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Forming your own opinion

28 / 12 / 2015

From a young age, I can distinctively remember not liking highly opinionated people. The way they hogged the conversation and made other individuals feel less important bummed me out. Especially because people who were being put in their corner were usually someone I knew and cared about.

But now that I am older (although still basically a child, lets be real), I realise opinions and ideas about topics are important and helpful, but not necessarily necessary (wow, my English today). Anyway, from once being the neutralist of Switzerland’s ever, I am interested in things that obviously make me somewhat opinionated by societies standards and that’s something new for me. But let’s be clear, just because I am now a fully dedicated vegan who is strict by societies standards, doesn’t mean I am suddenly confident. I don’t by any means have the confidence to steal the conversation around the dinner table, or ask people confronting questions to spark their curiosity (not that I’m saying that is the best way to go about it). I’ll leave that to the select few in society. Regardless however I am still quite passionate and certain about many things, that bubble over when given the opportunity.

However, now that I am so curious about veganism and the ins and outs of it (let’s just take the nutritional/health avenue of it for now), it comes down to the question of; what do you choose to support? With the plethora of ‘sub-vegan’ dietary preferences (we know the list), it’s often hard to know what to support and follow yourself. At the moment I just do my own thing, while acknowledging and respecting everyone’s choices, because ultimately the animals and environment are getting the same benefits, so in some way we are ‘on the same level’. I know that I could try these different ways of eating (and I kind of have for some of them), but then I’m just preaching what works for me – not everyone and their vastly complex needs and desires.

I bring this up because I am currently reading a lot of different ‘vegan literature’ (haha, well health books), and I get all their points. I see that this works for someone and this works for others. But then for example when you go on YouTube and it appears all users are strictly eating this way or that, which overflows onto their ‘followers’ who want to be just like these 'idols', it just gets me a tad confused and frustrated. Especially for new vegans, because I went through the same thing that I think is inevitable for those inducted into the vegan community. You strictly cut out oil, eat HCLF and start eating meals the size of a basketball in front of your family because you’re assured you need to CTFU (I’m not trying to bag anything out, just using an example). However, on the facade this just makes no sense because what works for someone may very well not work for another. And I know that this is pointed out a million times on YouTube, but rather than explicit reminders, the implicit ‘selling’ of a person’s life is continually shown through vlogging, which can make it really hard to not feel comfortable doing ‘you’.

I am not saying vlogging is bad, but let’s just take it down a little. Let this act as a flyer to those who are about to enter the auction yard and things become a little in your face and overwhelming. Because diet doesn’t need to be that serious, rather joyful and nutritious. No rhyme intended.

As I read all these books, I am now in a place when I can remove myself from the tones that press importance and urgency. From this, I am developing a more well–rounded view, and consequently, not being such a insensitive, ‘I’m right’ vegan. So my opinion is forming, but I think it’s also being slowly dissolved, because I’m letting research do the talking and remembering that everyone is different, and the next label that people tag to themselves after being vegan, doesn’t have to be put on after watching 40 minutes of YouTube.