Dare to be Different

I was reminded recently that when you choose to live vegan, you become a minority. You’re “different”. In the beginning, this may feel uncomfortable. Over time, these feelings subside. They may never go away entirely, but you may come to love being vegan anyway.

I recall, during my first year as a vegan, a conversation I had with a couple of friends.

One said, “When I was growing up, I did everything possible to NOT be different.”

“You too?” I said.

Switching to a vegetarian diet when I was 17 was like a mini “coming out of the closet” for me. I have since met a few brave souls who decisively chose a vegan lifestyle in their teens as soon as they learned about the cruelty animals face in our society. I was too much of a wimp to “go all the way” at that young age. I admire these folks and aspire to be like them — brave — but I was certainly not like them when I was 17. I hemmed and hawed for years about being vegan until I was strong enough to change. Once I set my mind to it, I didn’t look back.

And yet, I still don’t like to be different. Recently my fiancé and I invited his family to celebrate Christmas at our house. After much back and forth with emails and phone calls, they declined our invitation. Food was one of the reasons. They were not comfortable going meat- and dairy-free for a few meals. We feed our guests well and are confident that we can satisfy the most passionate carnivores. We were excited and up for the challenge — discussing recipes and menu ideas months in advance. But once the final email was sent and it was official they weren’t coming, I spewed in frustration as I stomped my feet, “I hate being different”.

But, I love being vegan. I wouldn’t choose any other path. Different or not, it’s the way I want to live. Dare to be different, dare to be yourself.

Inspiration for This Post

Making Vegan Easy Tip #236: I was reminded this morning that when you choose to live vegan, you become a minority. You will be considered “different” from the norm. In the beginning, this may feel uncomfortable. Over time, these feelings will subside. You may even come to love being vegan as much as I do!

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