Saturday, January 19, 2008

Veganning Dream

I actually had a dream about the veganning. In the dream I had to attend a work-related dinner. The cook, I somehow knew, was vegan himself, but he provided an omni array of foods. Initially, I helped myself to a plate of pancakes, for some reason simply assuming they were vegan. But after taking a couple of bites, I realized that they probably had dairy and/or egg in them, and I decided to search for a vegan meal. One of my co-workers told me that she'd just had a delicious vegan entree. I asked her where it was, and she told me that another co-worker had the serving dish. I went over to where co-worker2 had been sitting, and I saw a serving dish next to hers. The entree looked delicious, and there was quite a lot left, but I felt I had to ask the co-worker before taking some. She was not there, so I tried to find her. After I'd been looking for her away from the table without finding her, I returned to the table and found her back at her seat. I asked her if I could have some of the vegan entree, and she told me that she'd eaten it all. I said something like, "Oh. That was the only thing here I could really eat because I'm vegan now." She said, "Really? I'm sorry."

A bit later, I found the chef, and I lamented that I was the only vegan there, yet others had eaten the vegan dish. He expressed regret, but told me, "Remember why you're doing this." And he gave me a carrot. An unwashed, unpeeled carrot. I thought this was pretty unhelpful, but I decided I'd find my own alternative. I put the carrot back in the refrigerator (somehow I was in the kitchen) and found a case of ripe mangoes. I took one and started to look for a knife so I could peel it. Suddenly, a co-worker (who was for some reason Judith Light, who plays Claire Meade on Ugly Betty, and I can assure you does not work with me) started to yell at me. She said, "You vegans talk about compassion for animals, but look at all the suffering you cause for your fellow human beings!" I asked her what on earth she could mean, and she went into a litany of people I'd frightened, to the point where someone called the police and I was nearly arrested (!). I'd apparently scared the bejebus out of the munchkins (this had become a Wizard-of-Oz themed party somehow), one of whom was a "new munchkin." I'd had no recollection of going into the angry tirade she was claiming I had perpetrated, and I told her that I had merely made some inquiries and had a very calm, quiet talk with the chef, but she contradicted me. Then I woke up. I felt the dream was sort of a caveat on how to present my veganning to others. Even if I don't think I'm being strident or judgmental, others might interpret what I say/do that way--they may be so reflexively defensive that they attribute to me motives and thoughts I do not harbor.

Funny thing--I'm already thinking of this annual holiday party my office participates in. We don't host the party, but we are always included, and it takes place at a restaurant that is not vegetarian friendly in the least. This past December, the only items that were vegetarian were the green salad and the bread. They were kind enough to prepare an alternate meal for me, which was a pasta dish--vegetarian but not vegan (I hadn't veganned yet). Assuming the party is in the same place this year (and it is likely), I am thinking I will need to call ahead or not go.

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