You know that I am a proud, happy vegan. I am always the first one to put a positive spin on vegan living because I am so overflowing with enthusiasm for it. Swimming against the current does have its annoyances, though. Not usually anything major but just petty things that leave you feeling frazzled or irritated. Of course I wouldn’t change who I am for anything in the world because I would rather be misunderstood any day than live in conflict with my values. We all need a chance to vent sometimes, though. Specifically, I like to publicly vent about once a year and then I am over it and can go back to being the happy tra-la-la vegan I am again. And with that, I present Another Disgruntled Vegan Alphabet.
A is for Anonymous. Oh, Anonymous, how you give me pause with your pithy comments like “You need to just eat a stake!!” or “veganz kill plantz” to any article that addresses cruelty to animals. Thank you, Anonymous, for your endlessly well-reasoned, penetrating insights.
B is for Bacon. Bacon makes everything better. Bacon amuses. Bacon enthralls. Bacon makes your eyes glaze over with lust. Bacon-wrapped bacon with whipped bacon dip on the side served on a bed of bacon. Sentient creatures lived lives of misery and died horrific deaths to become edible punchlines. Ha. Bacon. Hilarious.
C is for Complicated, as in, “Hi, I’d like to order the Tofurky sandwich without the mayo. Unless you have Vegenaise. What? It’s soy mayonnaise. No? That’s okay. Also is your soy cheese vegan? Because sometimes it has casein in it. Casein. It’s a milk protein. I don’t know why they put casein in soy cheese. Yes, it’s stupid.”
D is for Dinner with the extended family. As in: “I looked at the menu at the crab house, and you can get the pasta without sauce or you can get the plain baked potato. They also have crackers. So you should be able to eat there perfectly fine.”
E is for arrive Early to the vegan potluck or all you’ll get to eat is hummus. Lots and lots of hummus.
F is for Flippant. You don’t mean to be but sometimes you just can’t help it.
G is for Ginnifer Goodwin and every other flaky celebrity who tries on the vegan lifestyle and then discards it like it’s last year’s fashion because it no longer holds their attention. Plus, laughing about enjoying delicious, delicious bacon a few months after making heartfelt videos on behalf of farmed animals is really showing some depth of conviction there.
H is for “Hello? I just picked up my order a few minutes ago and I asked for the pad Thai with tofu without eggs or chicken. It has no tofu but both eggs and chicken.”
I is for Intolerance. As in you bring a vegan dish to the office party, somebody says, “Oh, that looks good. Who brought it?” You say, all excited, “I did! It’s vegan manicotti.” The person says, “Oh,” turns pale, and quickly backs away from your dish like it suddenly spouted yellow eyeballs and a tail. Yes, vegan food is scary and dangerous.
J is for the “’Just joking!’ Defense,” which means that the people who say it can say whatever convoluted, illogical nonsense about veganism they want if they just follow it up with those two simple words. Instant immunity! It also means that they can imply that you have no sense of humor when you are simply expecting someone to make sense.
K is for the Knee-slappingly hilarious jab your uncle makes every year when he sees the pumpkin pie you brought for Thanksgiving. “What did you make it out of? Twigs and tree bark?” And grass. You made it out of twigs, tree bark, and grass.
L is for Late to the Thanksgiving dinner means you’ll be seated next to him again.
M is for the Meat-of-the-Month club catalogue from a previous tenant that still gets delivered to your apartment every month despite doing everything conceivable to get off the list.
N is for “No, Mom, I didn’t see PETA stripping on the news again. What does this have to do with me, anyway?!”
P is for the Paranormal activity that leaves your cupboard void of dark chocolate when you most need it.
Q is for the Quaint little scarf you found at the neighborhood boutique, but, damn it, it’s a wool blend.
R is for “Right: You think that plants feel pain the same as animals. Even without a central nervous system? Even though they evolved without an apparent ability to escape predation? You think that pulling corn out of the ground is similar to separating baby animals from their mothers, caging them and slaughtering them? And vegans are the unrealistic ones? Really?”
S is for Stunt-eaters in the “snout-to-tail” movement because objectifying animals to the point where they are just isolated organs, viscera and parts to consume is so bad-ass and progressive.
T is for Thank you, I’ll pass.
U is for Unless you can find a place to hide your favorite skillet, your roommate will continue to cook meat in it. Get used to storing it under your bed.
V is for the Very, very horrible boiled vegetable plate you got at your cousin’s wedding that looked so terrible that you got looks of sheer pity from complete strangers.
W is for Whey, as in does this product really need to exist outside of Little Miss Muffet’s poem and why must it muck up something that looks perfectly good otherwise?
X is for if you were Xena, Warrior Princess, maybe people would just listen to you.
Y is for “You guys want to eat ‘family style’ when I can only eat one dish and then you want to split the check? So I am supposed to not eat and also subsidize your animal products? Somehow this seems to be violating the basic tenants of fairness.”
Z is for Zero: the number of original arguments you have heard against veganism in the last five years despite the fact that the person saying it always thinks that it is clever and thoughtful.
I'm over it already. See you next year!
I'm over it already. See you next year!