I’ve finally had a minute to not be lazy and actually write a post. I mainly need to just get something off my mind here.
I’ve been Vegan for almost a month and it hasn’t been easy because not only have I gone Vegan, I realize that I have to be gluten-free too otherwise I get bloated and want to either pass out or throw up. To add that to my desire to avoid weird chemicals in food, you’d think I couldn’t eat anything. But that’s beside the point because I eat amazing food. Actually, eating Vegan isn’t hard when I’m at home with my kid.
It’s mainly when I’m around other people and we’re eating out. Don’t get me wrong I have friends who support my choice, it’s the other people who I KNOW, even if I tried to bring it up, it would be this terrible, not comfortable experience with debates and weird excuses that just shouldn’t happen. And then, awkward silences while eating said food. One time I was with someone and they finally just straight out told me that he didn’t want me to think he was a bad person.
Anyway, so I went out with a few friends yesterday who came in from out of town and our original restaurant of choice was a Mexican restaurant or Asian restaurant, which would be easy for me to choose Vegan because beans and rice. However, they were closed and we ended up going to a Peruvian place which basically offered nothing Vegan in their menu except for the sides of potatoes, fried cassava and plantain chips that came. I ended up eating some of the fish while trying to eat around everything else. And then just stuffed my face with the potatoes, drank my no straw water and cried on the inside.
I felt so guilty because I was like, “Oh yeah, all of this food is great.”
While on the inside I was like, NO! Let’s go somewhere else. I’d never eat any of this and the last time I ate at this place I wasn’t Vegan. I am a HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING for sitting here doing all of this.
I love my friends but they aren’t ever going to stop eating meat. Not these ones anyway. I felt like I just contributed to the death of animals by ordering all this food with them and watching them eat it, including my son, who honestly only eats meat when he’s around other people. Lately I’ve been trying to talk to him more about everything and have even showed him kid videos from Bite Size Vegan.
My main point is that even though I tried, I felt terrible. Why is it that I felt so pressured to not make waves? I felt like I was literally hiding a part of myself trying to conform because I wasn’t doing anything about it and was quietly trying to eat everything that wasn’t meat. The last time I saw them they knew I was trying to be Vegetarian. I just felt stressed that I was going to ruin a moment with my friends who I never get to see. All of this stemmed from insecurities going on inside me because I love my friends and want them to love me back. I don’t want them to think that I think they are horrible people because they aren’t.
I’m just the one who changed, who is different. I can’t look at food the same way EVER again. They ordered milk and I just thought of the Mommy cows who’s kids are taken from them and they are raped and impregnated over and over again.
Sometimes I find myself having conversations with people and I’m literally trying to justify their choices or understand where they are coming from while defending mine. I’m so confused!
I’ve already been through all of guilt and confusion with the no garbage thing so I know I’m on the right path. And I know I really am doing my best with everything considering I’m only a few weeks in.
I know I need support so I’ve been trying to find sources of inspiration to remind myself of why I want to be Vegan. I’ve been finding help with how to have conversations with people and basically just not go insane. Vegan Sidekick has helped me immensely this morning.
And while I sometimes find myself policing my own damn self just like this Emily in this video, I remind myself that my honest efforts and intentions are what matters. I’m definitely not chewing on bacon, because bacon anymore.
And the definition of vegan from the Vegan Society is helpful, which Emily outlines “as far as is possible and practicable..” (aka doable) because everyone’s situations and living conditions are different.
Why is it such a “weird” thing to be vegan? Why does it evoke crazy emotions and make people be mean to each other? Why does anything do anything. What is the meaning of LIFE?!
Now that I’m in this group, I get to actually see both sides and being zero waste and vegan is like this whole other world that I never even knew could exist.
Seriously, some of these conversations I read on the support groups are so judgemental.
“I just can’t believe there are zero wasters out there who aren’t vegan. GAWD. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?”
At one point I think I said… “oh hey, that was me. It took me a while to get here but I’m here, can we just be supportive?”
Then I find myself having conversations with myself that are like, “well now that I’m Vegan I could just buy this (insert whatever) thing that’s in plastic because I’m contributing even less to the destruction of the environment. Right? ”
And then I snap out of it. Because who the hell wants to make trips to the dumpster? I love not having a garbage can. And because LANDFILL.
I think what I’m ranting about is my frustration with people’s negativity and underlying hate towards each other. I don’t support animal deaths. I don’t support plastic or contributing to the destruction of the environment. I don’t support a lot of things. But I also don’t support people being judgemental and hating each other and causing fights about it.
I guess for now, I’ll just have to keep making the small steps, zero waste style and continue to work towards being a better person. And continue reading Vegan Sidekick comics so that I can just laugh at the ridiculousness rather than get sad.
15 thoughts on “Updates on Life as a Zero Waste Vegan”
Such a great post! It is difficult eating out with other people sometimes 😦 I think trying your best is what counts but it can be disheartening if you feel like nobody really cares about your lifestyle choices x
Thank you ❤
Hi! I’m not vegan, but I’m a vegetarian for over 10 years now and I try to eat dairy products and eggs minimally. Most of my friends, all of my family and my husband eat meat, and they love it and it doesn’t seem they are going to stop soon. I understand your feeling when going out to eat with other people, I don’t eat out much but when I do eat with them we go to places that serve meat and I just order what I can that’s vegetarian/vegan. It wasn’t easy for a while, I used to feel that we go out and they choose places that don’t have much options for me and why do they not care? don’t they know I don’t eat what they eat? But with time it got easier. A lot of vegans can be condescending and judgmental, and I don’t want to be like that, I don’t want my friends and family feeling awkward when they’re around me and feel that I’m judging them. I think what you should do is live the way you think should (as I’m sure you already do), people will see what you are doing, people will see what you are eating and might ask you why or not, if they’ll think your way is the right way and get inspired they will follow you footsteps, but if not it’s ok also, as long as you won’t feel that you’re doing nothing because it’s not true, you are doing more good then most people, and that’s inspiring.
Thank you for taking the time to write this. Your words and understanding help me and I appreciate your perspective. Thank you again!
There is an old saying that goes “eat shit – 50 billion flies can’t be wrong” but for humans it definitely does not apply! We’ve become such a selfish self-centered society that’s totally lazy and unimaginative. It’s so much ‘easier’ to hit the drive-thru or pizza place and we’ve forgotten the fundamentals of eating. It’s too easy to not eat right and too easy to justify that choice, and too much fun to make fun of the vegetarians and vegans. Unfortunately, most people will never understand their choices until it’s too late, and of course they’ll blame someone else when it finally happens! If only they would stop and THINK! Please don’t be so hard on yourself – don’t feel guilty for not making waste and don’t feel you have to justify your eating habits and lifestyle. They are yours and yours alone, shared and respected by some of us (too few) and not understood by most. You are who you are – trying to be the best human you can, trying to be the best Mom you can be, and trying to respect this planet and its’ creatures. That puts you far, far ahead of the rest and you don’t owe them an explanation! True friends will at least respect your lifestyle and hopefully be objective enough to at least try to understand. At least some of us do!
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement Jeff! So needed and appreciated 🙂
Dear Mailyne, you’re such an inspiration. And it breaks my heart that you’re so hard on yourself. You’re doing as much as possible to save this planet. And it’s not you who should feel guilty. It’s the others. And I found over time that some of them already do feel guilty on the inside. It’s ironic but many times they are those who judge your lifestyle and eating habits the most. The psychology of human behaviour is a peculiar thing.
When it comes to your friends, tell them how you feel about it. Those who truly love you and care about you will try to understand and will be supportive. And those who don’t… well, sometimes it’s necessery to cleanse our life of such people. Even though we consider/considered them friends. It’s sad, I know. But eventually, it’s for the best.
So, keep doing what you’re doing. You’re such a strong person. And I deeply admire how you manage to live in agreement with your values. Not many people can do that. Love, Wendy.
I woke up this morning and pulled open my browser searching for some information and I was notified of a new comment on my blog. It was yours. I really needed to read this this morning, so I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write me such kind and loving words. Even though it seems like mere text on a screen, I can feel your sincerity and how genuine your words are. I appreciate it more than you know. Thank you.
Thank you. Your comment just made me smile and made my day even better. 🙂
I think sometimes when we take on a new lifestyle choice or project we jump in and want it all right now, all or nothing,
probably we should quit beating ourselves up, just go easy, small steps, we all strive for a more simplistic life and becoming vegan shouldn’t cause us stress, not everyone will always agree with our choices and we will never all agree with theirs, all we can do is to please ourselves, day by day, just think where you will be in five years, one day at a time.
Thank you Laurie, this is a great reminder
Hi Mailyne, I came across your video on Youtube about living a zero waste lifestyle and I want to say you’re very inspiring! I love watching videos from Zero Waste Home and Eco Boost, and I’m glad that you shared your blog so I could check it out!
Hi Belinda! Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. I hope you are having a wonderful day 🙂
I just stumbled upon your blog today and I think it’s terrific! I wish I would have learned sooner than later (in life) that the choices I choose to make for myself are just that; MY choices, for MYSELF. They don’t need to be justified to anyone. Stay true to yourself, what you believe and who you are and don’t focus so much on the people who question your choices because truth be known, there are alot of people who are “curious” and who just might “see the light” because of you!
Thank you for taking the time to write and share your thoughts and kind words. I’m happy you have found the light inside yourself and are focusing on your choices and being true to yourself too ❤