I always seem to take the this blog as a way of venting, usually when I am upset or feel I cannot express myself or have exhausted all outlets. I am a little worried that it might portray the vegan way of life as depressing, so let me just state – I have never been happier, nor more at peace with my actions and my existence than I have been since I have converted. I believe it takes a phenomenal amount of strength to break away from normality and follow your own convictions in a world that doesn’t readily accommodate nor understand. To do this, I have had found and nurtured an inner strength and resolute compassion for other living beings that allow me to feel a sense of almost purity in my core self. The battle is the outer environment, but I liken it to a strong solid tree that might have to withstand varying weathers – sunny days, thundering storms, blustering winds. Yet it remains – sturdy. I wouldn’t have the opposite, the inverse, a life of ease but decaying and rotting from within.
I am quite a sensitive soul. I always have been. I am extremely in touch with my emotions to the point it can transpire I end up in little emotional wells from time to time. What has changed however is that I am able to pull myself out of these by myself as opposed to waiting for someone to extend a hand. I believe this strength has grown further since being vegan as I have had to take my own path and deal with the reaction from omnis I come across in life. I have not been working the past year due to my inner ear problems, so it has been quite a private journey. Yet the other day, I went to a wedding, where a lot of old workmates attended and I felt the need to dispel some preconceptions of vegans. I never want to be viewed as awkward or an inconvenience. I spent time the night before preparing food to take with me so if any stops were made on route I didn’t have to face the uncomfortable situation of having people buying McDonald’s or the like and me not eating anything as I refuse to give them my money. It just takes a little forethought and a little consideration – which is symptomatic of the way of life I suppose, consideration. I did get the initial questions as we stopped in a service station and I browsed through a salad recipe book and someone asked whether I could eat tuna. So I just reeled off the list of stuff a vegan doesn’t eat, ‘No meat, fish, fowl, dairy, eggs or honey.”. Phew. That seemed to be the end of it but I sensed there was more that they wanted to ask. I am very open to answering questions as I don’t preach. So it is a nice opportunity to share information and just open minds a little, although most of the time I find myself biting my tongue. Driving down the motorway, it’s inevitable to pass fields of cows, sheep and pigs. Hearing “Aw, I love piglets”, and “aw look cows!” made me want to scream, but I just swallowed it down and sent them apologies for the human race and their inevitable fate where they would one day not be in the field and on someone’s dinner plate. I did see a truck load of sheep off the slaughterhouse – which I wish hadn’t looked at because my tummy fell to the bottom of my seat. I cannot bear to think about it those poor, beautiful babies. This world is ruined.
The wedding itself was beautiful, though as expected it did get me thinking about my own romantic prospects. Or lack thereof... My stance to abstain from animal cruelty as much as possible bar living in a caravan with my own vegetables (which doesn’t sound terrible to me, in fact quite the opposite), has found me in a strange position romantically. I have blogged in the past about omni-vegan relationships and the difficulties that can arise from this differing ethical stance. There was an article about it this morning and naturally the anti-vegan comments have been coming in abundance. One even likened wanting a vegan partner as being racist – HOW!? It doesn’t do much to strengthen omni-vegan relations, all this animosity. I don’t agree with using animals as commodities, though I am well aware that the consensus opposes this. I have close friends that are meat eaters, who I love very much. There are vegans that cannot abide meat eaters and some that are indifferent. There are some that manage to work an omni-vegan partnership, and others who cannot. Now, I have been very clear in the past blogs as to why I would prefer a vegan partner, or at the very least a vegetarian. For me it is a question of compatibility and of shared ethics and beliefs. It is not the inconvenience of cooking different meals or working out where to eat as these obstacles can be overcome and although a bit irritating, have a solution. For me, it is watching the person I love, who I share my innermost self with, my body with and my life with, doing something that essentially opposes everything I stand for. Whilst they may be considerate and thoughtful about it, in perhaps not doing it around me and trying vegan meals, it would feel like a smokescreen to me. I know that deep down they just aren’t on the animals’ side. I am not saying I would NEVER date an omni, but I cannot deny myself what I know I need from a partner. This doesn’t extend as passionately to friendships, as I feel whilst I share myself with friends, it is not as intimate as a partner. I won’t be cuddled up to my friends each night and nuzzling myself on their chest or Eskimo kissing. They won’t be the person I speak to each night and tell about my day. So it doesn’t have the same significance whether or not they share my ideals or not (even though I would love for all to be vegan!). Does that make sense? Saying that, I do find my time with my veg friends to be very relaxed and like the coming together of shared minds. Which is indeed very comforting and it does make things feel a lot more harmonious. Yes, harmony. I think that is what I crave. That feeling of peace, which whilst I have created in myself, is not reflected in the world. So it is nice to find companions of the same mindset. Though, I have said it before and I will say it again – there are very different vegans in the world – and not all get along! Ah, it is quite difficult sometimes. I wonder if I am even making sense at this point.
It is an interesting experience being vegan in a non-vegan world. Often challenging, but equally, if not moreso, morally rewarding. People say to not be defined by your diet – but to me it is the most compassionate way of living, and to define yourself as a compassionate person is no fault in my eyes. And as a vegan woman, there are few things as sexy as a man who extends his compassion to all creatures. FO’SHIZ. Just had to add that in! *wink* J