After my first blog post, I began to realize that even though some vegans can be over-the-top martyrs that really frustrate me, some of my reactions were adding fuel to the fire. I came to the horrible realization that I was showing the behavior and reactions of a Republican that opposes health care for all. I was shocked! I’m opened-minded and liberal. How could I be a reactionary asshole?
I realized that change sucks. It’s almost a style of mourning - I feel like I am going through the stages of grief. I am not, of course, but in a way I am. Sad that I can’t eat drink whatever I want and still bounce back the next day feeling fine. I guess age is the change that I hate. To quote Ben Folds, “We’re still fighting.” It’s true.
I feel like one of the reasons that I hated my friends veganism was that he was changing. This is not to say that his tactics did not piss me off – they did - but it is safe to say that my resistance to change played a part in my anger. Change has been part of my life the last five years. I got married, bought a house, got two dogs. I have also come to the realization that some things are not in my control and that I need help to get through the day and that’s ok. I am gaining my confidence with writing (hence this blog) and the confidence to say that I am not a moron. Ok, so maybe that was an overshare, but it is an important part of why I am writing this blog and putting myself out there.
My increasing confidence in writing also has something to do with my changing thoughts on veganism. When I started thinking about veganism more, it was because of my friends and my wife. I have always had this self-righteous attitude of “I’m better because I am an omnivore that cooks kick-ass vegan comfort food. I am more enlightened than my other friends.” That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I was an awesome vegan cook because I respect and love my wife and I changed because I was living with her. It was no different than one of my other best friends becoming a good cook for his wife, when before he met her he thought old box wine, peanuts, and chicken was a good dinner idea.
My “enlightment” was also far from the truth because I hated tofu because of the texture, and mock dock because it seemed slimy. I loved the adoration and the appreciation that I got from my wife for making it but I hated to eat it. That really changed for me this last Thanksgiving. My dad, who loves my wife but hates her diet, said, “I just hate the texture of tofu” - and then went on to talk at length about his love for liver and onions. I thought to myself, “If I can put cow liver in my mouth or whatever else that comes from an animal in my mouth, why not tofu?” So I started eating more tofu and started letting myself enjoy it. To the point now when friends make vegan stuff for my wife I take some of the vegan “meat” and some of the animal meat. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. It also made me think about why people get so defensive about trying new things.
For me, veganism has nothing to do with the right or wrong. It’s just change and in a brutally honest self-assessment, I have to admit I hate change. That is one of the major reasons why vegans and animal rights activists piss me off. It has nothing to do with the persuasiveness of moral argument; for me, it’s the threat of change. I think it’s change for vegans too - they are just frustrated that it’s not happening fast enough for them and it’s not their style of change. The reality is that in the last forty years our society’s thought on food has changed drastically. In the last ten years veganism has turned from a fringe diet thing to an option that is now showing up in more and more restaurants every day. I wish vegans could feel like they could recognize this progress without giving away the store.
Anyway, the bottom line: change SUCKS!