In Fact, I Hate Kale

In order to know the dynamics of a Persian household, I would suggest watching the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Sure, those characters were obviously Greek, however the similarities are uncanny. Especially about how the two cultures view food. Meat is everything. Lamb, chicken, beef, you name it. It’s completely normal for someones favorite meal to be cow tongue or kebab with different types of meats mushed together. 

So naturally, my decision to become vegan was not celebrated, or even supported for that matter. I made the decision in February of 2014 after watching and reading a lot about the topic. I made this decision based on ethics, not religion or health. Everyone thought I wouldn’t last for two weeks, since my previous diet consisted primarily of string cheese, grilled cheese, and pretty much any other form of cheese. I had been vegetarian for a few months prior to my switch to veganism, so I suppose I did not quit cold turkey. After a few weeks, my friends and family realized I was serious about this decision. My mother was furious since day one. She tried to “forbid” me to become vegan, but that obviously did not work. When I visited my family in Iran last summer, my grandmother almost started to cry. She thought I was going to die from being malnourished. Perhaps everybody’s cold response only motivated me to stay vegan. I knew as soon as I became vegan I did not want to turn into one of those people who shoves my opinions down everybody’s throat, since who likes that person? If anyone asked me a question, I would be happy to answer. However, the jokes and warnings people kept giving me got old VERY fast. So I have compiled a short list of things to not say to a vegan. I promise you, they’ve heard it before. 

1. What’s wrong with milk? It doesn’t kill the cow.

2. You don’t eat honey?? That seems pretty extreme. 

3. But don’t you miss all the food you can’t eat? 

4. What about protein? Where do you get it from? And iron? 

5. One bite won’t hurt you. 

6. Yeah, I only buy meat that was grass fed, so that makes it okay.

7. So what do you eat? Kale? Grass?

8. The eggs that we eat were never going to be chickens. You know that, right? 

9.  If you were stranded on an island, and you had to kill an animal to survive, would you do it? 

10.  Aren’t we meant to eat meat?

I don’t care if you aren’t vegan. In fact, I don’t even know someone else in my life who is completely vegan. However, please do not try to change my lifestyle. So be nice to your neighborhood vegan and maybe share a good veggie burger with them. Thank you. 

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