Coming out of the closet…

September 26, 2008

I’ve been procrastinating with telling my conservative parents that I am now a vegan. It’s absurd that I feel like I should have to hide it, but after my conversation with my mother last night, I realize my fears were justified. I received alot of comments like – What will you eat? Vegans, aren’t they those extreme animal activists? That can’t be healthy! What about the holidays? Are you sure you want to go this route? Blah, blah, blah. I really thought that maybe it was all in my head, that I was imagining that my mother was going to be almost angry about it. I’m a 33 year old woman and last night I felt like I was 12 and getting a lecture. I really want to be the person that stands up for what she believes in and says “YES! I am a vegan and this is why….” I took the health route, yes, I am a gutless vegan. I didn’t want to seem like the left wing, extremist, wackjob that my parents think all vegans are. Why is it so hard? How the media portrays animal rights advocates and stupid stunts like what PETA just pulled with this Ben & Jerry’s breastmilk ice cream BS, is part of the reason we have such a hard time. The animal rights movement deserves serious and mature people to fight for and represent the cause. It really irritates me. PETA really just perpetuates the stereo-type that we’re all “out there”, as my father would put it, and we’re really not. We’re normal people. We’re your neighbors, your daughters, your friends, the people you pass by on the street. We’re just everyday people. Of course, there are wackjobs out there, but vegans and animal rights advocates hardly have the monoply on that.


3 Responses to “Coming out of the closet…”

  1. Sara Says:

    I hear ya…I took the health route at first too – sometimes I still do depending on who I’m talking to. Even just shy of 4 years after leaving the dark side, I will still hesitate to ruffle the feathers of my parents and/or family. My sister’s (also vegan) always better at arguing political points, and I’m better at arguing humanity points – so together we’re a pretty formidable force. The parents are becoming more informed themselves – mostly Dad – which makes it easier to have an intelligent conversation with them about the animal rights issues instead of it being a fight about whose right. Eventually, you’ll get tired of softening your political statement of murder being wrong regardless of the victim’s species, and you’ll start speaking your mind. There are some extremely good reasons healthwise for going vegan (and my aunt and uncle went vegan overnight for health reasons once his doctor said, and this shocked me, “go vegan or die.” i was totally taken aback that a doc would say that). But for most vegans, it always comes back to the animal rights issues (even if it doesn’t start that way). And that’s a very important statement that shouldn’t be belittled or down-played simply because of the audience with whom we’re engaging. Of course, it took me 2.5 years to figure that you’ve got time! 🙂

  2. Kiersten Says:

    Good for you for telling your parents about being a vegan. You have no reason to hide it, you should be proud that you’re taking such a bold step. Don’t worry about what your parents (or anyone else for that matter) think about your veganism. It took my family some time to get used to the idea too, but now they are very supportive. I agree with you about the PETA thing. It seems like they forgot what they’re really fighting for and are too busy trying to get attention from the media that their name has become a big joke.

  3. Aw, that sucks that they gave you such a hard time. Yeah, PETA is the cause of a lot of misconceptions about veg*nism. I personally can’t stand their sexist, racist ranting, however, I AM a proud leftwing, extremist, wackjob! 🙂

    Good luck on future “coming out” experiences…

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