And don’t get me wrong, the internet’s awesome and growing like crazy every day, and I’m not suggesting you go out and make friends with any vegan you can find in real life, no matter how crazy, but here’s the thing:
The internet in general, and text-based blogs in particular, fall short in a lot of ways.
Here’s a brief summary of a lot of the posts we’ve run this year on Staying Vegan:
“Dealing with X can be a problem for a lot of vegans, but you have to remember that Y and Z, and to help with that, here 5 key points to keep in mind.”
There’s nothing wrong with it, and I’m happy with how things are going (and from comments and emails, a lot of you are as well,) but if I was being really, really honest, here’s how a post would really look:
“OMG, X sucks rocks.
Like, the biggest rocks you can find, that’s how much X sucks.
Why don’t omnivores realize Y and Z and
make this go away?
It’s not like it’s not staring everyone in the face ALL THE TIME.
Instead we have to cope with things like these 5 ideas.
You know, instead of the world getting together and fixing that X thing once and for all.
Animals are frigging dying left and right,
and what, we’re supposed to talk about coping strategies?
Did I mention how much X sucks?”
(OK, I’m back. That was cathartic. Thanks.)
Here’s the thing: I don’t write like that because omnivores visit this site a bunch, and I don’t want to look like a crazy person, and I don’t want to encourage you to do that either. Because every interaction with meat eaters, which, statistically, is like 95% of your average day, because I’m not just talking about discussions about food here, every one of these interactions is a representation of veganism, and it’s not going to win us any points if we all said what we really feel.
Wanna know why?
Because the omnivore you’re talking to, or the one that’s reading things, is trying really hard not to respond like this:
OMG I really like bacon
I’m not trivializing their views any more than ours today. The point of all this is that our food choices, all of our food choices, are very much emotional decisions, and it’s very easy to come across as logical rather than emotional in our communications.
The written word and social conversation can’t convey that level of emotion well without breaking society’s standards for conformity, which I assume exist for a reason, but dammit, do they ever get in the way sometime, eh?
We as a community (and make no mistake, we are a community) can read between the lines, I think, but there’s a gaping chasm between our world and the other 95%. I’m not sure how to deal with that, but I wanted to take a moment to recognize that just about everything we say, write, and do absolutely pales in comparison with everything we feel.
And it’s way more than OK to feel these things – just throwing that out there for the weekend in case you or your subconscious were starting to wonder why everyone on the internet was so calm and collected and logical about this stuff. We’re really, really not, but a lot of the time, it’s the only way to cope with the world we’ve woken up to find ourselves in.
Is that bleak? No, not really. I think knowing we’re all in this together is pretty bright, really.