Monday, April 23, 2007

When “restrictive” actually means liberating.

Ask any Vegan and I doubt they could count how any times that someone has told them their diet is too restrictive for that person. I understand the reaction, I had it myself before I was Vegan in fact. Many of us did. As all of us Vegans soon find out though, outward appearances can be very deceiving. Lets face it, the idea of eating nothing but salads for the rest of your life makes you a bit apprehensive even if it meant you would be given a million dollars. Most people, when they think about a Vegan diet believe than we eat “twigs and berries” or salads all day. Even as an ethical Vegan, I try to steer any conversation about my Veganism or the possibility of the person I’m talking to going Vegan to questions about diet first. Wile I would personally prefer to talk about animal rights and abolitionist theory I think that it helps if wile you are talking about these important issues the person is not contemplating a life of twigs, berries, and salads.
I know many of you might see this as a minor point, “animals are getting slaughtered, we don’t have time to talk about my lunch.” But we need to see things though the eyes of our ignorant Vegan in training. Take a moment to think about some of the questions you asked as a vegetarian transitioning into Veganism, or even as a new Vegan. Now think about the discussions you have with people about Veganism. Do your main points of conversation cover the common beginner questions, or do you leave the person you are talking to with the same questions you had because you were too eager to talk about AR?

If people understand that there is a whole universe of food to explore outside of animal products that you are enthusiastic about, they will be less likely to worry about the things that turn into non-issues once you become Vegan (such as eating some really great food) and more concerned about the important stuff such as Animal Rights. Think about it.

-Matt Hastings


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this entry. It is hard to answer people's questions ... especially when they don't want or care to know the answer. I live in rural Ohio where a lot of the people I work with are farmers/parents are farmers, and they're personally insulted that I've given up meat. They refuse to learn anything about the subject. And I'm not the one pushing it in their face; they keep asking ME about it. *sigh*

I hope you don't mind, I included a link to your blog from my page. It's here.

veganfreak said...

Interesting idea. I absolutely loathe the notion that veganism is "limiting." I eat more and a wider variety now than I used to. I know this isn't your point, but I thought I'd add that anyway. :)

Veganramblings said...

@ Anonymous
That must suck. Thanks for linking to my blog and thanks for the comment.

@ Bob
"I eat more and a wider variety now than I used to."

I know! I mean, I understand how people would think that we eat a "limited" diet but still. Do all these people just eat meat and potatos all day? Even as an Ommni I still had a good idea of what I would be able to eat as a vegan.

Thanks for your comment Bob

Eric said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog at Bob's blogroll... Neither you nor he has linked, but I will get over it. In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I am linking you, because I'm thrilled to include as many abolitionist bloggers in my blog links as possible, so long as they write regular entries. I liked your piece here, and the approach you're taking with this blog, so I'm looking forward to keeping up on it. You've been added to my subscriptions!

I get the restrictive comment a lot, from people who could "never give up A, B & C." Meanwhile, they've never tried X, Y & Z, which I only discovered myself after going vegan and expanding my horizons. Yes, I still feel limited by standard restaurant menus, but that reflects their limited creativity, not mine.

Veganramblings said...

Thanks Eric, I've been meaning to add your blog (really!) but I've been busy and very eager to be outside for reasons I hope to share with everyone soon. I'm going to add your blog now. Thanks for the link!

Tasha said...

I've always loved to cook but since going Vegan I've enjoyed it even more! There really are so many possibilities out there, I'm glad you wrote about this subject.