027 Are You a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Vegan?
Do you interrogate your waitstaff over every tiny ingredient in your food, or do you sometimes eat in ignorance in order to make veganism look more approachable? The girls talk through the ups and downs of “don’t ask, don’t tell” veganism.
In This Episode
Inspired by a session at Vida Vegan Con, Nichole and Callie talk about “don’t ask, don’t tell” veganism – a mode of activism where you make veganism looking easy a top priority. So, maybe you don’t ask if there’s dairy in the dinner rolls on the table, or you order a burrito assuming that the guacamole is ok. It’s a controversial topic for sure. Some vegans consider that being not vegan, others consider grilling serves about ingredients harmful to the movement.
Throughout the show, Callie focuses on the benefits of don’t ask, don’t tell, specifically in social situations. Being out with friends or family, trying to find a place to eat, sometimes it’s better and easier to not ask if the pizza crust is totally vegan if the place offers vegan cheese. Sometimes it’s more important to share an experience with the people you care about and make a vegan lifestyle seem less intimidating than it is to avoid trace animal products.
Nichole focuses on the power of asking in situations where you are acting like a consumer – for instance, when ordering takeout for yourself from a local restaurant that you plan to order from often, it’s good practice to check to make sure the food is vegan so you can order in good conscience and show them that there’s a demand for vegan products in the community. She thinks asking when you are acting alone or with other vegans can be very powerful. San Diego has had a sudden boom of vegan options and restaurants because of this.
Nichole also discusses how being gluten-free kinda forces her to ask a lot of questions anyway, so sneaking in vegan questions on top of gluten ones is fairly easy.
In the end, it seems like there’s situations where asking questions can create a demand for product, and other times not asking might be a powerful form of activism.
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