Let me tell you a story about me.
You probably already know all of this but it just does click in your brain that for me it’s different than you. So let me start out by saying I haven’t had cows milk in 7 years. I don’t cook with it. I don’t have it in my coffee. I don’t like it and I never have. But if someone makes me something with milk in it I don’t make them feel bad or embarrassed. I eat it or drink it. My parents raised me to respect people and to education them not talk down to them. I don’t like chicken but when my mum makes me food I’ll eat it. I don’t like bacon and eggs but when my brother makes it for me because it’s his favourite I’ll eat it. I hate eating me I can’t stomach some food, how you hate tomatoes is how I hate meat. But if I go to a BBQ and the owner of the house does cook me a vegan option I don’t get upset I eat what has been cook for me and move on. I was raised in a family of 6 with parents who ran their on business we didn’t have a lot so when mum finally stopped working for the day she had to cook enough food for 6 + whatever friends where over that day. So having 2 kids that are babies and 2 picky eaters it was hard for her to get every meal perfect for everyone. So sometimes I ate things I hated but It’s not her fault.
Flash forward to when my dad broke his neck. We had no money and no jobs and I was still in high school. I ate where my mum made even of it was full of things I hate. I wasn’t raised with money I was raised with respect and a huge amount of understanding for people. We are all doing the best we can with the life we are given you don’t have any right to talk down to someone just because they are different or doing it the wrong way.
I’m 22 now I still don’t drink cows milk, I don’t have it in my coffee, my ice cream, my chocolate or cooking. I don’t eat meat, I haven’t brought or cooked meat myself at all in a year and a half I rarely had any animal products when I was living out of home for 3 years. (Ham a cheese Croissants are the only thing I would make really) but I’m not perfect and my nan taught me how to cook some awesome food that when I missed her I would make, like sausage rolls or tuna. My nan used to take me to the park and make me sun-dried tomato and tuna sandwiches that memory is one of the only things I have of her now that she’s gone. That memory is so much better than seeing her die from cancer every day. I will always have a space in my diet for that memory. I live in a small town so I rarely eat out but when I do (maybe once a month) there are no good vegan options. I’m a poor artist who can’t afford $25 for Lettuce and tomato’s so I will get the cheapest thing on the menu. NOW THAT YOU A VEGAN IS TRIGGERED BY THE LAKE OF MY EFFORT AND ALL MY EXCUSES.
This is important for you to remember. I’ve had depression in my life since I was 14 maybe longer but that’s the exact age I remember it starting, it’s never stopped it just comes in waves. I remember I was 7 years old the first time someone called me fat. I think about it every fucking day. To my family it was a joke “Brooke’s got a fat ass” to me it was fucking horrible to hear most days. So I have an eating disorder it’s pretty obvious if you have ever seen me eat. I never ate in school and when I did it was lollies because I can’t stand people watching me eat I feel like people judge me even when I know they aren’t. I skip meals frequently, I don’t eat for days longest I ever went without eating a real meal was 8 days. So when I “fuck up” and have a burger with meat in it it’s disgusting to you but it’s a fucking a win for me.
When I cook for myself it’s almost always completely vegan! Sometimes I’ll use milk chocolate though in my dessert bc vegan chocolate is expensive and not always good. I don’t use animal products. But when I cook for 8 people that shits expensive I can’t afford it so I don’t send my family broke because we are going through too much already.
You don’t know what I’ve been through, let me tell you though. I’m strong and incredible but I have flaws and a lot of them involve food for me. It’s the one think in life I control myself and to you it might look like I’m a failure of a vegan but to me it’s a miracle that I ate something today. I do my research, I read articles what documentaries, check labels I’m annoying to live with ask my old housemates 😂 I’m educating myself and everyday I’m doing better but don’t judge me when I fail help me up and give me a new recipe to try or something that helps me.
Side note: Stop acting like you know what’s going on and pay attention, if they are trying but still use excuses back off. At least start trying to understand them instead of belittling them over their failures. If someone is a ‘part time’ vegan they are still helping fight the animal industry not to the estate other vegans are but they are trying. Be patient and understanding at least they want to change compared to the rest of the world.
Side side note: If you know me you know how much I care and how hard it is for me now. It’s not an excuse it’s just a cover story sometimes. But at least I’m eating and not dead xx