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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

I thought being Chinese was bad until I became vegan

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This gorgeous young couple bred a part-Chinese vegan. Who knows what the next gen will become. Photo used with permission of Carmel Jeffery.

Eve Jeffery

I’m an old, fat, white chick so people get quite a shock when they have been vilifying the progeny of my ancestors and I happen to mention I am one of them – The Chinese that is.

I don’t actually look Chinese so when people are spewing their venom about Asians, they don’t think they’re offending anybody in earshot.

I don’t look vegan either, but people don’t care at all about offending them.

Hated more than Chinese

I have discovered since I have become vegan that there is one minority group the general populace hates even more than the Chinese.

But I can’t for the life of me work out why.

I can understand why people might get upset that I don’t follow the rugby league. I can see why people might think it infuriating that I’m not a fan of Bob Dylan* or True Blood**. I can get why people might not like me because I don’t vote Liberal. (No, actually I don’t get that.)

What I absolutely don’t understand is why the thought of my not eating something gets people so upset.

People are lactose intolerant no-one bats an eyelid. People eat gluten-free and that’s okay. Vegetarians don’t eat meat and no one gives a hoot, but take that one step further and eliminate animal products entirely from your diet and folk lose their shit.


Surely that means more dead flesh for them if nothing else. Seriously – just mention you’re a vegan and some people sweat blood.

It’s even more confusing when people say they love animals and I ask, ‘then why do you eat them?’ The anger that rises?

The strange thing is, I am not actually asking anyone else not to consume earthlings. I’d like it if they didn’t but that’s not my particular mission this life (yet). All I am saying is I don’t eat creature flesh, fluids or fry, so please don’t feed me any, and sometimes it’s as if I have stolen their firstborn.

There is a meme that’s been around the traps for years. ‘How do you know if someone is vegan? Don’t worry, they will tell you’.

You know what, that is actually so, so true. There is nothing worse, and very embarrassing for host and guest than being invited to someone’s house for dinner, and being served up Grandma’s famous beef stroganoff, then you turn around and say, ‘sorry I don’t eat meat’.

Just take the hint!

‘Have some cheesecake?’ – ‘No I don’t have any animal things.’

One way I have learned to avoid this problem is to stop going out to eat with some humans. It’s easier to say that I will meet someone later than to explain that I’m vegan.

Here is how some conversations go:

Omnivore: ‘Hey, Eve. Let’s have a meeting to discuss your film distribution’
Me: ‘Great. Let’s have a coffee in Mullum.’
Omni: ‘Oh just come over to mine for dinner instead?’
Me: ‘Let’s just go to the Empire eh? They have a great blackbean burger.’
Omni: ‘Oh come on! We can use my big screen for a preview at mine. Come for dinner. Or lunch even and stay for dinner.’
Me: ‘Um. That’d be awesome but the Empire has great coffeeeeeeeeeee.’
Omnivore: *getting a bit annoyed* ‘I think just come for dinner.’
Me: ‘Ummmmmm. Oooooookay. Ummmmm.
Me: ‘I’m vegan.’
Omni: * Silence *
Me: ‘Really awesome coffee and cake in Mullum.’
Omnivore: ‘I hope they don’t ONLY sell healthy vegan food.’

The whole conversation would’ve been a lot easier if they had said: ‘Hi I’m…’ and I had said: ‘I’m vegan’. Then someone could’ve made up a meme about me.

This scenario also illustrates the other fallacy that vegans are healthy and skinny. I have a bum the size of a small country, boobs like a playboy bunny without the helium, and tuck-shop-lady arms to drool over – that is of course if you want a jam doughnut or a Sunny Boy. Hasn’t anybody ever heard of a potato scallop for Goddess sake?

The lucky vegan

But, I am actually one of the lucky vegans. The people in my life who love and care about me, and some of the people in my life who just like me, are more than happy to give me recipes, make suggestions, and if I turn up at their house for a meal, they will willingly find something that I can eat without complaint. Theirs or mine.

This Christmas if you want to enjoy your prawns and pork go ‘head – each to his own ( but don’t bang on about how much you love animals).

December 25 I’m tucking into a delicious nut roast.

* Just to be clear, It’s not that I don’t like Bob Dylan, it’s just that I’m not a FAN of Bob Dylan.

** True Blood? Meh.

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  1. Actually, no-one gives a toss about you being vegan – 20,000 cows has done quite well for more than 25 years without any problems … maybe that’s First World problems …


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