What I don’t know won’t hurt me?
I’ve been out for dinner a couple of times this month at non-vegan/vegetarian restaurants. No matter how many questions you ask and how much you try to make sure that what you are eating has absolutely no meat products, it will inevitably have been fried in the same oil as chicken, or sauteed in butter, or given an egg wash. No matter what you order, very few people who are not vegan can understand what it is to be vegan – to make that choice whether by ethics or health to eat no meat and care whether there is chicken stock in the soup or portions of cheese left on the salad.
I remember working at the pub or at The Keg or Canyon Creek and laughing at people who came in there who are vegetarian or vegan. “What are they doing in a place like this?” Yet, I find myself in places “like that” all the time now (meeting people, their choice, convenience, etc) and have to ask the same embarrassing questions about whether I can have that without butter, egg, milk, cheese, meat, gelatin and stock.
I get to the point where I say “what I don’t know won’t hurt me”. I can only ask so many questions. I have to trust the server that they will convey the message to the chefs and the chefs will adjust to my dietary restrictions. And if they don’t, well how will I know. Unless I only eat at vegan restos and watch people cook who have me over for dinner, I can’t guarantee that what I’m eating is animal-free.
I’m not sure whether this is a truly vegan attitude, but I do my best. And the more vegans I talk to, the more I feel that seems to be the consensus. We don’t live in an animal-free world and animal products are everywhere. We can only do so much without driving ourselves crazy or shutting ourself off from the world. And what fun would that be?