I know I typically just blog about the foods I eat and steer clear of any sociopolitical ramblings here (trust me, you should be glad I'm able to stay so focused, I've been known to ramble :), but in my blog lurking today I stumbled upon a great vegan website by way of Squirrel's Vegan Kitchen, SuperVegan.
In perusing their many interesting vegan tidbits of info I came across a blurb about personal growth author Kathy Freston. Apparently, she's recently written a few proveg articles. For that, I say, You Go Girl!" Until I read that her latest contribution included the following in regards to dining out at restaurants:
"You'll obviously want to avoid dishes served with meat, cheese, or eggs, but it doesn't really matter if there's a modicum of butter or whey or other animal product in the bun that your veggie burger is served on," she writes. "You may give your nonvegan friends--not to mention the restaurant wait staff--the idea that vegans are difficult to please."
ooooooh, did this make me mad. Now, I'm not one to push my veganism on anyone. I firmly believe that it's a very personal choice. I only ask that my choice be respected in turn. Granted, since becoming vegan I don't dine out much at all, and when I do it's only after careful research and usually many questions directed (politely and patiently!) at the staff. I like to think I'm polite and easy to accommodate as I don't dine at any establishment that I know beforehand absolutely cannot or will not meet my dietary needs. I've yet to have a problem. Hey, I'm also known for sneaking in my own salad dressings, vegan margarine and the like to make sure I get a full meal and can order items off the menu plain to dress myself. I don't do this to not be difficult. I blatantly smack that stuff on the table. I just do it so I can participate in the social event of dining out with friends and family on occasion.
What I don't understand is why this woman, a self-proclaimed vegan, would set us back this way, would belittle my or your conviction. I understand that there are different levels of veganism for everyone. What I don't understand is why this person would suggest her version is one all vegans should adopt so that we don't look 'difficult'. I never think of myself as difficult but one with clear choices and stable conviction to adhere to them.
So, what did I do after reading this article? I followed the link to her website and sent her (or her people) an email. I wanted her to know that this particular vegan was appalled by her standards and that she would share them with her readers under the guise of a proveg platform. After all, if you're going to let 'em slip a little bit of this here and a little dab of that there in your food just so as to not appear 'difficult'? You may as well just eat the stuff so as to not offend anyone either, right?
Anyway, just thought I'd share and see what any of you have to say about it. I suggest anyone who feels so inclined drop her an email as I did to let her know that she does not speak for other vegans out there trying to pioneer a place for ourselves in a nonvegan world.
ok, now i'm done!