Hey Wendy, it’s been a while; want to go to lunch with me today?
Okay Delia, let’s go to Vinnie’s for pizza.
Wait, I thought you were vegan, they don’t have anything vegan at Vinnie’s.
Oh I quit that last month, I just didn’t have what it takes to stick with it, too much pressure from everyone to “get back to normal.” I was always the odd one out, not eating this, rejecting that, being rude to cooks; always felt weird and like everyone was thinking things about me. I went to a crystal party in April and they had all this fancy snack food set out and all I could eat was some chips and salsa and some drinks. Everyone else was free to eat whatever. I felt so…odd.
But I thought you were vegan not only for your health but because you love animals. Was that not true?
Yes I love animals, but some are just brought into the world as food or whatever people want to use them for; it’s just the way things are. My not eating or using them won’t stop it. Most everyone else is still doing it.
What, are you going to start wearing fur too? Are all those ethics just out the window?
NO, of course I won’t wear fur, or eat veal; I do at least draw a line somewhere, whenever it doesn’t interrupt my comfort anyways. It’s just that as a vegan, the treatment I got from normal people made me always feel like this little boy back in second grade who had all the kids gang up on him and blamed him for something he didn’t do…I’ll never forget his face. I know it sounds weak, but that’s how people made me feel for being vegan.
But you always told me that by your not eating animals you were part of the solution, not the problem, that it was for your soul, for your karma that you were doing it, just as much as for the animals. You said that the more vegans there were, the closer they were to being a majority and making the world a far better place. And, I’ve actually gotten to where I’m mostly vegan now because of things I learned from you, and now you’ve done a 180 and you’re actually back to doing what you said was so horrible?
I know. I don’t know if I was lying more back then, to everyone else, or if I’m lying more now, to myself; but whatever the case, it’s just easier for me to go along and get along, to no longer be the vegan freak that everyone thinks they either have to walk on eggshells around or who they feel free to openly ridicule. I can’t hang out only at vegan potlucks for the rest of my life. I just didn’t have the backbone to rise above all that social pressure and awkwardness, so I gave up on my morals to fit back in with the majority. It’s a huge relief in a way, but also a huge disappointment in myself. And, there’s a big load of guilt about the animals, which I try to cover up by saying I had terrible health problems as a vegan so that I was forced to go back to meat, eggs and dairy, to save my life.
But you were so healthy for all those years, what was it, seven? I never noticed you having any sort of health problems, except for that one time when you were out with the flu. And I’m feeling so much better now after a couple of months of being nearly vegan. So what’s up with the health problems?
Eight years. I didn’t really have any problems, I felt great too; but I listened to all the people telling vegans how they were looking terrible, missing out on all these nutrients, going to lose their teeth, go blind, lose their hair, have their brains dissolve, go insane, get cancer, diabetes, all that. It all stressed me out enough that I started imagining that every little thing was from lack of animal foods. Like once I had a fingernail break off and I panicked, even though I used to have nails break off before I ever quit eating animals. And I’d forget the name of someone I’d just met and thought, uh oh, there goes my brain. Or when I had bad PMS…those sort of things. I kind of half knew I was full of crap, same as now, but I just can’t face being the odd one out again. Not yet anyways. Life’s just easier now. As long as I don’t let my conscience butt in and fill me with shame.
Well I’m fine with being the odd one out, knowing what I know now; am only struggling with giving up the little bit of cheese I might still eat. Everything else I eat is vegan and I’m loving it. If I could just find a vegan cheese that I like, and it wasn’t too expensive. They’re either gross or if good they cost an arm and a leg! It’s just so strange that I used to be questioning you about all this and now here we are just about totally reversed!
Well now you’ve gone and made me feel guilty, but I needed that. In the back of my mind I’m always troubled by what I’m doing now. My way of blocking that out is to bask in the company of other ex-vegans on the internet and hear their tales of malnutrition horror. Which, if their truth is anything like mine, means they’re a bunch of liars. But then I wonder, how could they ALL be lying. Then I realize that I’m totally capable of the same if I wanted to go all out like they do. It’s all just so… unseemly. I do think about coming back to vegan, but then the huge disappointment and ridicule and dire warnings that’ll be dumped on me are just too much to bear. Wish I was a stronger person. I miss my old self.
She’s still in there, Wendy, you just have to let her back in the driver’s seat. You can’t let other people drown out your conscience. Anyhow, why don’t we go to the Green Thumb for lunch later; one lunch without animal products won’t do you in, will it?
Haha, I guess I’ll survive until dinner after that poisonous, anti-nutrient filled, totally sucky, sugar loaded lunch suited only for…no one. It’ll be rough, but nowhere near as rough as the treatment I’ll get if friends and family find out about it.
Yes, actually it does, Delia. Meet you at twelve in the lobby!
Well, was that fictional little discussion heavy-handed and trite enough for you? If so, glad it met your expectations, hah. I just wanted to deal in my corny way with what I truly think is the Number One reason behind all this “ex-vegan” nonsense going on these days. Aside from the Wendys of the world, the more flaky trendies who hop on this bandwagon on a whim, the more whiny loudmouthed quitters there will be joining these vegan-bashing forums full of misinformation.
Please don’t let yourself be influenced by such people going through a really lowdown phase in their lives. Always listen to your better self.
End of sermon. 😌
[Uncredited images courtesy of pixabay.com]