The fourth Carnival Of Empty Cages is about to hit us and I thought I’d contribute to this one.
A few months ago now, I moved into a new flat. I had long given up finding a vegan flat, and eventually realised I’d probably have to go back on my promise to myself that I wouldn’t live with meat-eaters. That horrible smell of burning flesh that I thought I’d never have to live with again? If I wanted to have somewhere to live, I figured I’d probably have to deal with it. So, I went to visit a flat that seemed to have everything else going for it – big backyard, nice flatmates with good taste in music, walking distance from most places I’d want to go. It was great – and then the discussion turned to food, and my heart sunk:
“We all cook together, is that going to be alright with you?”
Then, just as I began to respond that I was vegan and thus wouldn’t be able to buy and cook food together with them, one of them added:
“Oh, and we’re vegetarian, I hope you don’t mind.”
Brilliant! I told them I was vegan, and they came out with even better news:
“That’s sweet, we hardly ever drink cows milk anyway, we all prefer soy. I reckon we could cook vegan real easily.”
And so it came to pass – my flat isn’t fully vegan, they do add cheese to their meals sometimes (after dishing up my portion), but by and large its pretty easy, and they’re really good about it – in fact, when friends came over for dessert one night and bought a non-vegan cake with them, one of my flatmates baked a vegan cake just so I wouldn’t go without!
I could almost get used to this…and, it seems, I have. Thinking back over the last few weeks, I can think of a number of occasions where I have declined invitations – to friends houses for dinner, to parties and other things, simply because I don’t want to put up with being around burnt flesh (and to a lesser extent other animal extracts). I appear to have put myself into a self-imposed vegan exile, away from my non-vegan friends and away from situations where I know I’ll find myself having to say
“No thanks, I don’t eat meet/cheese”
It’s not that I don’t feel confident in my own reasons for being vegan – when I feel the need to, I can talk for long periods of time about them. It’s simply that, for the most part, I can’t be bothered, and unfortunately, most people don’t get the hint when you wear “I love tofu” badges. There’s only so many times you can repeat something before it begins to lose all meaning.
So, how to get around this? Well, I’ve only just realised I’m doing it, and, to be honest, at this stage I’m not sure it’s even a bad thing – I definately need more time to myself, and if this gives me an excuse to get it, I’m gonna keep making the most of it. But I’ll throw the question out there – have any vegan readers of this blog encountered something similar?