(veg*n=term used to refer to both vegetarians and vegans)
I started reading The Yarn Harlot’s latest book today, and her essay about things non-knitters say to knitters really got me inspired. Now, I do get some really annoying questions as a knitter, but most of the time it’s just someone complimenting my work (which, obviously, is always nice). The more difficult and/or interesting conversations concern vegetarianism or veganism.
Most people that I communicate with on a daily or weekly basis know that I used to be a semi-vegetarian (i.e. I ate fish) and went nearly-vegan in last January (the “nearly” comes from the fact that I still use wool that I had purchased before that). Obviously it’s not the first thing I’d mention in a job interview or when talking to my thesis advisor, but it’s something that I am proud of and therefore do not hide it. This means that I do occasionally have to Explain Things.
1. The One Question Not To Ask
Q: You still eat chicken, right?
A: No. (This question makes no sense for either a pesco-vegetarian or a vegan, since last time I checked, chicken=not fish/not vegetable. Also, if you ask this when I’m drunk, I cannot guarantee that I won’t start citing Foer or Masson.)
2. The Question I Bet She’s Heard Already
Q: Isn’t that really hard?
A: Not really. It limits your options, but if you no longer view certain foods as viable options (because they cease being “food”), the question is irrelevant.
3. The Question That Isn’t A Question (and which only leads to an argument)
Q: I think you are wrong, because (Insert X)
A: I am ashamed to say that I do on occassion enjoy arguing, so this might not end well.
But, seriously speaking, everyone has a right to disagree. Most of my friends (presumably) disagree, since they are not vegetarians. it does not mean we cannot be friends, but mutual respect and courtesy is required.