Sunday, October 17, 2004

You're a vegan becuase you don't like to eat anything, right? Your life is just so grey and depressing that you don't want the colour of meat brought to your attention. It's better to eat cold porridge all the time.

I think it is interesting that even people who are supposedly enlightened and worldly, still carry predjudices with them. Do we ever crawl out of our caves? I don't think I've always understood your morality in the most sensitive manner (maybe that's why we weren't friends for so long). Yours is a very different world view than what I was brought up in. The concept of belief being more important than beef is something that my parents would have a very hard time coming to terms with, even though I consider them forward looking.

I wonder what would happen if you told people that you were part of a certain Christian sect (or whatever) when they found out about your eating habits? Most normal people don't think twice about a Catholic not eating meat during lent. Jewish people can happily not eat pork. Maybe they would think you're weird, but I bet it would be more understandable to them. Most likely, you wouldn't get the same type of taunting questions or strange statements. Not that I think you should do it, but it might be an interesting experiment some time.

One could make an argument that our political-socio-economic-educational class isn't that much better than everyone else. People in our world view have been taught to be cynical of everything, and not to accept any explicit or implicit show of morality. Yet, they still use their own internal morality and beliefs to make decisions. I wonder if some the questionable reactions that people of our class show to you is a result of having their morality and beliefs threatened by your choices. (Obviously, much of it is just based in ignorance of your choices.) Not that your lifestyle represents some objective "best way to live", but if someone considers themselves to be environmental and socially/economically progressive, it becomes hard to defend a lifestyle that is largely a result of corpoate marketing and influence. I wonder if that's why sometimes people who are otherwise left politically react to your choices very irrationally and emotionally?

I think you're right about people creating the strangest excuses to cover up for their laziness or choices. If you weren't my friend, and I wasn't trying to take on parts of your non-animal lifestyle (something about imitation and flattery), I probably would be using the same excuses. I think it really says something about taking a walk in other people's shoes (yours are a bit too small for me).

Now does that mean I think we shouldn't still make fun of all the people we typically make fun of? Of course not. We should happily make fun of the weirdos we know.



At 1:39 PM, Blogger maki-girl said...

You're right -- my life IS gray and depressing. I was just going to munch on an apple for lunch but it was so bright, shiny, and red that I couldn't take it. More oatmeal for me.

Seriously, I think you are right -- I have thought many times that if I just told people I was Jewish they would have a lot fewer "problems" "understanding" me. And NO ONE is going to say something silly like, "I could never be Jewish because I could never give up homemade whipped cream." (Ok, just teasing you but you know what I mean.) I think people could also understand it better if I said something like, "I'm boycotting Tyson Foods because of the inhumane way they treat their chickens such as ...."

I have also always just sort of thought well, I must make people uncomfortable so they must feel the need to "defend" themselves. I try not to make a big deal out of what I eat because I don't want people to feel I am attacking their lifestyles and that they have to justify what they eat or don't eat. But somehow they still do. My Mom (of course) tends to have a strange way of dealing with non-vegan situations. For example, when I first moved here my landlady was telling us about the good places to go for icecream if we went into town. I smiled and nodded and thanked her for the suggestions -- no need to launch into a spiel about how I don't eat icecream etc etc etc. My Mom points to me and says, "She doesn't eat icecream." of course making the woman feel sort of badly.

As I sit here thinking about it maybe the problem is everyone always wants to be "better" or "bigger" or "smarter" or whatever than everyone else and so we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other and trying to rationalize/justify the choices we make. If we all just focused on being our best selves and didn't focus on making ourselves look better than other people ...


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