It all started sitting around the table at a vegan restaurant on a very cold day in January. I was with my boyfriend and his parents during their first visit to New York post-eating animals, and everyone was possibly formulating his or her version of The Story of That Weekend Megan Was Vegan and preparing to laugh about it with some measure of relief in the not-too-distant future. (Sorry, guys.)
My boyfriend’s father, a curious, and–shall we say–vocally robust orator, surveyed the packed dining room and asked us sincerely, “Are all of these people special people?”
It would’ve been a great moment for everyone in the restaurant to pause, throw off their napkins, and launch into a choreographed song-and-dance number titled “Yes, Indeed We Are.”
We laughed. We still laugh. He inadvertently touched on the touchy thing: that precious, look-at-me sensation I feel rising in my stomach every time I’m forced to confess that I am eating vegan.
Because I don’t want it to be a big deal. It is not a big deal. I want to be a low-key vegan who stuffs her face seamlessly every day among the masses.
Alas, it is kind of a deal. When you willingly choose to eliminate the delicious meats, cheeses, and eggs that comprise a hefty share of our collective culinary attention, people think you’re a little funny. Or totally out of your mind. Or neurotic or a buzzkill or great, big pain in the ass. Or special. You’re undoubtedly special.
To my amusement and displeasure alike: vegans are special. And the goal of my immediate future, or, at the very least, this blog, is to contend with that fact.
Thanks for reading, and don’t be afraid to pipe up.