Why

Hello and welcome to the Insufferable Vegan.  (This presumes at least one future reader.)  I feel as though I should explain whom this blog is meant for. I suppose that, ideally, it is directed at people who eat animal products, in the hope they will stop doing that.  So four sentences into my blog and you can see that I’m not a realist. Well, I’m also addressing this to eaters of animal stuff who are considering trying the vegan thing and have somehow made it here. To you I say: if I can do it you can do it. That is, unless you can’t. But trust me you…

Why the title? Well, I once worked with a guy who was a total jerk. I mentioned to another colleague what a jerk this guy was, and the colleague said: Are you aware that his only child was killed by a drunk driver?  I didn’t know this and felt terrible.  The guy then added: But he was exactly the same way before it happened.

It’s actually not quite clear to me where the line is that prompts your non-vegan friends to think of you as insufferable. I believe it’s possible that if you never say a word about your veganism to them, beyond letting them know you’re now vegan, they will not find you insufferable.  This might also be true about one word. But if you say two or more words about it to them then for sure they will find you insufferable or worse.

And the reason for your decision seems key to the process.  To do it for health reasons is MUCH more acceptable than to tell them you’re doing it for the chickens. They do NOT want to hear that, understandably so. They have long made some kind of peace with it, to varying degrees no doubt depending on the individual, and they have become adept at quickly categorizing and dismissing you as a hippie/seeker/new-ager/midlife crisis sufferer.

As for that last one, well, that’s me. To them. I think. Because you see, I ate meat for almost half a hundred years. Which both gives me an inside perspective on the cognitive processes of long time meat eaters and also makes me even more insufferable. Who am I to judge them, me who couldn’t figure this out earlier.

What happened? Well, I hate to say this, but it was health reasons. Worse, it was simple vanity in the name of health: weight. I kept gaining back that 10 to 15 pounds I kept losing. I couldn’t keep it off!  I met a friend of a friend who was vegan and I thought maybe this would be the gimmick that would do it. At least it was worth a try.

Then, about two weeks in, I read Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals” book. After that, I didn’t see how I could go back.  Now Mr. JSF, at least at the time of the writing of the book, was not a vegan. He was a vegetarian, and according to him, an on and off one at that. But in his book he repeatedly tells you that the egg-laying chickens and the dairy-producing cows are the worst treated animals of all. So I guess he’s a non-vegan making a very convincing case for veganism.

Anyway, I think we all already know that most food animals are treated poorly. But after reading 300 pages of it, it’s hard to brush it aside. It made this whole thing a lot easier. In fact, it didn’t make it easier as much as it made it not hard at all. I never looked back.

It’s now been 14 months. Have I craved anything from an animal?  Once in a while. But not that much.  Now the bigger problem is trying to point out to others what I’m now aware of. Which is something I really don’t ever do. Unless they ask. But even if they asked, when I answer, I can see that they find me… Insufferable.

So what’s this blog gonna be? I don’t know. There’s stuff on the Internet about how to write a blog! I guess I should read it but, well, nope. I intend for this blog to be a mix of my pseudo-philosophical ruminations (of the one brain not four stomach variety) along with what will hopefully be a practical guide to vegan eating, both in general and specifically in the Los Angeles area.

I had the idea to begin this blog just a few days before my favorite vegan blogger, Quarrygirl, abandoned her blog and eloped with Twitter.  I don’t know that I could have kept the vegan thing going without Quarrygirl.  I don’t know her, but that resource she created showed me there was enough out there in this city to do this. I’m certainly not aiming to replace her. That’s for someone with more strength than I have. But maybe this can be one of dozens of blogs that people will find when they’re searching for information on Los Angeles restaurants, both for vegans and also for places that they can share with their non-vegan friends.

And finally, one of the reasons I’ve never started a blog before is that I find bloggers and the whole concept of blogging to be, more or less, insufferable. Hopefully, by the end of this entry, you agree.

3 Responses to “Why”

  1. The Beet-Eating Heeb February 7, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    JSF’s “Eating Animals” should be mandatory reading for all carnivores — and for vegans who would like help in explaining themselves.

    Insufferable, your little autobiography here struck a chord with The Beet-Eating Heeb (it surprises people to learn that beets have chords), as BEH (acronym) is about to join you in the blogosphere. In exactly five days.

  2. Eli December 20, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    “I believe it’s possible that if you never say a word about your veganism to them, beyond letting them know you’re now vegan, they will not find you insufferable.”

    It is. I do more or less exactly the above and only expand upon my veganism in response to direct questioning. Additionally, when questioned directly, I make it clear that I only apply my reasoning for being vegan (“Being vegan is so easy that not being vegan is unacceptably selfish” to put it succinctly) to myself and not to anyone else. And, because of all that, my friends and acquaintances all seem to be of the opinion that I am not insufferable.

    However, I do think that there’s wiggle room in-between the “insufferable” line (which I don’t want to cross because I think it would make me a bad ‘vegan ambassador’ and be counter-productive to the furtherance of veganism in the world by rendering me [and by association, veganism] easier to dismiss) and my current mode of behavior where I could be slightly less sufferable and further veganism without cutting my legs out from under me. The challenge is moving into that wiggle room.

  3. boop May 23, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    Hey, just found your blog
    I’m actually an “omni” but I’ve found it less and less justifiable to support our current (sometimes willful) ignorance about how food animals are treated.
    I’m not disgusted by meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc. but passing a wall of gallons of milk in the grocery store will remind me of how dairy cows are treated. Once you know, you can never forget.
    I will probably never call myself vegan even if I cut out animal products 100%. Many vegans are possessive about the word. Also, “animal liberation” and “speciesim”-esque types of thought are tied with vegan subculture. I’m not interested in ideology but the truth is: there is no possible way that animals cannot suffer with our current demand for animal products. We must transition to a plant-based society. There are also very cool foods and textiles that come from plants that we aren’t looking into!

    When it comes to bugs, seafood, shearing wool, etc. I’m not sure. Maybe I’m making excuses because I love honey, albacore, and wool knits (probably).

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