i am kind of a chicken when it comes to activism. or talking about veg*nism at all, really. it’s embarrassing. i’m not really sure what my problem is. i am very passionate about it, and i am very confident in my decision, but i have a difficult time talking about it with people.
last night we went to the baseball game with other faculty members and grad students, and some people tailgated in the parking lot beforehand. we brought sub sandwiches, but some of the grad students brought stuff to grill. anyway, we were standing in a group of about 10 people, and somehow the discussion turned to super size me, which i have not yet seen (but am dying to). i enthusiastically jumped in and said i was so eager to see it, and one of the grad students said that she and her fiance haven’t eaten fast food since (about 5 months now). a few others had also seen it, and had been put off of fast food. i was really psyched that it had such an effect on them, but i didn’t ask what was really on my mind, which was why they were making a distinction between "fast food" and "meat." i haven’t seen the movie but i’ve heard it’s pretty pro-veg*nism, so i was curious about why they were drawing this particular line.
one of them said that the film points out some of the horrors of the chicken industry, so i took that as an "in" and said, "they do? awesome!" (i know that’s kind of a weird response, but it was all the activism i could muster)… a little while later, one of the other grad students, while taking a bite of her hamburger, said something that ended with, "…and this is from a long-time vegetarian!" i was floored by this statement, even though i hadn’t heard the first half. she went on to say something about how she really likes meat now, but she "was really glad she did it." i wasn’t sure if she was glad about the eating meat again, or the one-time vegetarian-ness. i didn’t ask. bawk bawk!
i have met three former vegetarians in the past three months, and i’m never sure what to say. i feel so compelled to say something, but i never really do. one of them said something like, "i was vegetarian for ___ years, but then i had a hamburger." in that case i mustered up all of my courage and said, "so that meant you had to go back to eating meat full time? you could have stopped after that hamburger, you know! we would have taken you back in the club!" smiley smile. i didn’t push it, though. i just don’t want people to feel that i am judging them; i am more comfortable with trying to set a good example and hope that someone will follow it.
anyway, this is rambly and not flowing nicely. it’s something i’ve been thinking about a whole lot, and that is perhaps why my thoughts are so muddled. i was just (once again) frustrated at my inability to talk intelligently about veg*nism when the subject was just hanging in the air yesterday. to my credit, whenever people ask me questions (which also happened yesterday), i am able to answer them and am quite enthusiastic. i just have a very tough time introducing topics myself.
i think i am even more frustrated because not only am i passionate (and not really showing it), i’m a frickin’ interpersonal communication professor (and not really proving that i have mad skillz). i think i’ll have more to say on this subject soon. thoughts still germinating.