March 15, 2013

Vegan Activism in the Everyday

Two weeks ago, my cousin's wedding shower was held in a gorgeous banquet hall in an historic hotel. It was a really peaceful space to be in, and I was thankful that I was well enough to attend. Look at the beautiful bride-to-be in her emerald dress. She is a classy gal, and I love her to death!

In the last post, I shared my tips on how to get a nice vegan and/or allergen-friendly meal at catered parties. Below, I'll discuss how to handle an event in which you are unable (for one reason or another) to order a catered meal and instead need to bring your own food.

I decided to bring my own food to my cousins shower for one reason: I was unsure of what I'd be able to stomach. I fell out of my groove with my diet, and I couldn't accurately guess what foods my body would agree with in enough time for the caterer to prepare. I told the bride that because of my unpredictable health, it would be no problem for me to prepare my own food.

The day before the shower, I took only 20 minutes out of the day to make pesto, chop tomatoes, and spiralize zucchini noodles. Easy! On the day of the shower, I packed them into a lunch cooler lined with ice packs and tucked the cooler away in my fancy vegan handbag.

My food preferences tend to be a boring conversation piece that invite the most unoriginal stereotypes – that is, until the food comes out of the bag and onto the plate. When the wait staff at the shower began delivering food, I told them I brought my own food because I didn't want to be a pain with my multiple allergies. I asked kindly that they provide me with an empty plate for my food. When I fixed my plate, everyone was once again turning to admire the food, commenting that they wished my food were on their plates. I like to get that kind of attention for my food because I show that it is possible to have a vibrant, varied, decadent, delicious meal even when you are a vegan with multiple “restrictions”. I don't like to call them restrictions though because I don't feel restricted by them in the least. As Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is wont to say, I'm a joyful vegan!

Aside from showing off my fabulous plate of food, I also didn't miss the chance to show off my new Susan Nichole handbag. It was a gift and the first time I'd used it. When someone would exclaim, “I love your bag!” I'd quickly respond, “Thanks! Isn't it great? It's vegan, too. And, doesn't it feel good? Who needs leather?!” Being present at the shower had created an opportunity for people to see that vegans can and do eat amazing food, and hey, they carry fashionable bags, too. We live no life of deprivation! Remember, friends, small bits of vegan activism can make a difference!

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