Calling All Vegetarians! Get Your Priorities Straight. (Part 1)
Monday, November 30, 2009 at 10:00AM
Mike Dillman in Natural health advice, advice, diet, happiness, health, nutrition, obsess, raw, vegan, vegetarian, wellness

Avoiding social events?

Last night, I attended the year-end staff function of the company I work for.  The day prior to the event, one of my co-workers (we'll call her "Jan") asked me if I was going to be attending.  Jan happens to be a vegetarian, and she knows I'm predominantly a raw-vegan.  I think Jan was asking me a leading question, because as soon as I told her "yes, I was planning to go", she promptly followed it up with the question, "But what are you going to eat?"

Changing the subject, I asked Jan if her husband was going.  She said that, because he's a vegan, he wouldn't be attending.  In fact, Jan was originally planning on skipping it herself, and only changed her mind when she heard there would be vegetarian lasagna. 

Keep in mind that this was a huge buffet with a bit of everything you can imagine, and the menu was announced well in advance, so we all knew what to expect. 

"Nothing" available to eat?

There were the usual fish and red meat dishes, of course; however, there were also fresh cut vegetables, steamed cauliflower, carrots and green beans, mashed potatoes, and eight types of salad. 

This was hardly a narrow assortment.  There was plenty to pick from. 

Yet still, even after the meal, I found Jan and another vegan co-worker complaining about how there was virtually nothing there for them to eat.  I find this to be ridiculous.  These are the same sort of people who sit on their lunch breaks eating and drinking highly-processed foods like "soy nog" and veggie burgers on white buns, but they scoff at a full table of salads because of the choice of dressings or because there's a little butter in the potatoes?

This is a perfect example of two problems with many vegans/vegetarians today:

  1. They blindly follow the notion that nothing is healthy unless it's totally plant-derived; and vice versa, anything plant-derived is healthy.

  2. They've made their diet into their religion, and define their lives by it.

I have to question a person's priorities when the first thing they ask about an event is, "What are you going to eat there?"  People like this look at everything with a perspective of, "Will it break my unyielding rules about veganism?"  I used to be this way when I started going raw, but I matured out of it. 

Your diet should enable you, not isolate you

At some point, once you've found a healthy lifestyle that works for you, you should move on to other things.  Don't keep nitpicking about it to the extreme.  Your work here is done, so now you can focus on the rest of your life.  Concentrate on some of the othere areas that matter to you, like your education, your career, your family, your fitness, the causes you believe in, the places you want to visit, and all the other items on life's big to-do list. 

Remember, food is the fuel our body uses to nourish itself and give us energy; it's a means to get us somewhere.  Once we've acquired a healthy, energetic body, we should be doing our best to use it to its full potential.  Don't waste your life parading around as the local vegan "mall cop".  There are much bigger things for you to accomplish in life.  Don't forget that.


Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

Article originally appeared on Real-World Raw Health and Nutrition (
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