Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Being Vegan

I am sorry I have neglected this blog for the last few months, but today something happened that woke me up and made me realize what my priorities are, or at least what I would like them to be anyway.  Let me explain:

It all began in Sept. 2007 when I decided to do a 30 day raw  vegan cleanse after reading about the benefits.  I jumped in head first and began the journey that eventually changed my life and my entire outlook on things.   I don't remember having any of the withdrawals that I have read about, but I may have and just not realized what they were. After about a week, I began to feel really good physically.   At that time I had not even considered becoming vegan for life, not until my son, who has been vegan for about 8 years now, asked me if I was going to go back to eating meat and dairy.  " I don't know.  I haven't given it much thought"   He told me that if I did it would probably just contradict everything that I had accomplished during my 30 day raw journey.  OK, so I decided to take it one day at a time.   Over 5 years later, here I am still vegan and still feeling great.  But lets not dwell on the last 5 years just yet, let's get to the present.

When I got to work this morning, I opened my inbox and I saw an email from a customer, no subject, no message body; but there was an attachment.   I open the attachment to find a picture of said customer standing beside a beautiful 8 point buck that had been shot, eviscerated, and hung from a tree. The buck's eyes wide open staring back at me.  In those eyes, I could see the place where the soul of that beautiful animal had once been. In my mind I could see the carefree creature out for his morning graze, not knowing it would be his last.  I sat at my desk for several minutes with tears in my eyes and partially blamed myself for the email that had landed in my inbox.  Why blame my self you might ask?  Well partially because I don't want to offend anyone, partially because I don't want to seem overbearing and preachy.  Even though this customer and I have had many conversations over the last 5 years, I never once told him or many other customers that I am vegan and that I oppose of hunting or any other form of animal cruelty.   There are some that know of my lifestyle, but I know they are the ones that will understand and won't come back with some wisecrack.  I guess you could say I am choosy about which customers I tell about my lifestyle.  Sometimes it is just easier to let it go that to get into the whys and what fors.  I listen to them tell about their hunting and fishing trips, or the steaks they cooked on the grill over the weekend.  I hear about the luaus and the pigs on the spit, the fish in their freezers and the jerky they make, without telling them that I am against it all. The ones that I take to lunch or dinner never notice that the plates I order don't have meat,  or that I only pretend to take something from the shared appetizer platter that contains chicken tenders, wings and cheese sticks. They never noticed the one time when clients were on town and wanted to go to a local steakhouse that I sat there and pretended to eat the steak that was put in front of me, cutting it into small pieces and pushing it around on my plate while I ate only the potato and bread that was next to it. They are the customer, and I am not going to tell them that I don't want to go to that "wonderful restaurant they have been told about" because I don't eat that kind of food.  They don't know that their gifts of sausage and cheese are given out to co-workers because I just say "thank you" and never tell them that I don't eat it.

My co-workers know I am vegan, some of them taking it very seriously, and others not really getting it at all.   I have to sit and listen to their conversations daily about the meat they eat, how they cooked it and how wonderful it tasted.   Their next sentence might be how much blood pressure medication they are on.  "I know the cure for that", I want to say, but I never do.

I really love the company that I work for, and I know that they appreciate what I do.  I have one boss that actually brought me an energy bar because it was marked 'vegan' on the front of the wrapper.  He knows what veganism means to me.  Others think it is really no big deal if I were to "eat some meat just this one time".  Nope, it doesn't work that way.

I love the work that I do, but it is becoming less enjoyable because I feel I can't be completely myself in order to keep the customer happy.   It is my job to listen to them, to pretend to like what they tell me while inside I cringe at what I am hearing.

So this is the reason I vow to keep up my blog in hopes that  it will provide me the way to make a living involving what I am truly passionate about- my vegan lifestyle.