veganism, labels, and lobster dreams;

you may have noticed or you may be learning this for the first time.

i’ve crossed over to the slightly darker side.

let me explain. i swear i have a good argument.

i started getting these dreams. these vivid, tasty dreams. yes, dreams of lobsters.more specifically speaking, dreams of eating lobsters.

i know, i know. please hold your gasping for later.

my first thought was, “no! that lobster has a family! he has to provide for his little lobster family! why must his claws be so tasty? WHY?” and that the fact that i have this t shirt would officially be ironic.

i kept these thoughts secret for months as i choked down my tofu curries. until finally, i couldn’t have it any more. i was living in new england, in the summertime, and i still had not eaten the ridiculous sandwich that is the lobster roll.

and so, needless to say, without a thought of what other vegans, peta, ingrid newkirk, or an unsuspecting lobster family would think, i conceded. i went to the kitschiest dive bar my friend and i could find and i prepared myself mentally for the event. i answered tedious questions that were being asked on jeopardy on the bar’s television as i let my friend order for me. 20 minutes and many answers yelled at the tv later, the moment had finally come. i had a lobster roll placed in front of me. actually, two lobster rolls. for some reason fate has a sense of humor and misheard my friend’s order, and so an order of “double lobster rolls” were placed in front of me. two lobster families sacrificed for me.

i’m sure those lobsters were the breadwinners of their families (plankton-winners?) and they spent afternoons pushing their little lobster children on little lobster swings in little lobster playgrounds. they made politically incorrect  jokes about crabs to their families over dinner. and lobster fathers gave their lobster daughters away at lobster weddings. but i pushed those thoughts out of my mind ate my multiple lobster rolls as i yelled at alex trebek.

and holy jesus. i’d been converted. soon, i started to travel to the progressively darker side, then went back to the light side, and then gosh darnit, the egg sandwich dreams began. and we all know how those go, right?

and so here i am. this little amorphous blob of labels, opinions, and dreams of food products. and even through 1.5 years of veganism and countless years of vegetarianism, of holding my tongue when questioning my choice in becoming vegan, of whispering “i’m vegan” when invited to family gatherings, of only eating the potatoes (and mojitos..wait, what?) at my cousin’s wedding because that was the only vegan thing they had, i realized one simple thing: i’m 20 years old and if i’m having dreams about eating lobsters, i should eat the damn lobster. that is not to say i am going on a lobster-eating rampage (truth be told, i ate it once and then i got creeped out and haven’t really wanted to partake in eating them since), pillaging the ocean of all their crustaceans. quite the opposite.

but i will say that labels just further you from the point of being a vegan. it shouldn’t be something you say to appear as noble, cool, or trendy.  you should abstain from eating animals due to your ethics, beliefs, or if dreaming of lobster families creeps the hell out of you. i will admit, dairy is something i still will never find myself eating. but egg sandwiches, lord mercy, they have been a welcome addition. do i still love animals dearly? of course. do i still care for their welfare? yessiree. but do i think that being vegan is the only option in order to show that i care deeply about these things? not necessarily.

this might lead me to have nightmares about little chicken families. this might lead me to guilt for a few months. and ingrid newkirk might throw tomatoes at my door. but life is too short not to eat egg sandwiches when you really, truly want to.

so if you will allow me, i have to jet. i have to make it to a lobster family dinner. we’re going to crack some crab jokes over some plankton-loaf.

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6 thoughts on “veganism, labels, and lobster dreams;

  1. I loved this. Somehow you managed to be entirely political and comment on the whole idea of veganism without pushing any sort of agenda on anyone. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, but I can respect anyone who is, and I hope they can respect those who aren’t. I could not handle a life without dairy, although if I ever become lactose intolerant (knock on wood) I guess I’ll have to. I love yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc. Power to knowing what you love, who you love, and how to show that.

  2. I had a dream about chicken last night, I was SO confused when I woke up. I think it’s because I went to sleep reading a cookery book but seriously it was pretty weird.

  3. Oh man, just eat the egg sandwich. Its really not that hard to de-veganize in an ethical way, and eggs are the perfect place to start. For an average price hike of 5 cents an egg, you can get free range organic from local small farms. They’re bigger, prettier, better for you, and so much tastier! Of course I’m writing this from the land of trendy sustainability, where there’s a Whole Foods in every mini mall, and a farmer’s market in every small town. I don’t know what’s available to you there, but I’ve found that as I’ve moved toward consuming meats, fish, and dairy products from farmers in my own community, my conscience is far lighter. Literally, I can go visit the dairy farm my milk comes from. Its AMAZING. I like cows.

  4. I totally agree with this. I just cannot label myself as vegan or vegetarian, because I just know that when my mom makes a baked ham for Easter or serves me eggnog at Christmas, I will not have the willpower to say no. And yet 95% of the time, there are no animal products (minus bee products) in my diet, because a) I think it’s healthier, and b) I’m honestly kind of grossed out by the thought of chewing on muscle.

    But bottom line, the love you put out in the world starts with the love you’ve got for yourself…so it’s good to forgive egg sandwiches. =)

  5. @ kaleigh, 🙂 that’s all i could hope for 🙂 you are too sweet.
    @ danielle, oh lord. i know that feeling all too well. sleeping with baking cookbooks has lead to some very interesting dream scenarios. tooootally not complaining.
    @ rose, um can i just move to oregon already?! i’m pretty sure i’d fit in on the show portlandia, jussayin’.
    @clair AMEN! to all of that. i am of the same persuasion. life is too short, and all the world’s problems aren’t going to be solved by being “perfectly” vegan. also, egg sandwiches. i mean. that’s all i need to say.

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