Monday, July 5, 2010

Vegan Venting

This weekend was full of family get-togethers, food, fireworks, and rain. Saturday was hot and humid, and we had a party at my cousin's house for her birthday, which also coincides with a city-wide celebration that ends in fire works. It was a fun time. I made a broccoli cauliflower salad that was delicious, and brought veggie burgers for Garrett and me. There was also fresh fruit to eat, so I was happy. My uncle, who is a meat-eating machine, grilled burgers and brats and hot dogs for everyone.

At the end of the night, after everyone had been drinking for a while, my uncle started picking on my vegan diet. My uncle is awesome; I love him dearly and he has always been my favorite uncle. He teases me because he loves me. He is a lot like my dad in some ways (they are brothers). He tries to get me all riled up because he thinks it's funny.

He started in about how it's just as mean to kill plants, and he doesn't see the difference. My husband joined in the good-natured ribbing. I usually avoid any kind of discussion about it, because there is no point. They will never see my point of view, they will never even remotely come close to understanding why I do it. I forget sometimes how strange it is to them, how extreme and crazy it must seem. This is how I live, and I am quite used to it.

The people that give me the worst time about my diet are 99 percent of the time one or more of the following: overweight, on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart problems, type two diabetes, etc.

I just want to glare at them and say, "Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? You're giving me a hard time?"

I fell for it, I opened my mouth. Instead of going the poor animal route, one that they don't give a shit about, I went for the health argument. I said, "If you go to the doctor and you are having heart problems, are they going to tell you to eat more meat? Suggest that you aren't getting enough bratwurst? I don't think so!"

There was some laughter and that was that. I know they were not attacking me personally, but it still made me feel sad, and I couldn't shake it. It really reinforced the feeling that there is nobody



around me in my everyday life that gets it. (Okay, Garrett kind of gets it.)

And I felt really alone for a moment.

The part that makes me feel the worst is that these people that I love and are surrounded by are damaging their health in ways that I can see, and they cannot. These family members that love meat and cheese and eat tons of it every day are going to get sick, they are going to love shorter lives, and during the shorter life, they are probably not going to feel well. It kills me that I have knowledge I could share with them about how to eat better, not just pushing veganism or saying I'm better than them, but eating better, taking care of your body, and nobody is interested.

This includes my husband. I would like to have him around for a long, long time. I feel completely powerless.

I believe that food is more than just something to fill our bellies until the next meal, something that we need to survive. The food we eat, and the things we choose to put in our bodies, affect our minds, our mood, our karma, every cell in our bodies, our behavior, our complete and total well-being. We have a choice as to what we can do, how we want to feel, and we need to take notice, pay attention, word hard, and stand up for it. No matter what.

No recipe today. I just needed to vent.

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