A new veganing

Am I a stereotype?


Just in case you were unaware, I’m a master at satirical writing as of last week when I wrote for The Tator. But writing the article got me thinking: Am I also that obnoxious and stereotypical?

This question hit me when I was home during this long weekend, and I’ve been pondering it ever since.

This weekend I visited my family and friends from high school. I ate food at their houses, and since my eating habits are a tad different than most, I was worried about the meals, but I also didn’t want to say anything beforehand.

At my family’s Thanksgiving dinner, I ate green beans, corn, a baked potato, a dinner roll and fruit salad. I was ecstatic about this selection because I was nervous I’d have nothing to eat.

My friend made dinner for her roommates Wednesday evening, and when she found out I was coming too, she made sure there were items on the menu I could have. When I found out about this, my first thought was, “Wow, I have incredible friends.”

But then I started wondering if I’m so over-the-top about my veganism that people feel the need to cater to me (this is a constant fear of mine, even pre-vegan).

Forcing people to go out of their way to feed me was never my intention when I went vegan. I would be perfectly fine sitting patiently, foodless and enjoying my loved ones’ company. However, that would place a certain amount of pressure on the hosts. How odd would it be if everybody was eating, and I was just sitting there staring at them?

That’d be pretty weird, friends. I don’t recommend doing that.

So what do I do in this situation? I don’t want people to go out of their way for me, but I don’t want to be the weirdo who stares at people chewing. Do I bring my own food? Isn’t that kind of weird, too? What is the protocol? How do vegans eat with their non-vegan pals?

This was my thought process when I was chomping on some pita chips and Oreos at my friend’s house last week.

Additionally, I’ve worked as a barista for four months now, and at this point, a lot of the people I work with know I take soy milk in my lattes. Granted, I order drinks at least once during every shift, so after a while, it would make sense that they’d remember.

One of my coworkers even made a joke once when I told him I was vegan. He said he knew I was vegan, but it was fine that I told him because I “had” to tell people as a part of being vegan.

This is probably true, but I don’t want to be like that — even though he was definitely kidding.

Here I am, worrying about being an obnoxious vegan in my column dedicated solely to veganism. Go figure. This worry is partially brought on by vegan stereotypes, like the ones I researched for The Tator last week.

According to the blog Vegan Mainstream, popular vegan stereotypes include always talking about veganism, looking and acting like a hippie or being a generally weird person.

I’m pretty weird, but I’m fairly sure I don’t look like a hippie, and I don’t think I always talk about veganism — maybe a lot, but not always.

Am I obnoxious? Of course. But am I a stereotype? Probably not. Even if I am, who cares? Stereotypes aren’t always a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it’s fun to be a cliche.