“Oh, you can’t eat this Gajar Halwa”, he says as he looks at the menu. Is that a hint of accusation/pity I detect in his voice? Perhaps he expects to see yearning on my face at the mention of a dessert I love.
A little laugh escapes me. “It’s not that I can’t eat it. I don’t eat it because I choose not to. It’s a choice, silly. Not some forced sacrifice.” 😃
“Yeah, whatever”, he blows a raspberry at me. But I can hear the gears turning in his head. With one simple switch from “can’t” to “don’t”, I’ve planted a different perspective in his mind.
Often we don’t realise how much power we have in our own lives. This is especially true with food. People say, “I can’t live without cheese”, “I can’t live without eggs”… When I learnt about veganism, even I said it. “OMG I can’t live without milk and curds!” 😄
The thing is, most people want to be kind. Hardly anyone is willing to hurt an animal. But when it comes to food, they honestly believe they don’t have the power to change, so they choose to ignore the cruelties behind it instead.
However, when you demonstrate the comfort with which you choose not to eat something each time, their curiosity feels safe to peek out. Is it possible? Is it really that easy? I wonder if I can do it too.
“Pah! How do you even live this way, da?” He’s trying to sound like he’s annoyed, but I can see he wants to know more.
Funnily enough, this is when the Vegan Gajar Halwas I’d secretly requested from the chef arrive at our table. I beam and immediately lick up a spoonful. *sigh* Heaven. 🤤 His confusion is adorable! 😄
I hand him a spoon. “Here, dig in.” At the first bite his eyes widen in disbelief. “This is vegan, ah?” I flash him a big grin and keep eating.
I’ve planted the seed. My work for today is done. Tomorrow when he comes back with more questions, I’ll be ready.
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