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I’m vegan just cuz.

February 6, 2011

Why do things always sound better in my head? I have great ideas, genius even, but as soon as I start to string words together to convey them to others, I just sound like a blithering fool. Granted, language is an imperfect tool we have to work with to communicate our thoughts to others, but it is the best we’ve got, so we should try to find ways to master it. For me, it’s sometimes like trying to cut bread with a spoon.

I know why I’m vegan and I’m pretty confident that I’ve made the right decision, but as soon as I have to defend or explain it to others, I’m at somewhat of a loss. It’s not that I don’t know how to enumerate my many reasons for being vegan, it’s that there are way too many layers of thought to deal with which get in the way of my explanation:

  • What is the motive behind them even asking?
  • Am I being judged?
  • Do I sound self-righteous?
  • Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about?
  • Is my voice sound annoying or annoyed?
  • Should I smile or look serious?
  • Which vegan reason would they connect to best?
  • Have I said enough?

Once I’ve answered all these questions, I usually realise I’ve sacrificed content and my response timing is all off. The tepid replies I get likely confirm my worst fears: once again, I am unsuccessful at convincing my interlocutor that I know anything about veganism (or the environment, animal welfare, human health, food…). Perhaps I’m being my worst critic. I mean, who is to say that my answer doesn’t resonate with them or that I didn’t strike a cord deep in their tortured omnivorous soul? But all I’ve got to work with are my own insecurities and what they give me face value, which is pittance. So really, you can’t blame me for my negativity.

When I’m alone I don’t need to defend or explain myself to anyone. Not sure if self-removal from society is the solution to my quest for happiness, but it may have some merit in small doses. I may want to start seeking my own personal nirvana in my quiet alone time. Perhaps we all need some time alone to meditate, contemplate, and most importantly, find understanding from within (since so often it is absent from without).

One Comment leave one →
  1. Erin permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:40 pm

    I sent away for a bunch of “why vegan?” brochures with the intention of keeping some with me at all times to hand out to inquiring minds. Best intentions – and still a decent idea I think – i.e. “I’m not great at articulating my reasons but they are captured pretty well in this pamphlet if you’re interested in reading it.” But of course they mostly sit collecting dust in my closet.

    Have you ever read “Living Among Meat Eaters” by Carol Adams (who also wrote the sexual politics of meat). It’s a good read and may offer some solace to the frustrated and beleaguered mind.

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