Typical 1950's Farm Family
Typical 1950’s Farm Family
Enslaved chickens in a Coop
Enslaved chickens in a Coop

I feel sometimes like the “my advocacy is working” stars align. I will tell you my little story and let you be the judge. My husband, who grew up on a farm, has been, like most of us, a consumer of nonhuman animals for most of his life. Like others mothers of this generation, his mother raised her children on the idea that animals as food is a natural and normal and healthy way for humans to live.  She” raised” chickens, used the eggs and the chickens for family meals and sold some of them for profit, if I am not mistaken. His father “raised” cows and there was milk and flesh for everyone. There were plant staples too, such as potatoes, beets, and carrots which, during the winter, sat in big 50 lb bags in the basement of their home. This was all pretty standard fare for Canadian farmers in the 1950’s.

Suffice it to say, when I  became vegan, my husband was not on board with giving up the flesh and secretions of nonhuman beings. I was a newbie at this and did not see, at the time, anything wrong with buying and sometimes even cooking animal flesh for my husband. After all, it is not like I was eating or drinking it myself.  Of  course, I also purchased the standard cow products and chickens’ eggs for him.  I wish I had understood at the time, that I was being complicit in harming nonhumans by taking out my wallet and buying the products of such cruel industries. I had the silly notion that my husband should not  feel deprived because of my choices.  I am not proud of it, but there you have it. That is the sad way it was.

A small amount of time went by before I started to make the connection between my husband’s food and my complicity in supporting the very cruel industries which I abhorred on a very visceral level. I had to tell him that I could not longer buy or cook such food. He started bringing home the bacon himself and cooking it. Another amount of time went by before I asked him to keep, in the fridge in the garage, what passes for said food. Some more time went by and after attending a speech given by Dr Tuttle, my husband announced immediately that he could no longer, as he put it, “eat meat”. Hallelujah, our home became a sanctuary of sorts for 100% plant based food. It felt,  and still does, like a miracle to me.

Fast forward to today and I tell people kindly that our home is nonhuman animal friendly, and respectfully request that no nonhuman animal food products come in to the house. Everyone hears this-family, friends, tradespeople. If  friends are coming over, I use this as an opportunity to tell them that many brands of wine, beer and alcohol are not suitable for vegans and to check this out before making their purchase.

Nature's Plant Candy
Nature’s Plant Candy
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash Soup

But what about outside the home? Where does one draw the line about going to other people’s homes, about eating out and particularly about  treating people to food? After much introspection, I have decided that I cannot, in good conscience, treat people to food if it is not 100% plant based. I do not want our hard earned cash going to fund industries which bestow such atrocities on the innocent.

Hot Pot Tray
Mushroom Barley Risotto
Mushroom Barley Risotto

So, when the occasion came up recently, my husband and I decided that the office staff after Christmas, Christmas party needed to happen at what is referred to as a “Vegan Restaurant”. I am way past worrying about whether people will be happy about it or whether they will like the food. We make the invitation in good faith, find a wonderful place to eat and I  head off with a happy heart, knowing that I am not intentionally contributing to the enslavement, abuse and murder of fellow beings,  just for the sake of fitting in or pleasing others.

So, this past Saturday nite we went to Invitation V. We had been there once before and found the food to be varied

Complimentary Appetizers
Complimentary Appetizers
Delightful Dessert
Delightful Dessert

and delicious. The wine and beer they offer is organic, which means it is suitable for vegans. I was super pleased to see all the tables filling up as the night went on. The energy in the room was upbeat, yet peaceful, playful and kind. The servers were personable, approachable and accommodating. And that  is when I felt the stars align. Not only were the wonderful people at our dinner party open to trying new plant based foods, so, evidently, were all the other diners. I don’t know how many of them were vegan, but I am pretty sure not all of them were. It makes me feel like we are being heard. Folks, there is a way to eat and to thrive- a kind, compassionate and just way.

Annie’s Vegan View

Set your intention to be kind, compassionate and just in this world.

From this commitment will flow the means.

Be proud of your conscious decision to bring your daily life in line with your ethics.

Share your truth and enjoy the internal peace that follows.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

 

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Is It Okay to Treat People to Nonhuman Animal Based Food?

24 thoughts on “Is It Okay to Treat People to Nonhuman Animal Based Food?

  • February 5, 2015 at 4:43 pm
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    My sons eat meat, and my middle son has Aspergers, he gets very distressed when I don’t cook meat. I try to buy organic, free range meat, but it still upsets me.

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    • February 5, 2015 at 5:23 pm
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      Hi Julie,
      Thank you for your candor. I understand your decision and why it upsets you. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says that being vegan is about intention, not perfection. some things in life are unavoidable.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm
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    I need to specify I have been vegan for less than 2 years and my hubby is eating plant-based diet only at home (we eat at home or food prepared at home 99% of the time), and it was a learning process at first what is OK and what is not OK. Now this is where I stand:
    This Sunday hubby and I are celebrating 10 years of moving to the USA. At first I was planning on getting a few of close friend together to go to a vegan friendly place called Melt. It has vegan options but I know most people would get non-vegan cheese and contribute to the cruel dairy industry. And even if in that case we would not be paying for everybody (maybe just the appetizers) I decide for another option. Long story short, I will cook a few vegan dishes/desserts and everybody is invited to my place. No animal products to enter the house. A few non vegan friends will contribute vegan dishes.

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    • February 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm
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      Hi Jerneja,
      Welcome to my website and thank your for commenting. Heartiest congratulations on your kind and compassionate decision. I am sure that a wonderful time will be had by all at your anniversary celebration.
      I starting calling myself vegan about four years ago, long before I understood the real meaning of it. It is process filled with making mistakes, learning from the mistakes and adjusting as we go along.
      Many thanks,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm
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    Annie, I enjoy your posts, but sometimes my favorite bit is your “Grammie Annie’s Vegan View” thoughts in the green box at the end. Always so eloquent and succinct, I was wondering if you’d consider turning them into some vegan memes that could be Pinned/Tweeted and otherwise shared just by themselves. They’d be perfect for it!

    Reply
    • February 5, 2015 at 5:51 pm
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      Hi Laloofah,
      I am glad that you enjoy my Vegan Views. The inspiration for thisfeature of my website came from my daughter. These views are found at the end of every post and from time to time I hand pick them to showcase in Grammie Annie’s Views.
      I would love to do as you suggest, but have no idea how to go about making memes and pinning them. I have a Pinterest Account and have a great deal of difficulty making it work for me. I have more success on Instagram and Facebook. I would appreciate any suggestions about where to acquire the skills to do this. I am all for doing whatever it takes to have my advocacy reach more people, so that we can change hearts and minds.
      I look forward to hearing from you.
      Many thanks,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm
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    I completely respect the way you lead your life & the choices you make. You have every right to be true to your beliefs & insist on vegan only. If I was invited to your home I would expect no less…

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    • February 5, 2015 at 6:18 pm
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      Hi Judy,
      Thank you for your understanding and your support. Too bad we don’t live closer to one another. I would definitely have you over for a bite to eat and a beverage or two.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 10:46 pm
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    I won’t buy or make non-vegan food, all my friends know it and don’t have a problem with it. While I treasure my friends, my morals and convictions come first.

    Reply
    • February 6, 2015 at 2:42 am
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      Hi Bryan,
      Welcome to my website and thank you for your comment. I too feel the same way, but it did take some time for me to get the connection. I guess that I somehow felt that if I wasn’t eating the food directly, I wasn’t directly harming. This wasn’t something that I think I was even conscious about, strangely enough. It was the same thing for all the other industries which use nonhumans for own our selfish pleasure-like entertainment. I did not immediately include dolphins and tigers and lions and monkeys in the scope of my veganism. As soon as my daughter pointed this out to me, I got it. But becoming vegan was not like some epiphany in which I immediately understood the scope of harm being caused by humans to all species. And I am a person who is acutely sympathetic to the pain of other beings. That is just how brainwashed I was.
      Now, I think about how far my personal ethics should extend. So, for instance, do I make people take their leather shoes or down coat off at the door of my home? Do I refuse to sit a table where others are eating the flesh and secretions of non human animals? What about accepting a lift from someone whose car has leather seats? Because we are vegans living in a non vegan world, we come up against this type of dilemma almost daily. At what point do we become ineffective because we are unable to tolerate being around anyone who or anything that is not completely cruelty free and vegan?
      I often wonder what long time advocates Will Tuttle and Jo-Anne McArthur and Melanie Joy and Gary Yourofsky do? I would love to have their feedback on this. I have been to see Will Tuttle speak and I know that he was not at the door asking people to remove belongings which contain products made form the suffering of animals. Obviously, he would not reach enough people if he did so. But, perhaps he handles this differently in his personal life.
      I would love to have your and everyone’s feedback on this. it has left me wondering, wondering, wondering…
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm
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    Thank you for this uplifting post! I am so happy that you had such a positive experience with your dinner party. 🙂 And thank you for the link to Dr. Tuttle. I only got to glance at it, but if he had such an influence on your husband, he is well worth becoming familiar with.

    My living situation is a bit non-traditional at the moment. I live alone quite a bit, my husband is the household financial supporter, but isn’t living here full-time. He eats cheese, but I do not even physically touch it although I do the majority of the cooking. He does get vegan cheese sometimes, but financially that’s not something we can do on a normal basis because sadly, vegan alternative food-style products are very pricey here. My family know not to send me anything non-vegan (edibles aren’t really an issue because it’s being mailed from the US to Germany so we steer clear of ‘food’) and they respect that. My mother sent boots and shoes lately and went out of her way to ask the store clerk if they were absolutely no leather (they are) and that was huge for her to do that. 🙂 So I felt really good about it.

    This was a great topic and I hope to have time to read the comments soon!

    Reply
    • February 14, 2015 at 7:29 am
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      Hi Krissa,
      I am computer-less. Getting a new one early next week, so am trying to bang this comment out on my IPad.
      You will absolutely love Dr. Will Tuttle. He has been at this for more than thirty years and his book, The World a Peace Diet covers all the areas of human interaction with and treatment of other species. He covers religion, science, philosophy and psychology, tradition, history, health and so on. It is the second book I read about the advocacy for the liberation of nonhuman animals and I cannot recommend it enough.
      It is tough to know where to draw the line in being around food made from the suffering of cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and so on. At the moment, I try to be a presence and an example of a kinder way to live. I hope everyday that this makes a difference, however small, as do you!
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 11, 2015 at 4:56 pm
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    Thank you Anne for sharing your story.

    C’est pour moi très important que peu importe où nous allons manger chez moi, chez la famille, chez les ami.e.s ou au restau que la nourriture soit végane. Mes parents ont très bien acceptés ce changement.
    Et je suis très heureuse et reconnnaissante de cette preuve d’ouverture et d’amour! Pour ma fête et l’action de grâce dernier, j’ai préparé des mets végétaliens pour les invités et tout le monde a bien aimé.

    Je ne peux pas dire que ça c’est passé ausi bien lorsque j’ai voulu mettre ces conditions à l’une de mes bonnes amies. Depuis ce temps…on ne se parle plus. J’étais extrême et elle n’allait pas accepter que je lui impose quoi manger.

    La non-violence est devenue une valeur trop importante pour que je ferme les yeux.Je ne peux pas être assise à une table et regardée les autres manger produits laitiers, oeufs, viande…je vois maintenant toute la souffrance et la cruauté imposées à ces êtres.

    So if you want to eat with me…it’s vegan or we do something else . C’est tout.

    Reply
    • February 14, 2015 at 7:19 am
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      Hi Melanie,
      Bienvenue sur mon site! This is an issue I struggle with daily. What avenue do we take in our advocacy? My daughter and her children are vegan, so no issue there. My home is completely plant based and I do not allow any food or drink in that is not. The biggest issue for me is when we go to restaurants. I do not like the smell of highly seasoned, cooking flesh, and I certainly don’t like the menu choices my dinner companions make, but I think there is some value in being a presence, a reminder that I object to the use of nonhuman animals for our wants, not needs and that there is a kind, compassionate way to live. My husband is now eating plant based because of my continual vegan presence and I am hopeful that others will follow my lead.
      I certainly understand and respect your position, though. I know of many vegans who have made the same choice – Gary Yourofsky and Dr. Jameth Sheridan come to mind. It is important for me to be open to seeing and doing things differently, so your position certainly gives me much food for thought-plant based, of course. LOL.
      take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 14, 2015 at 9:30 am
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    I’ve been vegan for just over a year now! It pains me that I didn’t do this sooner. Am loving what I have seen of your website so far!
    I live alone human-wise (widow and my children are grown up now) but have several fur and feather companions who are my whole world. I too won’t have any animal related products in my home. Friends and family have been so much more supportive than I imagined – at work my colleagues even went out of their way to help provide vegan (and gluten free 🙁 !) food for me at recent celebrations!
    However, I still struggle on a daily basis to cope with the constant discussions about the ‘evening meals’ and seeing the relentless adverts on either TV or other media for animal products!
    I’m rambling….off to read more now!
    Thank you for such an inspirational and informative site! Xx

    Reply
    • February 16, 2015 at 7:23 am
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      Hi Rosie,
      Welcome to my website and thank you for your kind comments. I too love the furry friends who share our home with us. I also struggle with all the overt comments about eating “choices” and often want to shout to the sky, “Stop, stop, stop”. This is why I have this website. It is my goal to be compassionate and kind while informing people, so that they can tap into their own sense of compassion and open their hearts and minds. I wish this could happen “yesterday”, but will continue toward today.
      Nice too meet you.
      Many thanks.
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm
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    Very interesting post. It was, indeed, a very pleasant night, will go back!

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    • February 16, 2015 at 7:25 am
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      Hi Caroline,
      I am so glad that you enjoyed the evening and that you intend to return to this fine establishment. Please tell everyone you know about Invitation V.
      Many thanks.
      Anne

      Reply
  • October 31, 2016 at 7:55 am
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    Hi Anne
    Thank you for this wonderful article. I went through the same thing with my partner that you did with your husband except he was already vegetarian so I didn’t have to put up with him bringing the bacon in and eating it in front of me. I told him quite early on that I wasn’t going to buy him dairy anymore or anything containing animal products and if he wanted it he would have to buy it and get it himself. He had his own shelf in the fridge. I couldn’t even bear to have it sat next to my vegan stuff. After a while he just started eating my vegan stuff and drinking the almond and coconut milk. As I do most of the cooking he just eats what I make and he is mostly happy with it. I know he isn’t vegan because when he is at work he still has cows milk in his tea and eats cakes and cheese that aren’t vegan but nevertheless this is a great start and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will go completely vegan soon.

    A friend of mine who is a meat eater came to visit me in York recently and he was more than happy to go to a vegan restaurant and he said he really enjoyed his vegan food. He was pleasantly surprised at how good vegan ice cream tastes and all the other delicacies they had. It was called El Piano and it is my favourite vegan restaurant. We had a long conversation about veganism and he said I had changed the way he thinks about animals. It sounds like you had a great time at your meal out too. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people to respect our choices, especially when it’s us doing the inviting.

    I really respect you for not allowing people to come into your home with food containing animal products. I haven’t been so brave yet. Sometimes, but not often Stewarts son and girlfriend come to stay and also his mum and they are all meat eaters. They know I won’t buy it but they do sometimes go to the shop and buy it themselves. I really want to say something but haven’t done so yet. I don’t even like them putting it on our plates and the smell gets in everything. I don’t think I would brave enough to tell them not to come in wearing animal products either. I am so glad we don’t have a lot of people staying but it does cause me a lot of anxiety when they do and I know it shouldn’t be like that in your own home. Thank you for making me question what I am doing more with regards to my friends and family. It is not easy and perhaps the hardest with our loved ones.

    Take care

    Rachel

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    • November 4, 2016 at 11:31 am
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      Hi Rachel,
      Thank you for sharing your experiences. Yes, it is not easy and I guess that there is no easy answer. I do what seems reasonable and adjust as I go along.
      Take care.
      Anne

      Reply

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