Have you ever seen the light in someone’s eyes just turn off after you’ve told them that you are vegan? It’s like you were interesting and funny until you revealed that you don’t like to exploit your fellow animals.
I realized how little people around me loved me when I changed my habits. I went from being kind of interesting and entertaining to being judged simply for refusing to eat a cake someone baked. No joke, someone got angry at me because I didn’t want to eat their non-vegan cake.
And it’s not even that you only want to talk about veganism and animal rights. You actually don’t, because you are a normal human who has plenty of other interests but somehow you always end up talking about animals and how (im)moral it is to eat them. But they bring it up, not you.
When people only see you as a vegan you are not a person anymore.
When people only see you as a vegan you stop having a personality.
You are suddenly radical, rude, preachy, angry, loud, depressed… all the things that you were before about other things that are wrong with the world but because now you are challenging their ideas with how you choose to live, now you are everything but a person they always knew.
When people only see you as a vegan your other opinions don’t matter, because they assume it all stems from how vegan you are.
Vegan, vegan, vegan.
It’s such a short word that carries so much weight for other people. You are never judged for being open, kind, and understanding or compassionate, but now that this V word packs all these traits together, you are the ugliest person ever. You are a villain.
But I know we are individual humans who have many things in our hearts. We may be super into music or movies, we may write poems or short stories, or we can rock climb and swim or volunteer with the homeless.
We are more than just vegans.
When people only see you as a vegan, they don’t see what I see. Maybe it’s because I am vegan, too, and I know that people look at my blog and think it’s the only thing that represents me, or maybe it’s because I have learnt that people are more than just their jobs, hobbies or careers.
We have so much to offer and so many different topics to talk about. Veganism is a beautiful thing and I love this lifestyle I created, but it doesn’t define me (I wrote about that here). It doesn’t define you either.
The next time someone you thought liked you or you just met someone and you had chemistry, but they back away when they find out you are vegan, just remember that there is someone who will see you for who you are.
There is someone who will know that there is so much more to you. Someone who will talk to you about life and aliens and fears and necrophilia – erm, or something else that you are secretly interested in.
There isn’t just someone, there are many of them. I promise.
If you like what I write, please follow me on Pinterest and Twitter to keep up with new posts, okay? Or just follow me on Instagram where I post daily tips and tons of photos of animals I share my life with. Your choice.