Friday, December 4, 2009
My First Dirty Look
Last night at a bar while looking for my friend I was thrust into a brief conversation with a couple of women merely by proximity in a very crowded place.
During the Christmas Season the bars in NYC are packed, and nothing sticks out more than a 6'4" 275 lb guy drinking a pint of seltzer water through a straw! It was noticed and I was queried by this woman. Not really in the mood for a full conversation as I scanned the room for my friend, I briefly noted that I was off the sauce. Incredulous, this woman pressed on. "It's part of my diet, and I am also going vegan." Wow! The look on her face was pity, shock, and scorn. A brief comment made minutes earlier led me to believe that her look of stifled disgust was coming from a political angle. Before the question about leather belt and shoes came tumbling out I explained that my veganism is for dietary purposes only.
You do not find the anti-veganism from a political bent in NYC too often, but it is there. Trust me, I was one of them. A few weeks ago I met up with a very old dear friend of mine who spent the better part of his career in politics, including an impressive stint in the West Wing. He too grilled me on the political ramifications of this new vegan lifestyle. Lastly, another great friend called me a "communist" because of my new dietary choice and threatened an intervention.
Veganism is such a new element in my life that I am taking nothing I hear from others as gospel. I have numerous books that I am scouring to become better informed on veganism as a diet (and the myriad of other books on dieting that contradict veganism, and themselves) so I am more educated on what I am doing and why. Additionally, I am also investigating the most un-biased sources of information on the social and environmental impact of veganism. Currently, the cacophony of opinions on environmental issues I hear fall somewhere between baby seal clubbers, and hemp-clothes wearing construction site arsonists. I've got some learnin' to do.