It’s OK, The Vegans Probably Don’t Have Any Beef With You

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“I don’t like vegans. I gotta say: I trust ’em about as much as I trust a rattlesnake.” – Unnamed, mustachioed, cigar-smoking man with whom I once judged a chili cook-off

Vegans really piss some people off.

And I’m not talking about the shitty vegans. The man-this-is-a-pretty-sweet-castle-I’m-hanging-out-in-with-my-seitan-and-judgment vegans. The please-just-look-away-while-I-eat-this-cheesesteak-because-your-eyes-are-making-me-feel-guilty vegans. I think we can all agree that those people do exist and they are terrible.

No, the ones I’m referring to are the 90-95% of vegans who are actually just people. Completely normal, personable folks who have made the dietary decision to not eat anything that has to do with an animal (or something like that — vegan friends feel free to correct and/or elaborate). They don’t force their lifestyle upon you, and the only burden they become is the astronomical lift it takes to consider their diet when you invite them into your home to entertain and feed them. They do their black bean stuff while you do your ground beef stuff and afterward you watch the game together over two bottles of the same beer.

And people despise them.

The mere mention of the lifestyle elicits frowns and contempt from more people than one would expect. Frowns, contempt, and plans to change people “back.”

I’ve heard conversations based around trying to devise ways to sneak meat into a vegan/vegetarian’s food (“What if someone sprinkled meat sprinkles onto a dish you were eating, and you didn’t realize it? What would happen?”) (Admittedly, I was a part of that particular conversation, which was all purely hypothetical and partly for entertainment, the genesis of which, though, arose from the spirit of the behavior to which I’m referring) seen people inquisitioned to defend the choice they have made to not do the animal stuff.

I have dated a vegan or two, and in the “tell me about her” conversations that inevitably arise, the fact of her veganism always has to be explained: “She has brown hair, she’s my age … oh, she’s vegan, but she’s pretty good about it”; “She’s vegan, which is great because I love avocados”; “She’s vegan, but her favorite characters in Game of Thrones are Hodor and Hot Pie, too, so I’m not too worried.”

Somebody even created a Facebook group called “I Hate Vegans Id Rather Hang Out With Cannibals”, posted little more than knock-knock jokes and viral videos, and GOT 613 PEOPLE TO LIKE IT. Those fans can’t have all been friends with the dude/gal who started the page, which means a significant portion of those 613 people were on Facebook, and thought, “Man, fck vegans. I want to be connected with a group of people who feels the same way. LET ME SEARCH FOR THEM ON THIS SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE.”

It’s confusing to me and makes little sense. It’s not like they’re legislating the criminalization of animal products so we can’t have them any more. The vegans, aside from those people handing out flyers sometimes at the train stop, are keeping to themselves.

As a matter of human nature, when folks lash out at something different than them, its oft because they feel threatened by the difference and are insecure about potential change. But, friends, vegans just leave more meat/cheese/animal stuff for the rest of us omnivores! They should be embraced! “Thank you for doing you, because now I can have more Havarti!”

Do I like vegan food all the time? Hell no! Sometimes it tastes weird! And not at all like I want it to taste! But hey, if it works for someone else, who am I to question their decision? And speak so ill about it? Or sneak a meat sprinkle in when they aren’t looking?

The other thing is, sometimes vegan stuff does actually taste good. Which leads me to the Palo Santo chocolate bar I ate Tuesday, donated by the wonderful Xenia Bar, whose distance-running prowess is eclipsed only by her intelligence, kindness and generosity.

It was vegan chocolate, which some might gently call an oxymoron and others might more heavily proceed to seek out something to break (clearly, not a Piece). The bar had some slight differences from traditional chocolate, but I have to say I enjoyed it. That doesn’t mean you will, or even that you’re supposed to. Just pay attention to people who would rather hang out with cannibals than try. There’s at least 613 of them out there.

IMG_3563Tasting Notes

– The chocolate was a little broken when it arrived via mail, but it didn’t make for any extended trouble. Regular chocolate bars are good like that (whereas other candy bars can be trouble if they break. I’m looking at you, Butterfinger.)
– Definitely better for melter-types
– It wasn’t quite as smooth as traditional chocolate, but otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to tell that there was no animal times going on
– There was a very subtle coconut taste on the back end that I enjoyed. The chocolate was on the more bitter side, and the coconut gave the bitter a different dimension.

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