“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” St. Augustine
“Remember,” my youngest daughter whisper-hissed at me from across the restaurant table. She was eyeing the rather handsome server who was headed our way. “You’re vegan. “
The italics were necessary in her voice and are necessary in print because, while I am absolutely plant leaning, I am not vegan. Unless I eat out with this particular daughter, who keeps reminding me that — when in public — temporary veganism is way cooler than lactose intolerance.
I humor her for two reasons. One, I remember what it was like to be embarrassed to have parents. Two, some vegans are so, well, feisty, they’ve made it way easier for anyone to dine out in a dairy-free way.
It’s true. I see a hint of wariness in servers’ eyes whenever I inquire about a vegan meal. Vegans have a no-animal-product-anywhere-anyhow standard that has no doubt put it there. They have, so to speak, kicked down the door to the restaurant kitchen. We lactose-intolerant folks need only to meekly follow them in, assured their consistent standard will make our meal a happy one.
(A warning: This only works as long as we dairy-free types are willing to also go meat free. Servers will get quite suspicious if you’re talking vegan but ordering a double cheeseburger without the cheese.)
This trickle-down benefit of veganism got me thinking. If a one group’s eating standard can set a new serving standard in restaurant food — not to mention what vegans have brought to the fashion table — such a thing can probably work in arenas other than food.
For example, can those of us who are striving toward God’s do-no-evil standard kick down a few doors as we go? Can we — in a loving-yet-feisty way — make it easier for the next guy or girl to say no to whatever bad idea comes knocking and yes to God’s best? And, not by coercion, but by choice? Can simply living and communicating in a joyful, loving, righteous way really do all that?
Maybe it’s all those vegan meals talking, but I can’t help but think, “Lettuce find out!”