די "V" וואָרט

Two years ago, I had never even heard of the “V” word. Now it’s not only a word I use hundreds of times each day but one that I have found elicits a wide range of reactions from people: from pride to shame, from welcoming to fear, from knowing to ignorance, from admiration to disgust, from happiness to anger. I always knew words were powerful but it amazes me everyday to see the impact, whether positive or negative, of this little, two-syllable word – וועגאַן.

If you look up the word “vegan,” you will find several similar, yet slightly different, definitions. אָבער, they share the same theme: vegans are “strict” vegetarians, vegans seek not to consume or use animal products of any kind, veganism is not just a diet but also a lifestyle. פֿאַר מיר, the learning process was so much more than these definitions. I will tell my story in a later post but for now, I want to say that I ליבע, ליבע, ליבע being a vegan.

So many people I know are afraid to tell their families and friends they are vegan (or vegetarian) for fear of being rejected or laughed at or criticized. They hide their veganism, which, צו מיר, is sad and makes no sense. Why should anyone hide their compassion while the majority of the world engages in cruelty right out in the open? People I know have made jokes, felt the need to stick their meat-filled sandwiches in my face the way a child would dangle a scary spider in front of someone, and have tried to argue the facts (“how do you know plants don’t suffer?") Others have admitted they know the animals suffer but they do not want to “really know” because then they will have to do something about it. I have told waiters and friends I am vegetarian or vegan only to be asked whether I eat fish or chicken. Yet other people have shown me respect and acceptance, happily eating at vegan restaurants with me, delighting in the colorful bounty of delicious, cruelty-free food.

I am proud of being vegan. I wear t-shirts and buttons that proclaim my veganism. My office has posters, signs, and pamphlets about choosing compassion. While I do not try to impose my beliefs on others, I silently pray someone will ask me why I am not eating meat so I can proudly state, “I AM A VEGAN.” They might reply with “you’re a what?” and that just gives me an opportunity to teach someone the “V” word that I learned not even two years ago. Becoming a vegan is my proudest accomplishment. It has given my life a new sense of purpose and direction. I want others to feel that same way. I want to help bring the “V” word into the mainstream and let vegan voices speak out loud and proud!

(באזוכט 92 מאל, 1 וויסיץ הייַנט)

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5 רעספּאָנסעס צו די "V" וואָרט

  1. Mama On the Move ויגוסט 22, 2011 בייַ 9:05 PM #

    Great post, as a newbie to the South, from Vegan friendly Boulder, CO , I have been struggling, internally and out with this subject, saying the “v” וואָרט.

    Sometimes, איך נוצן “I’m a vegetarian, I also don’t eat dairy, עגגס, butter or fish, כאַזער - פלייש, poultry, or any red meat”

    אַז “יוזשאַוואַלי” works 😉

  2. purplelady אַפּריל 20, 2011 בייַ 7:08 בין #

    ריאַ, I was one of those ‘closetvegans. Many people my age would laugh, and try to humiliate me, but I am over that now….I am Vegan, i am Woman, and I am Proud !

  3. gingervista יאַנואַר 4, 2010 בייַ 4:29 בין #

    קעשורע, so made the HoppinJohn recipe & it doesn’t look anything LIKE the picture! Tastes good, except for one thing: even thoI followed recipe, the rice did not cook completely, so I have slightly crunchy HJ. Anything I could do now that it’s all done/refrigerate/frozen?
    Thx.

  4. Maddy Avena ויגוסט 23, 2009 בייַ 2:15 PM #

    היי ריאַ! You probably don’t know that I came out queer at 40. So many of your feelings and reactions of your own and others’; ביידע positive און נעגאַטיוו, were very much a part of my landscape when I finally came out. When I finally connected the disconnected parts of self and said, “I’M QUEER!” I felt more in step with my own rhythm that I ever had before. Sort of just like you sound here 🙂
    Beauty on your journey,
    Maddy

  5. LibraryGuy ויגוסט 23, 2009 בייַ 4:44 בין #

    Pride is a positive emotion, and your story should inspire others to feel the same way. Your journey is one many can empathize with.


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