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From: David ( -
Subject: Re: Feeling Alone
Date: February 2, 2013 at 12:10 am PST

In Reply to: Feeling Alone posted by Lucy on January 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm:

I don't understand why you're afraid of being treated differently.

I've been treated differently my entire life.

1) I'm a Methodist in a family of atheists.

2) While my cousins have long since all gotten married and raised families, I'm 52 years old and have never married. I LIKE being a bachelor because I enjoy my independence.

3) My family is filled with extroverts. I'm a reclusive introvert. (See preceding comment).

4) My family are liberals on the far far left. As the proverbial black sheep in my family, I was the lone conservative Republican ... although I left the GOP after the Tea Party was formed since those right wing adherents actually believed that the GOP wasn't conservative ENOUGH. (Eye roll)I am for the record, now the lone political independent in my family.

5) Every one of my cousins is a self made millionaire whereas I'm an underpaid teacher. I work in Arizona which pays well below the national average. That's what happens when you work in a right to work state and no, despite the low pay, I'm not a great believer in unions.

6) Last summer I adopted a plant based diet. I have NOT adopted this somewhat self righteous attitude about animals rights and/or the exploitation of animals nor would I presume to lecture non-vegans on the "evils" of eating meat. I eat plant based foods because it's healthy for me. I have no problem with wearing leather or wool. I even own a black leather motorcycle jacket.

7) Did I mention that although I'm a 3rd generation U.S. citizen, I'm also Asian? Talk about minorities ... we're not even statistically significant enough to be mentioned in the news. The anchors always talk about Latino and African American minorities but not Asian since there aren't very many of us.

The bottom line? Instead of fixating on the negative and how very different your classmates are, focus on the positive. What do you have IN COMMON with these other people? The more you have in common, the more likely you'll be able to make friends.

Get off the vegan soapbox and don't even THINK about blasting your classmates for eating meat. You're a vegan. Hurray for you. They're not vegans. Get over it. Most of the people in this country aren't vegans. If you persist in isolating yourself from people who don't share your dietary views, you're going to have a mighty lonely life.

Most people don't have a problem with vegans. They may raise their eyebrows at your dietary choices but if you don't rock the proverbial boat by loudly declaiming the evils of animal exploitation, they won't call you a tree hugging far left greenie loon. (That was not intended as a personal insult. Having spent most of my life as an unabashed omnivore, I'm quite familiar with the attitudes on the other side of the dietary fence).

Case in point regarding the pushiness of people who have specific dietary preferences. Years ago, a group of teachers from my district went into the big city to attend a statewide education conference. I was not on a plant based diet on the time and one of the teachers in our group was a vegetarian.

Since we were from a small rural district in the big city, we decided to stick together. We knew that Marcy (not her real name) was a vegetarian so in an effort to accommodate her dietary preferences, we avoided a burger place and passed a steak house. We went to a casual dining chain restaurant ... but no ... Marcy had had dinner there the day before. We went to another restaurant ... but no ... the choices were too limited. We went to a third restaurant ... and keep in mind that we only had an hour break for lunch ... and Marcy complained that she didn't like this menu either and with only 25 minutes remaining in our lunch period, Marcy decided that she didn't want to eat lunch.

The other teachers were quite polite. I was irritated to have passed up going to five different restaurants because Marcy was a vegetarian and I told her so. I specifically told her that she had been rude to force her dietary preferences on us and to cause the rest of us to miss lunch because she was too nit-picky about what she'd eat. Marcy didn't speak to me for the rest of the conference which was just fine by me as I deeply resented how her dietary needs had kept me from getting lunch. (I don't know about the rest of you, but I get very grouchy when my blood sugar runs low).

The point of this is that yes, you're a vegan. Again, hurray for you and so what? If you focus on the differences, well my goodness ... you could also be different on the basis of religion, your political opinions, your sexual orientation, your taste in fashion, your taste in music,literature, TV shows, etc. The list on how we as human beings are different from each other is ENDLESS.

So get off the vegan soap box and cultivate a live and let live attitude. You'll be a lot happier if you can get over your moral outrage over what your classmates eat.

It's easy to be offended. As a Christian, I lived in Saudi Arabia for seven long years. The Muslims were so offended by Christianity that they wouldn't allow foreign workers who were Christian to establish Churches in their country. We actually had religious "clubs" that met in private homes and were warned by the authorities that any effort to convert a Muslim was considered a capital crime and could result in being arrested and sentenced to DEATH.

The Muslims were offended that Christians eat pork. They were offended by the idea that non-Muslims might drink alcohol. They didn't even like the idea that non-Muslims go on dates and you wouldn't believe how upset they were at the way many of the American women in our community dressed.

Although I enjoyed the pay, I eventually got tired of the host country's smug self righteous attitude and left. To be quite candid, I feel the same way about ANYONE who tries to force their viewpoint on anyone else. It doesn't matter to me whether this viewpoint is religious, political, or dietary as in the case of veganism.

I think the world would be a much better place if we simply accepted the fact that we're all different.

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