I haven’t eaten meat since “Hit me Baby One More Time” was released. Just let that sink in. Not that these two events are related but it’s basically been a long time.
The early days were essentially me eating pasta for every meal in the college dining hall, for a lack of better options. I was basically carbo loading to go out and party… and drink more carbs. The freshman 15 turned into the freshman 30 (ok…35).
Fast forward to me post degree, in a chicken bikini protesting KFC, and I was not messing around. Being vegan was so rare that it’s like you wore this badge around and you were never off duty fighting for animal rights. I mean, after all, who else will?
Living in Norfolk, luckily, there was this pocket of like-minded people that made you feel, if even for just a little while, that you weren’t actually in the Southeast (a vegan double negative). So, while vegan life has improved significantly and there are WAY more of us these days, I’m super excited about this Sunday’s Vegfest because all my Plant-based peeps will be there from Hampton Roads.
I don’t even know any of them, but I feel like I will be giving out a lot of high fives and awkward, seemingly unwarranted hugs, just because I feel like we are already a big fam. I envision it being like one big support group meeting but with a vegan pie eating contest and kick-ass guest speakers, vendors and music.
Even if you’re not all that into the cruelty-free lifestyle, this will be an amazing opportunity to see all it has to offer. Just keep in mind this handful of untruths below (or a vegan might go all 2007 Britney Spears on you).
Top 5 Misconceptions about Vegans:
1. Vegans want to answer the question, “So, where do you get your protein?”
While the number of everyday strangers that are so concerned with our nutrition intake is astonishing and certainly heartwarming, I don’t want to constantly rattle off every legume, meat alternative and vegetable I incorporate into my super basic food life.
2. Vegans want to hear you say, “Wow, I thought you’d be skinny”
Well. While I always cherish when new people expound on the fact that my pants haven’t seen the single digits since middle school, I would rather you just say I look “healthy,” or maybe just not even say anything at all… please?
3. Vegans throw paint on people
Even PETA didn’t do that. And it wasn’t actual blood. And it happened a really long time ago. And that is irrelevant. And no… it doesn’t stand for People Eating Tasty Animals (but good one Ted Nugent and every 4th dude I meet).
4. Vegans don’t drink
I’ve literally never met a vegan who doesn’t drink. I mean, they get crunk. Pretty much all alcohol is vegan. However, there was that rumor that Jagermeister had deer blood in it, but I think some frat boys made that up to excuse any douchebaggery (“It was the deer blood!”)
5. Vegans don’t eat animal crackers
See you at VegFest! For more about the event, here it is on Facebook.