Neighbors in a local Chicago community, looking to enjoy the fall weather with a traditional cookout, were uncomfortable with the unexpected presence of a vegan.
The cookout hosts immediately looked around for something for the vegan to eat. When they offered fish, she denied it saying vegans don’t eat fish. When they offered egg salad, she denied it saying vegans don’t eat eggs. When they finally offered her an apple, she happily accepted.
Her two previous denials, however, upset many other cookout guests. Afraid they’d be offending her by eating their meat, they began to hide their burgers from her. She insisted that the gesture was worthless, claiming, “I don’t care what you eat. I just don’t want to eat one!” This logic was lost on the guests, though, who felt judged by the vegan because she didn’t join in the carnivore-y.
The vegan claimed she just wanted to be part of the community, saying, “I didn’t mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I just wanted to say ‘hi’.” She say this is a very common problem for her at many social outlets. The people around her don’t understand why she won’t eat the same things they are, and assume she is judging them for their choices. “I often get, ‘I’m sorry-does this bother you?’ when someone’s eating meat near me,” she says. “As long as they’re not feeding it to me, it doesn’t bother me at all.”
Despite her easy-going nature, the vegan still stands out at a barbeque like a sore thumb, a common occurrence for vegans everywhere. While others enjoy their grilled animals and snack foods, vegans are often found munching on pieces of fruit in the corner and trying not to look uncomfortable.