Coming Out as Vegan

I hope I made you laugh. But I’m not exactly joking. I mean, telling people you’re vegan actually isn’t the easiest thing.

Surprisingly, a lot of people who do eat meat or dairy, tend to get quite up in arms about veganism, which is so unique I think. Why get so upset about something that isn’t really affecting you? Portia de Rossi had a great point (and I can’t remember it word for word, hence no quotations) that when you come out to someone as vegan, they may take that as a personal attack to what’s on their plate, and in a way, it sort of is.

While my veganism isn’t meant to exactly offend, I do believe that I am making the best choices I know how for my body, my health, and the earth. If I truly believe that, of course I want to tell those I care about, all about it! But sharing that passion is often misunderstood. There truly is a fear that comes along with deciding to tell others that you’re going vegan.

If you’re anything like me, you were raised in the midwest with neighborhood barbeques, hot dogs at baseball games, and milk to help you build “strong bones.” When you tell someone you’re turning away from all of that, I think some people feel like you’re turning your back on tradition or purposefully trying to over complicate things. The fact is, it’s just different. It’s different than what we grew up eating, it’s different than the FDA “My Plate” diet guide, and half the time, when you do tell someone what your diet consists of, they’ve never heard of it before. As we all know, what is different, isn’t always welcomed.

Something I think every vegan desires, is for their meat eating family and friends to understand what veganism is. We welcome questions and love sharing recipes. But what isn’t so great, is constantly feeling questioned or “on guard”. I do not believe that those are the intentions of most people, but of course, there are some who feel like they’re going to “prove you wrong”. But the fact of the matter is, when you’re spending time with a vegan friend or family member, we don’t owe you any kind of explanation. We don’t have to walk through every single one of our choices with you. Do we enjoy doing that sometimes? Absolutely! Like I said, if I believe I’m doing the best thing I can for my body, health, and the earth, why wouldn’t I want to share that? But – we don’t want to talk about it all the time. There are so many things that make up a person, and veganism is not my entire definition. So sometimes, we enjoy talking about other things.

My choice to be vegan is not meant to offend, but I know that it can. I don’t exactly understand why, but I’ve seen it happen. So I just want to say that I do not think less of anyone who chooses to eat meat or continues to eat dairy. I think that’s often an assumption made when the topic of diet comes up. I do not know anyone who practices veganism who believes that. Sharing different ideas can become deeply personal. Especially when you’re talking about choices we make every day that impact almost every aspect of our lives. Our diet, our social life, where we choose to shop, etc. As much as we don’t like being questioned, we don’t like making you feel “less than” or incompetent. So please don’t take it personally, because it isn’t. Don’t be afraid to ask us questions, but please do so with an open mind.

Dylan and I practice veganism for three different reasons, all of which mean the world to me. The obvious health benefits, the impact it has on the environment, and our faith perspective. I want nothing more than to show you every fact and figure I have (because I care about you, and this is like.. a really good thing), but you’ll have to hold tight. Because this topic means so much to me, I’ll be doing a separate post on each of our three reasons. So for now, hug a vegan! Buy them an almond milk latte and ask them about their lifestyle! Try out a recipe! But please remember that different isn’t always bad, it’s not personal, and sometimes, we just don’t feel like talking about it.

 

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