Monday, August 16, 2010

Myth #1: Vegans Are Whiny and Picky And Complain About EVERYTHING

At the place I work, sometimes they'll send one employee to go out and get lunch for everyone, usually pizza.  Most of the time I don't participate because I'm perpetually broke and they usually don't have a lot of things I can eat at the places they go to get food anyway, but I really wasn't in the mood to cook dinner that night for my boyfriend and myself so I decided to order a large cheeseless pizza (loaded with green olives, mushrooms and freakin' pineapples, of course!) that I would then bring home and add my own dairy-free cheese to. While giving the girl picking up the orders my money and the list of what I wanted, I completely neglected to specify that the person making the pizza kindly clean the knife before cutting it.

When the girl got back with the food, I told her that I had forgotten to specify that one instruction, but that I didn't really think it was that big of a deal. She told me not to worry because when she got to my order she told the people at the store, and I quote, "For the love of God, don't screw this up because they're VEGAN*!" (*Insert shock and horror here.) I told her, jokingly (but kinda half serious) that she really shouldn't have told them that because now they've probably squeezed bacon juice all over it just to spite me.(The pizza turned out to be fine, by the way.)

The problem I have with this situation is that the word "vegan" is automatically associated with "cranky, picky, whiny person who will complain about every little detail and make your job harder so you better get it right the first time or else it will be sheer HELL for you!" The requests I made for my food are no different than someone who might have an allergy, yet those people are not granted the same associations. For people with food allergies, it's usually, "Oh, that poor person, I better get this right so they don't get sick," even though eating a pizza covered in bacon juice could potentially make me sick as well, though they tend to see that situation more as my fault because it was my choice to be vegan. Same goes for people who simply don't like the taste of certain foods. Honestly, I've seen someone who hated onions complain WAY more and cause much more of a scene because they put onions on his pizza and he absolutely HATES onions. Because consumption of animal products has become so ingrained in our societal identity it's more common to see vegans/vegetarians relegated to "other" (as in "not one of us") even though, truthfully, EVERYONE is picky about the foods they eat.

Honestly, I've stopped telling most people I'm vegan when ordering food, unless they ask me about it first, because I know I'll automatically be associated with that stereotype and be instantly resented for it even if my veganism never actually causes any problem or a single second of extra work for the person preparing it. Most of the time you end up getting some unwarranted cliche comment about it from whoever you're talking to anyway, so it's just not worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey. Nice to see another new vegan out there. I like your sense of humor. Check out my blog if you want. I like to put up pics of what I'm eating.