"Hi, Valerie? Joe and I would like to
know if you and your husband would like to go out to
dinner with us on the nineteenth."
These kinds of telephone calls are more
frequent since I became vegan a few years ago. No one
wants to cook for me anymore. My husband and I used
to get together with other couples twice a month. Lately
it is once a month. In the last six months I think we
have been dinner guests at someone's house twice. In
general, I think many people don't know how to prepare
a vegan dinner, and they don't want to try. If we are
invited into someone's home for dinner I always offer
to bring a dish. More often than not, they want someone
else to be responsible for preparing my meal.
Just as likely is that people don't
want to take the time out to change their normal meat
centered meal into a meatless meal. They ask, "What
do you eat?" My suggestions of salad and pasta with
tomato sauce go unheard. They would rather eat out than
eat vegan. This leaves me interrogating the server about
the food, only to end up with a salad, no dressing.
The rest of the party will order meat, poultry, or seafood
without asking if the sight of dead flesh bothers me.
Usually, the smell is worse than the sight.
The other option is to invite guests
to my house. When invited to my house one woman walked
in and announced "I hope you didn't make tofu, because
I hate tofu and won't eat it." She did not mention this
when accepting the invitation. She barely touched her
dinner of grilled vegetable kabobs with quinoa, but
had seconds of the tofu chocolate pie. I didn't tell
her it was tofu.
Last week my friend Susan invited us
over for a cookout. I was never more pleasantly surprised
by a menu. Her husband, Tom, offered us vegan Boca Burgers
cooked on a clean grill, before the hamburgers went
on. Tom pointed out to me that the box said "vegan"
right on it. Susan made vegetarian baked beans without
her usual cup of honey; she used maple syrup instead.
She also prepared a pasta salad, greens salad, and corn
on the cob. It took some effort on her part to make
the side dishes vegan, instead of just making the usual
mayonnaise laden potato salad and the original recipe
of baked beans. I was so appreciative. I must have said
so a thousand times.
I think vegan dating, even as married
couples, is similar to the singles dating I did years
ago. Those people who are or really want to be my friends
will respect my lifestyle and not try to impose theirs
e x t e s s a y -
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