Friday, March 22, 2013

Why Are You Vegan? And Other Questions You Probably Shouldn't Be Asking

It's been a while since anyone asked me why I was vegetarian.  Maybe I don't meet new people that often.  Or maybe it's become ubiquitous enough that people don't really question it.  Just like I don't question why you like fennel, even though it's weird.
But now that I'm "vegan" a lot of people have been asking me about it.  I used to think this was fine and that curiosity was normal, especially from people who may not have been exposed to a vegan lifestyle.  But unfortunately what I've come to realize is that people have been exposed to a vegan lifestyle, and more often than not it seems like they're bringing up the subject to try to talk me out of this crazy decision. 
Worse, when they don't talk me out of it, they get incredibly defensive because "I think that eating meat and exploiting animals for food is wrong and unnecessary in our modern world" makes them feel judged. 
Of course you feel judged!  The main reason for that is probably because I'm judging you.  Any vegan or vegetarian who says they aren't judging you is either lying or they are only making these eating choices for health or vanity and not for animals or the environment.  Following up with "Don't you just sometimes want a steak?" will also not curry you any favor. 

If my decision to follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is because I don't want to hurt animals, then pretty much be definition I think that people who don't do that are hurting animals.  Maybe it's something I can look past to a certain extent, like being friends with someone who's favorite Star Trek series was Enterprise, but I'm probably not going to think all that highly of you. 

So, questions not to ask if you won't really want to hear the answer:

1. Why are you vegan/vegetarian?
2. Do you think you'll ever go back to eating meat?
3. Who is your favorite Star Trek captain?  (If your own answer is something other than Picard or Sisko)

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