I spend a lot more time on Twitter and blogs than I do on Facebook. Most of the time, my timeline is filled with things that are of little importance — people’s opinion of politics, senseless partying photos, quips about sports teams, and more. One of my acquaintances generally strikes up cool conversations on Facebook (given its medium and audience) and can generally elicit some pretty interesting discussion.
Sometimes, though, the things people say completely throw me off guard. Today, my friend asked if anyone would ever consider going vegan, and she got this as a response:
Now, I don’t mind that he has this opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether I agree to it or not. However, it’s the logic behind this type of statement that really puts me off.
If you don’t passionately agree with the ideas behind anything, does it mean you don’t explore it? I think that the degree in which you are interested in something should not be used as a barometer against which you should judge how you spend your time. If you find that a subject matter interests you mildly and that you want to pursue it, then you should pursue it. The best types of journeys are the ones you take because you had some sort of spark inside of you. You don’t need an epiphany to journey down a path. You just need some sort of interest (and sometimes disinterest) to carry you throughout that journey.
I think veganism is not only an ideology and a set of beliefs that someone chooses to operate from, but also it is a choice and a way of life. I think anything worth pursuing is worth dabbling into before jumping head first into an unrealistic commitment. For instance, going from platonic friends to significant others to fiancés to husband and wife. You wouldn’t just propose to some random stranger on the street (I won’t judge if you did) but rather, you’d choose to progress through those stages of exploration based on your personal preference.
In the same vein, yoga can also be understood as an ideology and a set of beliefs. It’s not just a workout. I guess if the person had any interest in yoga, they would have learned more about it and would’ve known that.
Additionally, the misguided attempt at deflecting opinion onto “facts” about the vegan diet is absolutely absurd. Vegan protein sources are not limited — when coupled properly you can definitely make complete proteins with complementary amino acids, i.e. rice and beans, etc. They are the most wholesome and healthy proteins the world has ever known, because they are natural! A little bit of research would’ve gone a long way and I would definitely recommend my friend to do her homework to make sure she knows this. Yes, vegans also have meat/dairy substitutes. I use these from time to time as a pescetarian. They come in handy when you’re in a pinch and have a craving that absolutely can’t be filled, but to each his own. I used to scoff at them too until the day came where I really craved a burger. I didn’t crave the meat, but I craved everything else: the texture, the dressings, the warmth, etc. Don’t knock it until you live the lifestyle.
However, I will give the commentator this — sound nutrition does not require such extreme views. However, you can shine that same type of light on someone who chooses to be an omnivore, carnivore, pescetarian, fruititarian, vegetarian, vegan, etc. I can point fingers all day long at how eating meat is detrimental to someone’s health, how evil it is, the million ways that it is disgusting and revolting to consume dead flesh from another once-living being. Or, I can just practice what I preach and allow those types of conversations to occur in a non-threatening manner, and respond to questions and comments appropriately.
You see, this type of logic is completely toxic — you shouldn’t have to be 110% interested in something before you dive deep. Only you can make that judgement. When it comes to your personal interests, life goals, fitness goals, and whatever else you are interested in — you shouldn’t be afraid to make the decision you know you want to make. If I left my quaint interest in triathlon to settle in the dust, would I be where I am today? No. If I let go of my childhood interest in veganism, would I have ever decided to become pescetarian on a whim? No. If I didn’t dabble in five different majors in college and dabbled in fringe startup side projects in my early career, would I be where I am now? Absolutely not.
Don’t let anyone stand in the way of what you want. Not someone on Facebook, but certainly not yourself. If you want it, go get it!