Me, shopping for cruelty free vegan make-up products (My husband loves my jacket, so he took this photo by surprise).
Since I’m fortunate enough that I don’t have to use this blog as means of making money, because I am already a professional writer and professional speaker, from time to time I like to vent — hence the name of the blog, “inspiration, motivation, and a little sass.”
And because this blog is more of a love letter to myself, talking about whatever I want, whenever I want, and dissing on Bloganuary midway because the prompts were lame, in my opinion, I fail to write enough about my career. I honestly think half of my readers don’t even know what I do for a living.
Anyway, after what happened on Sunday, I am motivated to vent.
Since 2013, I’ve been giving health lectures at libraries, senior centers, and assisted living facilities. No, I am not a nutritionist or a dietician. I am simple a woman with a passion for health. And what good is a health degree when many who have those have their own health crisis? It doesn’t make sense. What I’m trying to say is that I talk the talk AND walk the walk.
One of my most popular lectures is “Healthy Pasta Alternatives.” It’s a lecture that ANYONE can give. It’s just common sense. Some people have wheat sensitivities, so they eat gluten free. And I’ve been providing information to those who seek pasta options besides wheat. And guess what? It works! So many people have thanked me and said they learned something. But I’ve had amazing audiences too — people who have their own gardens, people who ate healthy themselves but just wanted ideas for their children, and so on. It’s always a great audience that makes for a great lecture!
But Sunday it was bad. Real bad. After the lecture I had a person WHISPER to me, “It was a good lecture.” Why did she whisper? Perhaps because a few “bullies” hijacked my discussion. I had three people who insisted on standing up, throughout the lecture, speaking over me, forcing THEIR agenda on to the audience.
It all began when a woman said that her son was vegan. I said I was too. That got another woman in an uproar. I don’t know why veganism was so offensive to her, but she felt it was in her best interest to announce to the audience that I told them “THREE TIMES” that I was vegan. Uh, no, I just said it “once.”
Then the first woman insisted that “some vegans eat chicken.”
I corrected her, “No, SOME vegans DO NOT eat chicken.” You can’t even say vegetarians “eat chicken.” If you eat meat or chicken, you are a carnist. You have not right to call yourself vegan or even vegetarian! But dumb as it sounds, I did hear a woman who worked at a health food store telling everyone she was vegan and then raving about her chicken recipe.
Why people lie about food is beyond me. I guess, like politics, food is a touchy subject.
But lets move on. Another audience member asked if I thought veganism was a healthy diet.
First, veganism is NOT a diet. If you’re a vegan, it’s for the animals. The health benefits are just a side effect. But I didn’t go there. This was supposed to be about pasta, not veganism. However, I did share that I believed it was a healthy LIFESTYLE (I purposely say “lifestyle” not “diet” because it IS a LIFESTYLE). Then in a brief two minutes I shared that in my three years of vegan vegan, my health did improve. Even with that vegan “junk” food, my health improved!! I always had thyroid issues, now my bloodwork is excellent. Also my eyesight improved. And I will be 60 this August 2023. … I’m guessing that since fish was the one item I held on to prior to being vegan, the mercury and toxins even in the “healthiest” fish was doing me in.
But non-vegans don’t want to hear this.
Another tool from across the room blurted out, “VEGANISM IMPROVES YOUR EYESIGHT.”
I got excited and asked, “You heard that before?”
No. She was mocking me. “No, that’s what you said.”
No, that’s NOT WHAT I SAID.
I said, “MY eyesight improved since I became vegan.” I DID NOT say, “Veganism improves eyesight.” (Though I have read that others have said the same thing. But, we are all different! If you do good things for your body, it will do good things in return. And I WILL stand by the fact that dairy and meat cause inflammation and it’s my choice not to eat those items and something good happened. Why begrudge me that? (A fellow vegan said, it was my good karma. Perhaps.)
Oh, but how the haters LOVE to twist things around. And debate.
Then another chimed in and said, “Well how come I eat meat and I have good eyesight?”
I had to explain the OBVIOUS… uh, genetics, how we are all different. Why do some people eat everything they want and remain thin? There are just no answers to everything. But we all do the best we can. Yet this audience was out for the kill, ready to debate, twist things around, and get up on a soapbox.
I was ready to throw the mic down and walk out, not even accepting my check. It was that awful.
I’ve been giving this lecture almost 10 years now and this was the worst audience I ever had, except for a few friendly faces I saw who seemed to be enjoying the small bit of air time I had before it became a free for all. (And, of course, the librarian was not in the room to address this madness. This is par for the course at many library lectures. They are too BUSY to partake in the lecture they booked).
Nevertheless everyone enjoyed the free gluten free, sugar free, VEGAN pasta dish that I made.
If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha: https://ko-fi.com/maryannechristianomistretta
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is the author of the following books:
“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary
“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You
Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/
Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.
And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos
Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/
I didn’t care for the bloganuary prompts either. I found it very disappointing.
Oh no! What a horrible experience! I don’t know why veganism and vegetarianism make people see red so often – and you were talking about pasta alternatives! What a rude audience.
Aw, thanks so much for your support!
And, yes, last year’s bloganuary prompts were so much better. These were lacking because they were so generic. None of them really made you think. And some of them seemed to be “competitive” and I’m not a fan of people saying why they are “better” than others — just share your experiences.
I was off WordPress for a few weeks because I was writing my 6th book. I’m now catching up and reading your post about the spiders! That’s a good one! 🙂
Hope writing went well! You were right to avoid WordPress – have to prioritize your books! 😊
Aw, thank you 💖
Yeah, I banged out a full book in a matter of weeks, plus traveled to take photos. It was a great experience. I think it will be published before the summer. ❤
Sorry to hear you had such a tough time at that lecture. It sounds like you handled it well.
Yes, I’m a professional and handled it well, but the craziness of it is etched in my brain. (And I forgot to write what the woman with the chicken-eating vegan son had to say about WALNUTS! She was going on and on about how bad and fattening they are…Uh, I eat walnuts every day, am pushing 60-years-old, and a size 6. Walnuts are NOT fattening!)
That sucks you had a mostly un-receptive audience but I firmly think that the vitriol is because they know subconsciously they know what they should be doing. It makes people feel bad that ethics and health drive your diet/lifestyle and not ‘taste’. I’ve endured it I’m saying cheers to you for getting out there and fighting the good fight! Thank you
Thanks for your comment! As you know, a vegan lifestyle has plenty of taste. This is where non-vegans get it wrong. They falsely assume we’re depriving ourselves, when in reality we open up flavor doors of perception. I mean, putting ume plum on oatmeal — what a great concept! To me, meat is tasteless. As a kid I had to drown it in vinegar, applesauce, or ketchup to eat it. It was easy for me to give up pork, lamb, and veal when I became an adult in the 1980s. I think most vegans are kitchen whizzes or foodies in general, often experimenting with a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and vegan proteins. Whereas meat eaters, it’s the same thing every time — a steak, potatoes, and a side vegetable. That’s boring 🙂
Agree so much! I always ask my meat eating friends/family if it tastes so good, why do they put all those wonderful vegan seasonings on their meat! works every time
That is genius!!