Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm the Only Vegan in the Village

An odd thing has happened lately that has caught me rather off guard – I’ve met other vegans.  I had always known they were out there, somewhere.  There were web sites claiming of whole societies of vegans, who had get togethers and ate cupcakes.  Hailing from the middle of nowhere in New Zealand, even in the bigger city where I went to university I never once came across any of these so called vegans, let along whole groups of them. And then, all of a sudden, they were EVERYWHERE.

My first inclination was to feel threatened; I was the only ‘vegan in the village!’. (Refer to: Daffyd, from Little Britain) I mean, did I have to share my dark chocolate now!? 
My second was to be suspicious – vegans in my mind (myself excluded of course) were all tree hugging hippies, obsessed with E numbers and how long they could go without shaving their arm pits.  What if people start associating me with these weirdoes!??

My third was fear.  Not the perfect of vegans, I have a few grey areas when it comes to my chosen lifestyle – would they lynch me for eating potato chips at the pub which I know contain lactose?  And heaven forbid to think what they would do when they find out I work at a café, a normal café, where I secretly experience a buzz of satisfaction when I get the cappuccino froth just right??

And so it was with great wariness that I got to know these other ‘vegans’.  I shook hands with them at a distance, and waited for them to comment on my semi leather shoes.  I sat in silence wondering who was going to regale me first with tales from their latest night time raid on battery hens.  

Much to my surprise however no one smelled like a ten day old sock, and there wasn’t a greasy dread lock in sight.  Everyone drank alcohol like I did and confessed to small grey areas of their own.  Could it be? Could they be normal!??

With great surprise, that quickly turned to delight, I now claim to know a whole host of vegans, and am even part of a vegan group.  More importantly, the prophecies were true!!  We eat cupcakes and go to restaurants together; we share recipes and invite each other over for dinner.   All my fears were unfounded.   The suspicious, stereotyping vegan in me was quashed!  Well, almost… I'm still distrustful of dreadlocks.

Are you a vegan in Cork, Ireland?  There are others like you!  Visit the Cork Vegans Meet.up Group and prepare yourself for cupcake action!  

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