So what do you do….If you are whole food plant based/vegan and ominivores are heading your way or if you’re an omnivore and here come the vegans?
The dilemma is real for both sides. We all have our go to recipes. The tried and true foods that our families enjoy and we feel confident serving to a crowd. But when you have to figure out a meal that you are not familiar with or worse yet as a vegan can’t even sample the food first for taste and to adjust seasonings, it is down right terrifying.
Most of my friends are omnivores. But specifically, I have a group of friends that get together monthly to talk and enjoy snacks and sometimes meals together. These ladies always go out of their way to purchase or make foods I can eat. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate their thoughtfulness. It is never necessary, but I am truly grateful for their consideration. As I think about these ladies, I am reminded of sitting in a seminar where Lindsay Nixon (The Happy Herbivore) was speaking, she said, "I stopped being asked to parties or out to dinner with friends because of my food choices, I had to explain to everyone that I don’t go for the food, I go for the people." This statement could not be more true for me. However, isn’t it nice when people are considerate of you and your choices.
In the past when people would come over to my home, I’d serve cheeses and recipes I thought would be good for my guests. Then I just started serving what I eat. My thought was “this is good food, it’s just not meat, fish, eggs or dairy."
For the most part this philosophy has worked, but, in a couple of weeks I am hosting a number of people for multiple days that do not follow a whole food plant based or vegan lifestyle. And to me that is different…I will need to purchase some meats, dairy and eggs. I don’t mind that these items will be on our table because I am a huge advocate that everyone has to make their own dietary decisions. I would never want someone to try to force me to eat meat and I will never try to force kale on anyone. Even though it is totally delicious and super healthy – but that’s another blog.
So… it will be strange to stand at the deli and meat counter but I will do so, because sitting around a table with people enjoying what's on their plates, having conversation is the best opportunity to connect. I may not agree with their choices but it is their choice and I must respect that. Just as I would like people to respect my choices. The world is changing and someday my omnivore friends may be making changes to their diet and I would want them to know that they can come to me and that together we can make a transition that works for them and their health. Instead of me trying to push an agenda that they don't want to hear and they are not interested in, and by doing so, pushing them farther away.
It's tough. When you first become whole food plant based or a vegan, you're excited. You can't wait to share the health benefits and the knowledge that you now carry about the welfare of animals and the environment. Every conversation, every opportunity you can find is a chance to share your new found insight and purpose. You feel like your going to burst if you don't tell everyone and that the world will end tomorrow if you do not change everyone. You also feel like you're the one. The one that will begin a food revolution and you forget that there have been many before you sharing this information and that there will be many after you.
Shouting from the roof tops won't change the majority of people. Presenting good food options and enjoying a conversation that speaks and listens to both sides in my opinion, that's where change begins. Most people that come to me, do so, because they know that I will be non-judgemental if they fail and they know that I understand this is a journey.
So please don't judge me my wfpb/vegan friends when dairy/meat/fish & eggs are served - the food and open conversation at my table may just be a catalyst that opens a window to new possibilities in the future.
Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,
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