Well, this past weekend was my daughter’s 13th birthday…I now have two teenagers. Anyway, we had both sides of the family over for a birthday party. My daughter is not yet vegan, she is a vegetarian, but my son and I are both vegan. My mom loves to make the birthday cakes and she is amazing at decorating. She hasn’t come around to trying to make a vegan cake yet, so, she made the cake and everyone but my son and I ate it. No biggie. My son made his amazing vegan ranch chip dip, which everyone loved. My mother-in-law raved about the dip and when I told her my son made it and that it was vegan, she seemed mad and walked away. Now, she is already mad and in a tizzy because we are vegans and a vegetarian, but the icing on the cake is that my daughter (who just started jr high) decided that she wanted to be home schooled like her brother (11th grade). My mother-in-law owns a beef cattle farm, thinks animals are a means to an end, and thinks homeschooling is just plain weird and that my kids are going to be anti-social outcasts, which could not be farther from the truth. Her neighbors home schooled their kids and those kids were “different”, but it had nothing to do with home schooling and everything to do with the parents being weird. So, you can imagine the internal anguish my mother-in-law deals with having a daughter-in-law and grandkids who are animal lovers (we have 9 indoor cats, an indoor rabbit, and a big indoor/outdoor dog-all of which freak her out because, yuck, animals in the house and on the furniture), vegan/vegetarian AND home schooled….the horror of it all! Bwahahaha, we love every minute of it. And as a side note, my husband is completely happy with having all the animals in the house and he loves all of them. I guess I rubbed off on him because he was NOT raised that way. He also supports home schooling and the vegan/vegetarian part, well, not so much, but as long as I fix him his “food” he is fine with our choices. I will keep praying and working on him.
OK, back to the topic. So, when it was cake and ice cream time (we had vegan and non-vegan ice cream), my sister-in-law (husband’s brother’s wife) asked why we did not eat the ice cream because nothing gets killed in the dairy industry. When I tried to explain what REALLY happens in the dairy industry, she got all hot an huffy and was like, “well, you are talking to a farmer and I know about farming and I am going to continue to eat my meat!” and I’m thinking, well, miss fancy pants, no you do not know what really happens, but I am not going to argue this at a party with someone who doesn’t want to know the truth. Also, she did not grow up on a farm, she married a farmer and the farm that they have is not a factory farm, nor is it a dairy farm, so the cows they have live a much different life than a factory cow. They have shelter, plenty of food, my brother-in-laws are kind to them. I am definitely not defending them nor the farm. Do not get me wrong, I am NOT defending them nor the farm, I absolutely hate it. It sickens me to think about what happens to those cows. The kids and I hate going out to visit the in-laws because seeing the cows in the pastures is unavoidable and it makes the kids and I so sad and brings us to tears knowing that these cows will eventually be sold for meat or for breeding. I feel gross even typing that, I hate it, I really, really do. And it has already drove a wedge between myself and my in-laws. My sister-in-law and I used to be very close and now, not so much. However, I teach my kids to always stand up for what you believe and what you know is right, so that is what we will continue to do. Next time my sister-in-law starts in about this, I will just tell her to watch Cowspiracy and to read the book Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman. The conversation ended with me saying, “Well, in my opinion, if you cannot bear the thought of watching your food being killed then you shouldn’t eat it and I personally do not believe in choosing what animals should be pets and what animals should be eaten. They are all animals and all living creatures. And furthermore, I really do not know why it is such a big deal to you all that we are vegan!” That ended the conversation. It is yet another example of how the meat eaters once again, got all mad and hateful. They ask why we do not eat certain things and when I give them the answer, they get MAD. Seriously?! They cannot handle the truth because they do not want to be forced to look at what they are doing.
So, with this family gathering being such a blazing success, I cannot wait for Thanksgiving, my son’s birthday, and Christmas! haha I can only imagine what’s going to happen when I bring a full course meal to Thanksgiving and Christmas for the kids and I.
Side Note: I am by no means bragging, BUT, on my husband’s side of the family, there are 4 boys thus I have 3 sister-in-laws…..I am the ONLY one who is not on some type of medication (blood pressure, cholesterol, depression) and I have not been on an antibiotic for over 3 years and rarely get sick (neither do my kids). The others always seem to be sick. When I do get sick, it does not last long. I think I am doing just fine being a vegan!