There’s a pretty strong stereotype assuming all vegans will “let you know” their lifestyle choices without a prompt or second thought. While this probably isn’t true of many vegans, not only do I not fit this stereotype — I’m the complete opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I love educating those around me on the cause but… I am an introvert.
In most scenarios that involve meeting new people, someone else will always be the one to inform our company that I’m vegan. I’m extremely proud of my choices and don’t have an issue with people knowing, however, I don’t always want this to be common knowledge amongst people I don’t know. With it often becoming the main point of conversation, I’m left with a bit of a predicament; I should relish the chance to educate people on my vegan lifestyle… but I hate being the centre of attention.
When it comes to the subject of veganism, the conversations I tend to have are predominantly a case of meat eaters defending their own dietary choices. Despite being able to give justified reasons for not wanting to use or exploit animals, I don’t always want to be under attack as people try to trip me up on my dedication. People analyse my shoes, banish me to desert islands or tell me how humane murder can be and for someone like me, who struggles with confrontation, sometimes social events would be a much more enjoyable experience if no one knew.
When in a crowd, it can often feel like veganism is the easy target for some kind of comedy sketch. People see it as an opportunity to get a laugh whilst regurgitating witty one-liners about the joys of bacon or how “it’s the cows fault for being so tasty.” When an audience patiently awaits your response in order to set them up for their next hilarious anecdote, this is when I get tongue-tied and wish the ground would swallow me whole.
I wish I could be fearless and outspoken like the animal advocates I read about but the fact of the matter is, I’m not. I’ve come to realise that just because I’m not like them, that doesn’t make me any less passionate, I just needed to find other ways to make a difference. That’s why I turned to writing. For me, the pen is my weapon of choice.