Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Talking Vegan To Strangers

One of the things that Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, is that she makes sure that the topic switches to veganism during her conversations with strangers.
That sounds wonderful and everything, but I have this severe brain injury and . . .

At first, it seems like a lot of pressure to perform for 'the vegan cause'. You already know that my speaking skills are not always accessible to me, but I'm finding myself doing the very same thing. Despite my occassional lack of vocal finesse.

For example, this Fall while at the dentist, I asked the dental hygienist, if she could sometimes identify what she was cleaning out of people's teeth. She said, for sure she could. Especially meat, and popcorn kernels. Perfect!! She brought up meat!!! 
I told her that she shouldn't find any animal carcasses in my teeth. She asked if I was vegetarian, I told her that I'm vegan, and we talked nutrition for awhile. It was cool!

Not a lot of days later, I was taking a cab home from Wascana Rehab, and it came up again! The driver asked what I did last night and I began to tell him about watching
Forks Over Knives. I explained how the film was about the health benefits of eating only plants. I told him I was vegan. I had to explain the differences between vegetarians and vegans, but it was awesome!
I also like to make it perfectly clear to the wait staff at restaurants that I'm vegan. I always smile big when I tell them. I don't want to be one of those vegans, all mad, and angst-y.

When at Subway, and they ask what type of cheese I'd like, I smile and reply, "no, I'm vegan."
Once they find out I'm vegan, they sometimes tell me that they're 'only vegetarian' , I usually reply with, "Great! You're halfway there!" Big smile.

It's really cool to see that so many people actually want to talk about veganism. I sometimes get bummed out when it seems like no one wants to know the truth. It does get discouraging when people throw up their  hands and say, "I don't want to know!" But, as I was saying, I've been pleasantly surprised by the interest that many have shown! 
When people ask if being vegan is hard, I tell them honestly, "It was tricky to start, because it can seem like animals are in everything, but once I learned what to look for and got my new eating habits down, it's been delicious and simple."
Planting seeds!

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