Sometimes it can be really difficult being a vegan in a seemingly non-vegan world. At least, it's hard to be social in such a world. I try not to whine because this is my choice and it is one I stand by and am proud of, but it's one that certainly takes an emotional toll.
For example, in Louisiana, there is a tradition generations deep of boiling crawfish outdoors with a group of friends and a few rounds of beer. Since the last frost I have been invited to no less than five such occasions. I find these events particularly hard to stomach because those in attendance delight in tossing the live crawfish into the boiling water only to joke about the brutal act of tearing them apart, leaving piles of shells nearly a foot high on each plate. Tonight I was invited to just such an event, but chose not to go. I couldn't bear to witness yet another waste of life for the sake of a meal. But alas, this left me home alone on a Friday night...working. Not so fun.
Because I have no close friends in town that are vegan, I often have to attend such events if I want to get out of the house at all. While there--not eating anything but the dish or dessert I brought to share--I have to suffer rounds of questions and insults heaved my way about abstaining from the meal. The usual "top of the food chain," "What's the big deal?" and "eating meat is the reason humans evolved to be smart blah blah blah" not only makes me feel unwelcome, but rather angry.
Okay, okay. I feel I should say that my friends are generally supportive. But it sometimes feels as if it's only in a backhanded "Oh, how fun for you" type of way.
I guess what I'm asking is how do you all deal with this? I grew up in a very meat-eating family, have a meat-eating boyfriend and almost exclusively meat-eating friends and I feel overwhelmed with having to defend myself/my diet/my philosophy on an almost daily basis. My initial response is to state my peace, insist that I eat well (and I do!) and just stay positive, but sometimes it can be a little too much to bear. Any suggestions for leading a happy, SOCIAL vegan life would be much appreciated.