On a sunny Friday afternoon, just before the summer gets unbearably hot, we came back to Talpiot, our local market place restaurant. Ilan Ferron, the visionary who started this restaurant, a longtime friend, has successfully endured the arduous road of educating both age-old market vendors and the local foodie audience.
The place enjoys the benefits of being situated in the midst of the market stalls, and relies on fresh produce and the abundance of readily available ingredients.
Nothing speaks more about freshness than seeing someone popping out of the kitchen, walking the few feet to the nearby stall, and quickly returning to replenish an ingredient they ran out off. And the joy is of course compounded when minutes later said ingredient arrives on your plate as part of an ensemble masterfully made.
When old friends first hear about my blog theme
Like all the other food serving establishment we frequent, this restaurant has vegan dishes on offer, as the ongoing proliferation of people opting for a vegan lifestyle is evident to those wishing to keep their client base growing.
When a minute of calm in the hectic service presented itself, Ilan came over to exchange some words and get a chance for a quick catching up session.
When asked what I was doing these days, I gave a brief account of my passion for writing this blog, with the extra delight of motioning with my head towards my love when telling him the blog's title. After smiling and congratulating me on my new endeavor, Ilan looked me in the eye and asked:
"So, are you vegan now?"
The look on his face held a sense of slight apprehension awaiting my answer, which quickly lifted when I said that although most of my diet nowadays is indeed vegan, I still maintain my earlier non-vegan diet, mostly when we go out to eat.
The instinct to defend your choices
Coming back home after yet another great culinary experience at Talpiot, I reflected on that vibe of apprehension I sensed, and realized that I get the same from most non-vegan people upon telling them about this blog. That of course led me to think of the reason why they feel like this: Why is opting for a vegan lifestyle intimidating to some people?
In the simple case of an owner of a food serving establishment that mostly serves non-vegan dishes, I guess the answer stems from the belief they are losing valuable customers, an issue easily overcome by introducing more vegan dishes on their menu. An even easier matter in the case of a market place restaurant surrounded by fresh vegetable stalls :-)
For many other people I encounter, that have the same instinctual reaction, I believe the reason is that I make them confront their own decision for maintaining a non-vegan diet.
Still waters run deep
This I can easily relate to. Living with a vegan partner I am constantly reminded that I eat non-vegan food. As a result I need to reaffirm this choice, almost on a daily basis (almost – because as I mentioned, when eating at home I frequently have long periods of time sustaining myself with vegan food only).
In a way, these apprehensive reactions I get, show that the shift in public opinion is happening all the time. The fact that I seldom encounter indifference when raising the vegan issue in regards to my blog, is the strongest sign that the process of educating the public is growing in momentum, and effecting even the staunchest of non-vegans.
To get started with Disqus head to the Settings panel.