Friday, February 13, 2009

An open letter to Vegans

Dear Vegans,

I need to apologize. I used to think you were crazy. I was even going to make a T-Shirt.

In my defense, I had a very good reason for this. One summer during college I lived in LA for an internship. I found a roommate online. We'll call him Billy (because that was, in fact, his name). Billy seemed alright enough, almost cool even. He was not. Billy was a lunatic. I'm not even exaggerating.

Story Proving Billy Was In Fact a Lunatic #1
One weekend I went to Vegas for a friend's wedding. I left my cats home with him (he said it was fine). I came back and one of my cats (Max) was gone. I asked Billy and he was was horrified and concerned for Max's well being. I ventured out into the neighborhood to find him and, hours later, discovered him curled up underneath a car. He was injured and covered in oil. I ran into our neighbor on my way back to the apartment. He seemed surprised to see me carrying the cat. He said, "Is that YOUR cat?" I said yes. "You live with Billy, right?" He asked. I nodded. He then proceeded to tell me this long story about how that cat was on his balcony and he thought it was Billy's roommate's cat so he took it over to him. Billy told him he had never seen the cat before. I'm not sure what happened after that, but somehow Max wound up attacked and covered in oil.

Story Proving Billy Was In Fact a Lunatic #2
A few weeks after the Max incident, it was Father's Day. I made a nice dinner for myself since I couldn't celebrate with my Dad. I made chicken. On my own baking pan that I bought for the occasion. Billy (now referred to as the cat-killing Vegan) flipped out. Apparently, I was trying to poison him. Not only can you not use his dishes/baking utensils for meat products, you can't use his kitchen. Because he will die (if only Max had known... he could have fought back). A few days later, Billy had a really bad cold. Sneezing, lost his voice, etc. He told me it was Salmonella poisoning from when I had cooked. A verbal and e-mail war ensued. (Very mature, I know... but I was only 21). I moved in with my cousins for the remainder of the summer.

So, what does this have to with Vegans being crazy you ask? He was the first Vegan I ever met and so I naturally associated his lunacy with the most foreign thing about him: "He's crazy because he's a Vegan!" I mean, he wasn't just a vegetarian. That would've been ok. He was a VEGAN. What does that even mean?

But in the last few weeks I've learned things about Veganism (and Vegetarianism) that makes me change my tune. First, I read a book called Skinny Bitch. Contrary to the clever title, it has nothing to do with dieting. It is a cleverly disguised Vegan manifesto. I was so mad! Then I started reading more... first, I was intrigued... I was disgusted... then sad. When I finished the book, I felt really guilty about the chicken I had waiting for dinner.

I have this tendency to need to know as much as possible, so I started researching online. I clicked around PETA's website. I visited Whole Foods, and I quickly realized two things.

1. Vegans as a whole are NOT crazy. Maybe a little extreme, eccentric and slightly bizarre. But shouldn't that make them more loveable?
2. Most Vegans would NOT try to kill a cat or wear leather as the main component of their wardrobe (Billy wore leather like it was his job. Which it was not).

So, Vegans... I'm sorry. And, thank you... Because soy milk is really, really good.

Love, Megan

P.S. I'm trying... I think vegetarian plus organic is as extreme as I can get (for now). But, I'm trying, Vegans, I promise.

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