You’re giving me vegan food?

5 Oct

Okay, nobody ever really said that to me. But here’s what I was thinking: Let’s say you get invited over to somebody’s place. Maybe it’s their birthday. Maybe they’re having some friends over for dinner or a barbecue. Maybe it’s a party.

Now if you went to the supermarket and bought a dozen cheap cupcakes from the supermarket bakery in one of those clear plastic snap-cases and then scraped off the price with your fingernail, the recipient might think you were cheap or might be very happy with them but they probably would not think you were being selfish.

But what if you went to a vegan bakery or even a non-vegan bakery that has vegan options, and you bought a dozen cupcakes that are both vegan AND way better than the cupcakes from the supermarket. And what if you’ve only been vegan a couple of years so you remember quite well what supermarket cupcakes taste like and even what good non-vegan cupcakes taste like and you know with an amazing degree of certainty that the vegan cupcakes you are bringing are way better than either.

So you show up with your nice box of cupcakes and maybe they’re vegan cupcakes from the non-vegan fancy bakery and your host is happy to see them and thanks you sincerely and then everyone starts enjoying them until your host or another guest notices that you are eating one too.

Now what?

Something would happen like this: You’d see their brains trying to piece it all together and then someone would say: “So… these are vegan?” And you’d say “Yeah” or maybe even “Yeah, they’re good aren’t they?” and your host and their guests would probably say, “Uh, yeah, yeah they are.” AND THEN THEY WOULD ALL HATE YOU.

Am I wrong about this? Wouldn’t they think: How rude! This is really a gift for themselves, not for me! And why are they trying to force their agenda on me? After all, it’s not MY agenda. What kind of gift is it for me if they go and get something that THEY like and can eat?!

And are they right? Because what’s the comparison? Is it to the crappy supermarket cupcakes? Or is their attitude that if you went to a fancy bakery for vegan cupcakes you could have — and should have — gone to a fancy non-vegan bakery and brought me some fancy non-vegan cupcakes.

What I’m getting at is, it’s not really about the taste of the item, is it? It’s about people’s notions of agenda, and gift-giving, and defensiveness. And I can partly understand this. I can understand why the recipient would think the gift should be about them and not the giver. HOWEVER, if the giver was non-vegan and gave a box of fancy non-vegan cupcakes from a bakery they absolutely love and ate one or even two of them themselves, then I think the recipient would not have a problem with that whatsoever. And why?

Is it because they’re in the same club? They both identify as non-vegan. They’re on the same eating team. So it’s viewed as someone sharing something they like with someone they like. And again, for all of this, my premise is that the vegan cupcakes that were brought to the friend’s place are really, really good. The kind that would easily fool non-vegans.

These are the kind of things I spend my time thinking about. And I don’t even like cupcakes!

5 Responses to “You’re giving me vegan food?”

  1. Emily October 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Personally, I always try to buy vegan when I get gifts as I would feel uncomfortable supporting any animal industries simply in the name of gift-giving. I wouldn’t except someone who believed in God to buy me a book on atheism and similarly I don’t think people expect vegans to buy non-vegan things for others.

    That said, I will sometimes make exceptions, but that’s very very rare. Anyway, I gift vegan cookies to all of my family members every Christmas and no one has ever once complained. They know they’re vegan, but they also know they’re uber-delicious.

    PS: Your comments question made me giggle.

  2. cupcakekitteh October 6, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    I can see why non-vegans might see it that way but in the end everyone can eat vegan food but vegans can’t eat omni food so bringing vegan food is find with me!

  3. Midge October 6, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    I have not really had an issue with someone complaining that the food I’m bringing to a family gathering is vegan. Sure it could appear selfish because after all, a girl’s gotta eat in the midst of animal product-heavy dishes (I’m Filipino and that pretty much sums up the kind of dishes we have). But it’s really an opportunity for me to show how great vegan food can be. I’ve brought dishes to work potlucks too and they’ve been well received.

    What I find interesting is that someone always seems to come up to me with a question about the dish, and it facilitates some discussion with that person always being pleasantly surprised that the dish is vegan. Food seems to be the easiest form of vegan activism, but it must taste good for it to work.

  4. havegonevegan October 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    What I find amusing is how nonvegans don’t realize they’re already eating vegan food ALL the time. Every banana, orange, apple and all the beans, nuts, seeds, rice, bread, pasta, etc., are all proof that most people are at least partially dietary vegans from the get go. And seeing the look on people’s faces when you explain this to them is even more amusing. ;)

    • insufferablevegan October 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      I agree, not to mention things like Ritz Crackers and hummus and skittles.

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