Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why vegetarians must learn to have a poker face

Maybe you a lousy at poker, or you don't gamble. That's fine. The important thing is learning the style of a good poker player - a poker face. This will come in especially handy in social situations. Not that you will make many friends with that, but it avoids bringing unnecessary attention to yourself.

I had, on two occassions been asked if I am ok or whether I am feeling disgusted when seated at a non-vegetarian dinner table. I just felt a little uncomfortable, but never expect the face-contortion spell to fall on me. It was a little embrassing when people started looking up at you while you try to relax your facial muscles and say in a most positive manner that you are ok. Don't keep your poker face too long though, especially when your vegetarian meal is served. Because another situation you do not want occus is your non-veg host and table mates worrying you are not happy with the veg dishes.

That's the hardest part of veganism to me. It is not finding vegan food and goods, reading labels, doing lots of research on the topic, stopping yourself when you want to dive for the meat. It is our interdependent world where we are afraid of what people would think of us, that others wouldn't accept who we are. Sometimes we think so much or become so afraid that we choose to back out and quit it all. But if we keep our undiscerning poker faces and remain strong in our conviction, we will be able to overcome all obstacles.

Kudos to all vegans and vegetarians who have remain firm in your convictions!


Anni said...

Thanks for writing this, I couldn't agree more with you! I hate being the center of attention because of my veganism, and it is difficult for me to "have a poker face" sometimes, but these are the kind of situations we all have to deal with sometimes. Reading about fellow vegans' feelings helps enormously.


Urban Vegan said...

I hear you!

I don't understand why people come up to me to tell me their gross meat stories. One lady came into my office yesterday to tell me how her vegetarian photographer-daughter was asked to photograph a roasted goat--and hows he eventually decided to accept the assignment. I kept my poker face and said "I sure could not have done it."

But why do they need to tell me these things? To get a reaction? Poker face, poker face, poker face!

Crystal @ Blog*Spot said...

Overcome the Fear. Don't worry about what other think about us - as Vegan or Vegetarian.

Who care? As long as it is right, it does not hurt other, there is nothing wrong becoming a vegan or vegetarian.

I would not know exactly what the non-vegetarian think about me as a vegetarian. No point spending time speculating what they think. If I'm doing so, i am inviting troubles and wasting resources. At the end of the day, I maybe speculating things which is untrue. That's what i think lah :p

Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

Generally, non-vegn friends at wedding dinner table will be curious of what vegn dishes will be served such as mock abalone/sharks fin but they always politely decline if I offer them as they think I would not have enough for myself:P
They are just being concerned, people are generally curious but kind...

Tan said...

Wah ha ha Poker face, very hard to do since I am not a Poker player at all.

Sometime, doing the right thing doesn't means you are "right" if you fail under the minority group.. ;(

Anyway, I salute you for being Vegan, I myself trying to be a Vegetarian now, very hard but I will try my best (I hope if I can only do one right thing this year, I want to become Vegetarian).

I wish you well and happy ;)

dreamy said...

Tan: I wish you success in becoming a vegetarian :) I set aside a date for myself to do so last time, I find it easier.

Jari (travelling-vegan) said...

Yup, acting skills certainly make things easier sometimes. One thing the colleagues do to me when eating in regular restaurants is to put the veg dishes aside for me rather than having them shared like the rest of the stuff. And then they wouldn't get any veg! Not fair, so I put them all back... irritating. I'm good with the poker face when waiting for foods, but need more practice looking happy with just some plain cabbage.

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