying them from bloody charity shops and eBay.

He was sorry, but I didn't feel sorry about cutting him off and ending the line of conversation he wanted to start. I am just against people telling people what to do. Sure, share your opinions, have a healthy debate, but as he is an omnivore I am not sure what grounds he had to suddenly attack my choice with unfounded, abrasive opinions as soon as he heard the word 'vegan'.

Served me right though - I shouldn't have announced it within 2 mins of him sitting at the table! (see 'joke' from previous post)

2 comments:

  1. Did you ever talk to him about why he got so judgemental with you? I generally find people react like this (not to veganism, but in general) when they feel bad that they themselves aren't doing it. Or they see it as some kind of threat or even jealousy, that a person is doing something or making a sacrifice that they aren't strong enough to do themselves. Meh. Whatever. You can only follow your conscience.

    Hey, you sound like you could be a freegan! *eeeeee* How about it? I so want to join a freegan group, but are there any in London? It seems to be more common in the States than over here :(

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    1. Hi Clarissa, yes some people are just 'like that' I guess! Still count him as one of my closest friends though, and now he is much better 'educated' :-)

      Oh a freegan - I haven't heard of that one before? I'm glad that these days when I ask for a vegan option people understand what I require more and more - I am having to explain it to them less!

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