The junior high students that I teach know that I'm vegan, and they think I'm the weirdest person they've ever met. It's interesting to hear them explain this to newcomers to our classroom. It seems to be the first thing they want to tell anyone about me: "She's vegan. She doesn't eat anything that comes from animals." I take a bit of pride in the fact that my students are so enlightened and able to offer this succinct explanation. However, I do get all kinds of interesting comments from them on a daily basis. Here are some of my favorites:
One of my students became upset when he saw me drinking lemonade.
Student: "You can't drink that!"
Me: "Why not?"
Student: "It has sugar in it!"
Student: "You can't eat potatoes!"
Me: "Why not?"
Student: "Potatoes come from animals!"
Me: "What animal does a potato come from?"
Student: "A cow."
Student: "You need to go eat a hamburger."
Student: "You aren't getting enough nutrients in just salad."
Me: "Salad is not the only thing I eat."
Student: "Well, I'm telling you, don't hold onto too many balloons at once. You might blow away."
Student: "It doesn't matter if you don't eat animals. There are still lots of other people that do. So it doesn't really make a difference."
Me: "I choose to be more optimistic."
Student: "You don't eat meat?! Then what do you eat?!"
Students: "Do you eat fish?"
Me: "No. Fish have faces and moms and dads."
Student: "Vegetables have faces, too. I saw it in a cartoon."
Student: "I told my mom that you don't eat meat. She asked me why, and I said because you are a vegetarian or something. Then she said that you are very weird."
Being a teacher is stressful, but also hilarious.
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