Jan. 4th, 2011

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I'm all about protesting. I mean, I've never seen protesting do anything of value, and the "protesters" from the Olympics last February kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, but everyone has a right to their opinion, and somewhere, I'm sure it says that you have a right to go and peacefully protest that opinion somewhere.

However, what I've seen from protesters is a lot of pie-throwing, window-smashing, insult-hurling action, and I haven't once met a protester who isn't a raging egomaniac. And so, *so* often, a "peaceful" protest degrades into violence, that I just don't understand the point.

Now, we return to the vegans.

Yesterday, my fiancé and I drove past some people on the corner of Robson and Burrard, holding signs that said "Go Green Go Vegan," complete with a lack of punctuation (that last comma is only there for grammatical reasons on this end).

If you're staunch enough about your veganism that you want to stand on the corner with a sign, you are likely staunch enough to believe that there are no exceptions to your slogan. You are also likely an asshat. No, that's not what I meant. What I actually meant to say was that you are also likely to be a complete and utter prick about it when approached.

I cannot be a vegan, even if I want to be one. There are simply too many essential parts of veganism that clash with a variety of diet restrictions on my own behalf due to health reasons. Vegans don't eat meat. Instead, they eat things like tempeh and tofu and almond-meal, because they are high in protein. I may not, strictly speaking, enjoy meat, but I cannot eat most "delicious vegan meat substitutes," due to soy allergies, gluten intolerance, and nut allergies. Well. I guess there goes my protein.

Okay, so we have established that I could not subsist on a vegan diet. The protesters' signs say "Go Green [by going] Vegan." If I cannot go vegan, does this mean I cannot go green? Does this mean I don't care about the environment? Am I somehow a worse person because I am medically unable to convert to veganism? Coupling their slogan with the fact that they are protesting this matter in public, on a street corner, in the first place, indicates that they care little for people who won't go green by going vegan.

Never mind that I don't think this is a matter about which a protest needs to take place, I demanded that my fiancé stop the car, so that I could get out of the car and have words with these people. He did, until he realized I was actually serious, and then refused to let me get out.

Then, we argued about how I was stereotyping vegans and protesters. THEN, he argued that by venting about idiotic vegan protesters, I was a hypocrite because I support unions going on strike and picketing.

Yes. That makes perfect sense. If I don't support protesting about a person's food choices (did you know, in some countries of the world, people don't have a *choice* in the kind of food they eat?), then I absolutely cannot support picketing for fair working wages and conditions. This does not follow!

Okay, obviously, I did not agree with him and got quite upset, but we canned the argument when he realized the analogy was not quite sound.

If, somewhere, it says you have a constitutional right to protest, go for it. I'll support your right to do so. I won't support your right to decide my lifestyle for me (I mean, *God*, it's not like I'm going around and forcing everyone to be gay with me!), especially when you have no idea what the mitigating circumstances might be. Such protesters don't earn my respect, they earn my ire. Your reasons for protesting are specious. I can be green without being vegan, and so I will be.

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