Occasionally I like to have guest bloggers, it’s interesting to get a different perspective. So I’ve teamed up with Jade the Notts Foodie http://www.nottsfoodie.com. She is a Nottingham based food lover and critic who is dedicated and passionate about trying as many new foods and experiences as possible.
A few weeks ago I did a guest blog on her site about the great vegan food at Baresca http://www.nottsfoodie.com/baresca-vegan-review/
Its now her turn ………..
Veganism from an omnivores perspective Guest blog – by local food blogger Notts Foodie
“I’m a vegan” the three words that can put dread into many a carnivore. Up until a few years ago those words would have me rolling my eyes and searching for a different conversation. It was only when I met my colleague, a vegan, who educated me and broke down some assumptions I’d made.
The issue lies, I believe, with the media’s portrayal of vegans. With almost 600,000 people within the UK choosing the lifestyle (that’s more than the population of Nottingham and Derby combined) it’s likely that we’ve all met one or two, whether you were aware of them is a different question. It seems that people only tend to remember the vegans who are vocal, passionate or portrayed in a bad light. These vegans are the ones I’d previously only been aware of and are the reason for the discriminating mind set I’ve worked hard to shift.
Before I go any further I want to point out that this isn’t a blog about name calling it’s merely my experiences of veganism as a fully-fledged carnivore and how, with the help of education and understanding, I’ve come to admire that way of life.
When I met my colleague I didn’t have a clue what type of foods vegans eat, I wouldn’t know what to feed one, whether I should be cautious about showing her the pictures on my food blog or whether I should feel guilty that I’m not offering her a cup of tea. After several months of working together I started to ask those stupid questions to try and get a better understanding and stop feeling guilty for my own lifestyle choices. I found out at this point that she didn’t like cruelty to any animal, she used to eat meat, used to be a pescetarian which progressed to vegetarian and then eventually veganism, she also wasn’t vocal about it as she saw it as her choice. I liked this and I loved the fact that she had no intention of trying to make me a vegan.
Roll forward three years and I now have an idea about what to feed her if she came around for tea, that Oreos are an easy biscuit choice, dark chocolate is vegan (this blew my mind!) and that you can be unhealthy. I’ve also come to realise that there will always be people who are ignorant and who have no intention to cater for them. This annoys me now. I’m not talking about restaurants I’m talking about things like BBQ settings, work functions where dietary requirements are ignored or being given vegetables (and then offered ice cream to apologise!)
As a carnivore I’m glad that I’ve had a chance to ask stupid questions in an informal setting without the worry of being patronising or being converted. Some of the stupid questions I’ve asked and genuinely want to know the answers to are below – sorry in advance.
- What do you eat?
- If I gave you a million pounds would you eat this?
- Can you go out to eat in restaurants?
- What’s the issue with honey?
- Don’t you like the taste of meat?
If you’re reading this as a meat eater but have that feeling or instant thought of “eurgh vegans” then I ask you to go away and find one that will help you understand their life. My colleague is great as she is aware that I am blissfully ignorant in terms of animal cruelty and I don’t want to know. I want to be in my own bubble and she accepts that, just as I accept that she’s been brave enough to burst her own bubble. Just make sure that you make clear your intentions and why you’re looking to know more, it’s not to be converted and it’s not to find ammunition it’s purely education. You never know, one day vegans may rule the world.