I have one sister and two brothers, all of whom are a full generation older than I am. I was pretty much an only child with 20- and 30-something older relatives floating in and out of my life.
As is well known in my family, my sister is Evil, but my two brothers do not appear to have inherited the evil gene. They’re all still pretty weird though. But for this conversation, we’ll be talking about the Evil Sis’s half of the world. Why do I refer to her as evil? Because she is. She has done many horrible things to me over the years which I will discuss at a later date. For this article, we will discuss just one part of her warped lifestyle. Particularly, her fairly recent conversion to becoming an asshole militant vegan.
Let me preface this article by saying that I don’t have anything against people choosing a vegan diet (in and of itself). Hey, if it works for you, you like it, it makes you feel more healthy, and your body is responding well to it, then please be my guest and enjoy. Those people are not of whom I speak.
I’m talking about the militant vegans. The assholes. The ones who just can’t stop proselytizing about it. The ones who corner you at a party and talk with gushing glee about how they can feel the toxins washing out of their bodies — all because they’ve gone vegan. The same ones who get into fights at those same parties and will drop their friends and relatives because they refuse to go vegan too.
On Atkins, I never proselytize. If someone asks me, I tell them what I know. I include scientific data and answer what questions they have. My choice is mine alone and the last thing I want to do is get into an argument about whether or not what I’m doing is right (or right for them). There’s always someone who is horrified at my dietary choice and queries me if I’ve tried “healthier alternatives” such as vinegar diet, or tried using raspberry ketones, or go on about what weird shit Dr. Oz advertises this week that will help me lose weight — anything but eating those meats and bacon and cheese (and lots of veg). Gasp! Horrors! (Assholes come in many forms.)
But Militant Vegans just can’t keep it to themselves. Just like a recent convert to the religion-of-your-choice, they believe it’s their mission to go out into the world to convert as many lost souls as possible to their one-and-only “right” faith.
One reason I rarely visit my Facebook page anymore is that an unfortunate number of my relatives have gone totally, militaristically, assholey vegan. I can’t bear their posts, well intentioned though they think they are. If it’s true that the last remaining “acceptable” prejudice is against fat people, then they are well on their collective ways to being Supremacists.
Evil Sis and her entire family have gone militant vegan and now my brother’s son and his whole family have gone over to the dark side as well. Like many, my Nephew started off as a non-asshole vegan, able to tolerate other peoples’ choices with the understanding that it’s a free country. Sadly, he has fallen under the spell of my Evil Sister, so he’s become one of those vegans.
Allow me to add, dear reader, that all these people are also wealthy far-right-wing conservatives. Knowing that adds a certain extra level of bizarre to the situation.
His mother, my sister-in-law, was here visiting for a few days about a month ago. She stayed with her son, and sadly it didn’t go well. She and her son got in a huge row over — guess what? — veganism. He’s no longer speaking to her.
So what happened, you might rightfully ask? Something fairly minor actually. Nephew was complaining to his mom that when he and his family visit their in-laws, they don’t serve anything that Nephew and his family can eat. My SIL explained to him that most people don’t necessarily know the specific rules of veganism, and therefore, you should not expect them to accommodate you. So perhaps it would be best if he and his wife brought a dish or two of food that they and their in-laws could enjoy. Nephew took this as a high insult and thus the argument took off running.
Adding to the stress, it turns out, Nephew has also decided to go “minimalist” — has gotten rid of his living room and dining room sets in an effort to own no more than 100 things. He’s also home schooling his kids (he doesn’t want them influenced by ‘liberal’ teachers he says), and is into “attachment” parenting.
SIL knew the rest, but didn’t respond well to this new bit of minimalist insanity since Nephew and his wife have three kids and are planning for more. “You can’t choose weirdness like that if you have kids,” she said. And on the fight went.
Now he’s no longer speaking to his mother or his dad (it’s been over a month, and they used to call a few times a week). Instead, he worships the ground my Evil Sis walks on, and in the process, has broken his mother’s heart. She’s beside herself not knowing what to do.
They are all frickin’ bananas.
But the vegan thing? It all started with my niece, my Evil Sister’s daughter. She’s always had a tender heart when it comes to animals and decided to go vegan after watching some documentary about slaughterhouses. Shortly after that, she attacked me on Facebook for making a comment about how great bacon is. And I mean ATTACKED. Flame war ensued and ended with me de-friending her on Facebook. I don’t need that shit in my life.
My sister verbally eviscerated me about a week later, having chosen to follow her daughter’s example and go vegan herself, and after quite the argument (which included her attacking me personally beyond the vegan thing) we stopped speaking for about two years. Again, I don’t need that shit in my life — I’ve got enough problems. Seriously. We only started ‘speaking’ again after The Incident in 2012, and even that has been minimal contact at best.
But now that she knows I’m back on Atkins? I’m total scum again. She wrote something on Facebook about how Atkins is “ruining so many lives” — whaaaat?
I’ve been doing my best to maintain a relationship with Evil Sis over the last couple of years, despite her evilness, because after all she is my sister. But now that she knows I’m fully supporting the animal slaughter industry and refuse to convert to her lifestyle choice, she’s pretty well cut me off again. Fine by me. As I said — with all that’s on my plate, I don’t need the extra stress. I refuse to bow down to her. She doesn’t own me; never did.
Jeebus! Why can’t we all just get along??
And as I said, Evil Sis’s whole family is now vegan. Evil Sis, her husband, her son and daughter, and all their kids. And now my Nephew, his wife, and all three of their toddlers (and they want more kids too). They won’t have any form of meat or animal product in their houses, so it’s not like I can go to their cookout and bring my own hotdogs or anything. I can’t even go over for coffee since they don’t have cream (or cream-like products). Nope. Coffee black or none at all.
When they had their little family get together over a month ago, I had no choice but to comply and go along with it. I ate a veggie burger and a soy hot dog. They weren’t entirely horrible, but the burger was a little like eating mushy cardboard with fake meat flavoring. The hot dog had a weird, soft texture more akin to tofu than hot dog. Again with the fake flavoring too. Other actual veggie-based food they served were actually quite delicious, but that fake meat had to go. Why even bother? Yuck.
As a person on the Atkins diet, I’m the vegan’s sworn enemy. And Evil Sis and her clan let me know it every chance they get. Nephew recently posted some PSA video on his page that went into gory detail about the obese people who eat all those ‘horrific’ meat products and who are destined to die of heart disease or diabetes. They agreed that despite it’s graphic nature, it’s important for fat people to see this and how much they pity us. (Indirectly pointing at me.) They, of course, like most militant vegans, made sure they congratulated themselves quite thoroughly in the comments for being smarter and more ethical than those horrible Atkins people. (Pointing at me again.)
Let me interrupt this to say, the only reason my Evil Sis is thin at all is she had Gastric Bypass surgery several years back. She was fatter than I was when she chose to have the procedure. At the time, she had tried going raw foods, vegetarian, and even (briefly) vegan and nothing clicked for her to lose weight until she had the surgery. So she has NO room to be snobby or anti-fat.
Another post Nephew had added recently included a pseudo-scientific infographic about how a vegan diet is more satisfying than the Atkins (or Paleo) diet because you can fill your belly with natural vegetables instead of only a tiny amount of meat (measuring calorie for calorie) which, theoretically, means you’ll be full and happy only if you’re vegan. One of Nephew’s quite wise friends commented that the study was bullshit and about as scientific as astrology. After all, the digestive process of those foods — as well as their effect on body hormones (including insulin) — is significantly different than a small piece of meat or fats which actually make you feel more satiated in the long run. This started another flame war between this friend and Evil Sis to which Nephew stepped in and said to his friend not to pick on his “Wonderful Aunt EvilSis”. Barf. I suspect his friend was unamused, but I like the guy whoever he is.
All this said, now consider this: my EvilSis and Nephew have cut their own family members out of their lives based on a dietary choice. True, most vegans also consider it an ethical choice, but if you change religions, do you cut off your family because they’re not converting? And if you do, what does that truly say about your “ethics” or true intentions? You’re choosing a cow over your sister (or mother or father, etc.). How sad is it that what amounts to a lifestyle choice can be the proverbial straw that breaks a family’s back?
After all, if I’m willing to put up with your crazy vegan ass, why can’t you put up with my meat-eating one?
Hah! And to think, I’m the one in therapy.
I am an only child. I have one sister. — Woody Allen