This week, she had a realization.
During her Spanish class, she was given an info-gap exercise where she had to create a vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu for a wedding. Skimming the text, she realized that there were no vegetarian options but only meat and fish. So, she naively asked the teacher where the vegetarian meals were. The teacher told her they were the fish dishes. She was a bit confused so she said that vegetarian don’t actually eat fish or seafood. The teacher answered that all her vegetarian friends ate fish and so the options were vegetarian. So she repeated that no, vegetarian did not eat fish: fish being animals it would not make sense. Another eavesdropping students said that the teacher was right: vegetarians do eat fish, it’s the vegan that “don’t eat nothing but beans and lettuce”. She was surprised by their ignorance and nodded her way out of the conversation.
This happened in a university course, in a vibrant multicultural, multilingual city. Yet, people do not know what it is implied in the words “vegetarian” or “vegan”. She was really surprised to see that even technically “educated” people were not aware of such distinctions. Moreover,she was a bit shocked by the refusal of discussion. Granted that this was just a Spanish exercise, but still. Sometimes, she wish people would be more open and ready to accept it when they lack some knowledge. This incident was probably due to the fact that the teacher had never thought about vegetarianism/veganism. That’s alright, but pretending to know is silly.
This was just an incident that happened. It did not change her resolutions or her choices. It just made her realize that veganism still has a long way to go…