Are You Mocking My Mock-Tuna Salad?...or...Can Vegans Laugh at Themselves?

Let’s face it, vegetarians and vegans are often mocked by people from all walks of our society—your kids, other people’s kids, grownups, comedians, your family, smart people, ignorant people, your friends, your enemies—it breaks through all barriers. Despite the fact that the practice of vegetarianism has been around for many centuries, and even for millennia in certain parts of the world, vegan living seems to provide easy fodder for jokes in our culture and, sometimes, outright disdain and contempt.  Even though the decision to become vegan is made for serious reasons, do vegans lose their sense of humorwhen it comes to their veganism, thus marginalizing themselves and alienating the vast majority of non-vegans? Can the ability to laugh at ourselves help break down the barrier between vegans and non-vegans? When a vegetarian allows his sense of humor and laughter to defuse the antagonism he may feel, does the divide become smaller?

Even as vegetarianism keeps growing as a sector of the population (about 5-15%) and the health benefits appear regularly in mainstream media, why are so many people resistant to it and feel so comfortable poking fun at it? The overwhelming majority of today’s vegans are former omnivores–-people who chose to adopt the practice at some point in their lives, whether as children or adults. Since today’s vegans were yesterday’s or last year’s meat eaters, we should be able to see it from both sides which might provide an important key in understanding why we are made fun of by comedians, critics, haters, non-believers and more. Do we collectively take ourselves too seriously? 

This weekend, we hosted a dinner in our home for about 20 people and I found myself choosing dishes to make for our guests, only one of whom is a dedicated vegan besides me. I decided to make every dish with, surprise!, a vegan counterpart. Even though this amounted to more work for me, I was excited by the prospect of presenting my guests with vegan mock-options along side the “real thing.” After all, I had just posted a blog with 15 different delicious, vegan dishes to break the fast with and I had to put my money where my mouth is! 

As I was cooking and contemplating, I thought that I would love to bring some humor into my buffet table to grab the attention of my guests  and entice them to laughingly agree to try out my vegan dishes and see how good they were as an alternative to the real thing. (I didn’t want to hear murmurs of “Ew, what’s that?”) It’s not in my nature to preach or pressure—that just pushes people away anyway. I enlisted my husband, who always makes me laugh, to come up with “mocking” name tags for my “mock” vegan alternatives. And here is what we comically labeled my dishes....

- See more at: http://veganamericanprincess.com/are-you-mocking-my-mock-tuna-salad-can-vegans-laugh-at-themselves/#...

Ellen Francis

Vegan American Princess

Voted #2 in Skinny Scoop's Top 25 Vegan Blogs of 2013

Website: veganamericanprincess.com

Twitter: @veganamprincess

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