Thursday, January 24, 2013

Crazy Vegans

According to my "traffic sources" stats, one of the top ways that people find my blog is by doing a Google search for "crazy vegans."  How rude!  I did a search for "crazy vegans," and the top was result was from Urban Dictionary:

level 5 vegan

A vegan who won't eat anything that casts a shadow.

As used on the Simpsons episode "Lisa the Tree Hugger", animal/enviornmental rights activist, Jesse tells Lisa that he is a level 5 vegan, who wont eat anything that casts a shadow. Such thing doesn't exist, mind you.
Lisa: Oh, the earth is the best! That's why I'm a vegetarian.
Jesse: Heh. Well, that's a start.
Lisa: Uh, well, I was thinking of going vegan.
Jesse: I'm a level 5 vegan -- I won't eat anything that casts a shadow.

I usually just tell people that I don't eat or use anything that had or came from something that had a face, a mom, or a dad, but that's just me.

I also came across a Facebook conversation thread this week in which someone stated that vegans are "walking skeletons."  Gosh.  I do agree that lots of hilarious jokes can be made at the expense of vegans, but it becomes a bit annoying when people base their viewpoints on complete myths or their interactions with individuals who are just not very good at being vegan.

This propensity to "pathologize" vegans could also be viewed as a strategy used to maintain the status quo (see the following blog:You Crazy Vegans!).  Much like my post, "This is What a Vegan Looks Like", the purpose of this one is to normalize veganism.  Since "crazy vegans" is apparently such a common search query, someone has to redefine "crazy."  If by "crazy," you mean well-informed, socially and environmentally conscious, healthy, and passionate about living in accordance with my beliefs and values, why then, yes, I am a crazy vegan!

 And so are these people:

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Assistant Manager of Library Operations at a Public Library on the South Side/Yoga Instructor

I became vegan during a yoga teacher training in Boston.  If you would've asked me 10 years ago if I would ever be vegan, I would have accused you of being drunk.  I was a meat and potatoes kind of kid growing up with a strong addiction to fast food and sweets.  The first time I saw a whole avocado was at my teacher training and it got me really curious.  I went vegan strictly for health reasons (at first).  I found that eliminating all processed food along with dairy, eggs, and meat gave me an immediate increase in energy and it also cured my asthma and seasonal allergies and helped me get off all medications.  My body reacted really well to a whole foods, plant based diet, especially fermented foods and herbal supplements, and I can't really imagine going back!  

Springfield, VA
I am a Technical Trainer for a company called Catalyst based out of Denver CO teaching legal professionals how to use software reviewing their documents for trials.

A close friend convinced me to try a vegan lifestyle for 30 days--essentially a pledge off of PETA's website. By committing to the lifestyle for 30 days, I  did extensive research by reading several books and forcing myself to sit through PETA's featured "Meet Your Meat" video, though it was horrifying to watch. All of this helped  to solidify my decision that as long as I could keep my body healthy eliminating meat and dairy, that I would not continue to contribute to the inhumane killing of animals for meat production. Little did I know, there was so much more I would discover by making this decision including a slew of health benefits I hadn't considered before, environmental contributions, and an overwhelming sense of clarity and control over my body and health. I dropped 20 lbs within the first year of being vegan, had loads of energy to continue my cardio workouts, and never had an excuse to feel guilty or sluggish after eating a meal again. Going vegan even inspired me to volunteer at an animal shelter for 2.5 years so I could do my part in helping local animals find loving homes. Overall, the ability to practice compassion was my main driving force in becoming vegan and since then, haven't looked back since!

With vegan baked goods taking over the world and even showing up at Disney World, Ellen DeGeneres demystifying veganism, Bill and Chelsea going vegan (what is Hillary waiting for), vegan small businesses popping up everywhere you look, and lots of intelligent and creative people from all walks of life jumping on board, why yes, as far as "crazy vegans" are concerned, we're all mad here.

Blogger's Soundtrack
Muse - "Madness"