Today I did two things I'm really proud over, I stayed true to myself despite it being rather uncomfortable to do due to social expectations.
And from now on I'll be clear from the beginning about my values, that they are so much more than just 'is there any good vegetarian/vegan options for food?' when there are workrelated or personal social functions or possible work collaborations/assignments.
I will not use those easy excuses, such as illness, otherwise engaged or working - unless they're actually true of course - but simply tell it like it is:
I need to stay true to my values regarding vegetarian/vegan food, animal friendly, organic, sustainable products and lifestyle.
And if I fear that will be difficult to abide by throughout I will not do it or attend.
So today I did this:
A) I decided to back down from the planning of recent creative collaborations involving yarn and travelling. There were a few other snags there too - sometimes I do get really excited about ideas and inspiring people and try to look past those hitches, because perhaps I'm overanalyzing etc. And I can partly forget those important values (shame on me) because the idea is so awesome in itself. But then I get some time to think properly about it, the values, the snags and the details... - but the quite possible matter of my values being partly trampled on, or not deemed as important, was THE main reason.
Perhaps some smaller projects and collaborations will come of this in the future instead, not just this big and awesome one.
B) I said thank you but no thank you to an Easter lunch with M's relatives and calmly gave my reason as: I avoid social gatherings where meat will me consumed in one way or other. I feel better for doing so and my presence will not add anything to that gathering. I'll be happy to meet you for fika at a later time instead.
I'm sure it came as a surprise to the receiver of the email, but those are my values and I'm frankly sick and tired of loosing my appetite and crying inside looking at dead animals on other people's plates. As well as their inexplicable need to constantly talk about steaks (made from animal babies) and eating flesh.
It would not hurt either those people's health or palate to eat a sustainable, plantbased meal for once. Quite quite the opposite in fact.
What made matters worse in this case - but also got me to this point of enough now! - was that the restaurant we were to meet at was on a farm were they (disgustingly) prided themselves of 'we sell meat from animals we raise on our farm' and 'the restaurant is closed for the weekend due to hunting'. Seriously neither of these animals have asked to be killed, butchered and served on a plate. Pain is pain is pain. Possibly more so for trusting animals you've raised on a small farm and then betray by sending them to the slaughterhouse.
I've never really had to deal with my own close family (I turned both my mum and dad vegetarian at a young age), relatives or my non-vegetarian friends questioning my vegetarian lifestyle, for that I'm grateful. But despite that I've just felt that if I accept an invite to dinner or such I will have to face the disgusting things the others put on their plates, as long as I'm not forced to eat it. These last couple of years I've had a really hard time doing that. And for that reason I have in fact declined some social gatherings blaming illness or work.
From now on I will not shy away from being true to myself. And I don't care if some of those people think I'm rude (really...), weird or anti-social. I feel liberated! And hopefully my frankness will be an eye-opener for some.
And it's worth remembering that it was quite a long time since the issue of eating animal flesh and babies where *only* an animal rights issue, it's way past that now, the planet is dying largely because of animal farming. And it's absolutely crazy that so many people don't care more about their health, stuffing their bodies with other beings' dead bodies. Inconceivably so.
"We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
slaughtered to satisfy our appetites"
- George Bernard Shaw