I had a little thing recently on Facebook. I re-posted an article about McDonald's french fries on a vegan group page. From a friend's post, I learned that the fries have dairy (whey) in them. The article also said beef flavoring, wherein is found the whey, but I only mentioned the dairy part when I shared in the group because that part was made clear whereas it was not clear about the beef flavor part. I shared it because, believe it or not, I was really surprised! Yep, as much as I malign McDonald's and all the times I've looked up their nutritional data, this escaped me, the death-filled fries.
Okay. In the ensuing comments, some butt-head wench says in what can only be a prissy, leader-of-the -clique tone of voice, "It's been long known in the community that these aren't even suitable for vegetarians due to beef flavoring."
Epic eye roll! Long been known in the commun... go stuff yourself! And a million other well-deserved retorts sprang to mind (still do). What I replied was that I was new to the community, ahem, and if my post helped one person such as myself who didn't know then it was worth the share. One person liked that response. I'll be honest, the whole thing rankled for days, I thought about leaving the group even (so lame but I did think it), and then I remembered ... people. And the odds.
And the odds are good that in any group the percentages will out and a large percentage of people are - or at least consistently act like - assholes. There are totally a lot of vegan assholes just like there are precious non-vegans that are awesome and a light in my life and I love them. This isn't an epiphany so much as remembering. Also, it's applying what I know to something that really matters to me instead of something just eh like a job. It's hard. Honestly, though, it should not come as a surprise that some militantly pro-animal folks aren't too great with people. I claim that myself, I just happen to have couth where-as folks like that butt-head wench don't.
The upshot of this experience for me is learning to be brave. To put myself out there, knowing I'm going to have to interact with the people. To keep doing some things I'm really good at, which is growing, learning, trying.
Go out, then, as a force for good in a world that's imprecise and uncertain.