Do you know the real me?

I’ve never truly been able to be myself.  I write about this a bit in my essay for Connect the Dots.  This just isn’t a hospitable world for vegans.  And veganism is probably the single most powerful aspect of myself that gets the most resistance and ridicule.  It’s that thing that’s totally okay to openly make fun of.  It’s the “as long as you don’t rub it in my face” part of my identity.

I hide my veganism so often.  I do violence prevention work and I simply cannot openly include it in my work.  But it’s there the whole time – at the root of my nonviolent philosophy.  It’s inseparable from my feminism.  It’s simply who I am.  But I can’t say that.  We still have a very powerful hierarchy guiding us.  I’m sorry but we DO believe there is a hierarchy of oppression and we act on it.  To even acknowledge that I think all beings deserve to live is met with violent “how dare you!” responses.  Or laughter, ridicule.

I am a vegan and it’s about so much more than what I eat.  It’s about nonviolence.  I hope someday that we’ll make connections.  I hope someday that I can feel okay saying I’m a vegan at a violence (against humans) prevention training, in introductions, hell, in life.

So when you meet me, when I talk about violence prevention, just know that there is a lot more there.  I’m hiding it under the surface, but it’s there.

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