A quiet heartbreak…

Yesterday I tweeted “A woman walked into the store in a leather jacket, feather earrings and a bag covered in cow fur. She said “I’m a recovering vegan…” #gag

She was wearing leather boots with fur trim. A leather jacket. Feather earrings and had a purse that was covered in cow-hide. “Oh yeah. What happened…?” But instead of answering me she walked around my store and laughed at everything. Made fun of products. Picked stuff up. Put it down and then shook her head. She then asked me what the “BACON HAD A MOM” shirt meant.

I said “The shirt is to gently remind you that the bacon you had for breakfast came from an animal that had a mother…” Awkward pause … “Oh.”

I thought about asking her to leave … but instead I put on my best game-face and decided to re-plant some seeds of veganism. I mean – that’s my goal with the store is to showcase amazing vegan lifestyle products while encouraging my non-customers to go vegan. Perhaps positive reinforcement would encourage her to remember why she went vegan in the first place. Maybe when she sits down to her dead-animal bacon breakfast tomorrow she’ll stop what she’s doing and realize what she’s about to do and hopefully have a change of heart.

But this woman is not what broke my heart yesterday…

After tweeting/facebook my experience a non-vegan friend of mine on facebook responded with “hahaha” and our conversation devolved into a typical Facebook back and forth about misuse of language. She didn’t like that on my private profile page I had described the woman as disgusting. She would have preferred that I called her actions disgusting not her herself. It then disintegrated even more into blah blah blah about this and blah blah blah about that. I shut it down and told her to call me if she wanted to work things out.

But that’s not where my heartbreak comes in either …

What broke my heart is that this friend thought what this X-Vegan woman said was funny. This X-Vegan woman who came into my vegan-centric store wearing the skins/furs of dead animals and walked around making fun of all the beautiful cruelty free products that I sell. My store is an extension of my heart, my beliefs, what I’ve dedicated my life to and my friend can’t get past the choice of words I used when venting about having a hard day? I want friends who lift me up when I am down. Who support me. I understand she was challenging my flippant choice of words but perhaps she should have picked a better venue for it. Or better yet – not kick me when I am down …

I have a lot of non-vegan friends. I try to respect their choices in the hopes that they do mine. I don’t make comments when I see my non-vegan friends wearing feather earrings or when they order meaty-type foods. It’s not easy for me because all I see is death and torture when I see those things but other peoples life choices are none of my business and unless they ask me about veganism directly – I try my best not to be the vegan police. But what I ask for in exchange is that you have my back.

A few hours later I got a message from my friend Jen who went to a work function at The Keg. She knew she wouldn’t find much food there but didn’t want to cause a kerfuffle because the work dinner was a celebration for one of her other co-workers so she happily ate her baked potato and salad but for some reason everyone around her at the table had to say something rude about her lifestyle choices. WTF? I guess yesterday was one of those kinds of days where meat-eaters were feeling particularly guilty about all the death and destruction they leave in their wake and so they decided to throw all that energy over to the vegans who are trying their best to make the world a less bloody torturous mess…

I wish I had a nice little bow to wrap this story up with but instead I’ll quote RuPaul.

“My goal is to always come from a place of love …but sometimes you just have to break it down for a motherfucker!”

 

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