I skip the pastry with the whipped cream and ask for almond milk for my coffee knowing that my friend always has it in her fridge.
Someone say's, "You don't take regular milk?"
I go, "No, I'm vegan".
"Oh." Short break. "Why?"
I go, "Well, first and foremost for ethic reasons".
Everybody looks puzzled and someone says, "What do you mean by for ethic reasons?"
The lady next to the one asking discretely explains with her voice lowered and her head slightly tilted, "You know, she means how they treat the animals and such ..."
I nod, "That's right", and I add that there actually is an advantage for me too as I don't get all the nasty stuff, and I start talking about antibiotics, hormones and all the "goodies" that come into the body with the consumption of meat and dairies ...
The room suddenly turns very quiet and the eyes and faces around the table tell me that this is not exactly what they want to hear and that everybody hopes the conversation topic will be changed soon. After all, who wants to talk disgusting things over coffee and cake. "We all have to die someday." someone says.
Soon after the topic "immunizations" and flu shots is brought up. I am asked if I get flu shots and I go, "No, never. I try to keep my immune system healthy through good food and a somewhat healthy life style."
"Exactly!", agrees the lady who explained what "ethic reasons" means. "I don't get them either. No way. It's all bad for you. When I don't feel so great I make myself some good old-fashioned chicken soup and that gets me back on track. And, I stay away from hydrogenated fat, that's a killer, therefore I read all labels when I go grocery shopping".
Then my friend announces that I make terrific vegetable soups and that she loves them so much with all those spices and veggies in there, yum .... She's right, I think I really do make great soups. When I cook I usually end up with a huge pot of it and so she has been treated to my soups many times.
The chicken soup lady says, "I too love vegetable soup. Do you use chicken stock ... or are you not allowed to use that either?"
I go, "No, I don't use chicken stock or anything from the animal and it's not about not being allowed but I choose not to use it for the reasons I previously explained."
"Oh." Another short break. "But then, how DO you make vegetable soup?"
This time I am puzzled and quiet and it painfully dawns on me ... we still have a long, long way to go.
Vegan Soup Links: