I don't mean that it is a difficult lifestyle; I embrace it and love it and would never consider living any other way.
What I mean is that often we vegans are made to feel like either an outcast or a target.
Case in point, the other day I was at the store and ran into a friend who was there with his wife.
The friend mentions in passing that I'm a vegan and his wife gives me a look as if I was standing there naked or something and proceeds to tell me how crazy that is.
This is just one mild example.
Why do people get so upset by my choice to not eat the flesh of a dead animal? I am not hurting anyone by being vegan and frankly it has nothing to do with them.
I do have theories though.
I think when someone comes across a vegan they get intimidated because they think that we will think less of them for eating meat or that we will think we are above them for being vegan.
This is simply not true; I was a meat-eater at one time.
After I educated myself about the abuses involved in the meat and dairy industry I could no longer consume animal products, it's that simple, it doesn't make me special it just makes me someone who holds true to his beliefs and lives it.
It reminds me of a great quote: 'When you know better, you do better.
' While I'm on the subject, don't ask me why I'm vegan if you really don't want to know.
Often people ask why and then when I tell them they get very defensive and go on the attack.
If you ask me why I became vegan, I'm going to tell you, isn't that why you asked? I think some people ask so that they can argue the point.
I don't know what point there is to argue.
Meat and dairy and filled with cholesterol, fat, hormones and antibiotics and animals are horrifically abused until their slaughter day arrives.
These statements cannot be intelligently disputed.
Now about social situations, we, like many vegans, have friends and family that will not invite us to their houses because they feel they cannot provide us with anything to eat.
Often when we do get invited somewhere it turns into an apologetic invitation, letting us know that there may not be much there for us to eat.
I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone out there know that vegans know what they are.
No vegan goes to a wedding or dinner party expecting to be able to eat much of the food, it's ok, we don't mind and to be honest we know better than to ever show up hungry.
As a host all you have to do is respect our lifestyle and realize that it is deep-rooted.
Being a vegan is a moral and ethical choice.
No true vegan is going to eat turkey just because you made one; it doesn't work that way.
It is not an insult to you or your cooking or your intentions, we will not compromise our values and no thinking person should expect us to.
The social inconveniences are a very small price to pay and we are more than willing to pay it, please don't feel bad.
Likewise don't think that we are offended because you made meat.
We do not live in a bubble, we are aware of the world we are living in and know that we are the minority in this country at least for now.
Happily, the number of people who are becoming vegan is rising sharply and that is a trend that is sure to continue.