Living Tolerantly

Hello! Sorry it's been a while, but to be brutally honest, what's to say? We are stuck in a life hugely interrupted and we do all appear to be a little static right now! I feel a tad unhinged at times, not gonna lie.

Routines out of the window, emotions all over the place, not quite sure what is coming next! Not really surprising given the restrictions we face in our daily lives and even I, do not wish to bore you to tears with the same old, same old blog grump.

Sigh.......January is indeed a long old month, without the addition of living beside a pandemic, isn't it? All the fuss of Christmas time is already a distant memory, kept us out of trouble for a while didn't it? Now, we remain knee deep mid winter weather and all that entails. Frustrated, doesn't really cover it, does it? Life is very much on hold one way or another, 'hurry up and wait' and all that, so make sure you take good care of yourself, your loved ones and leave some fairy lights on eh, that's my advice for what its worth.

We as a team are moving back to lifestyle blogs, to ensure more admin and members can join in. Not everyone wants to hang their dirty washing in full public view or share their most private thoughts and be eaten alive on social media. I get it! I'm teflon coated after ten years of blogging but its not for everyone, I accept this.

We've always tried to be 'inclusive' within UnFrench and yet every so often we still fail! Today, we in the admin team do absolutely feel like failures. 100%. It happens. Mid passionate private group conversation about 'Veganism', one of our long time loved and trusted members left the chat! Her views had gotten lost in the thread and her warning to steer off subject had been completely missed.


Sometimes, we do hit a rare raw nerve but quickly re group and move off the subject. We've all learnt pretty quickly how to make the chat a safe harbour for all. Only this time we didn't and as it was one against many, it must have felt really exclusive and we were all far from sat on the fence! Sadly we unwittingly railroaded our friend oft the chat. Ouch.

I'm shaking my head in shame as I write, trying to find a positive in all this? There is one I'm clinging to and that's that, we will learn from this and the outcome has made us all stop and think! Thats a good thing, right?

I think so.

Before I leap into the reasons why and why not, blah, blah, blah, I'd just like to say that our chat group has always been a safe place for all. Often one of us will go off on a tangent and be applauded or left to let rip with zero judgement. Ultimately, we are always supported unconditionally by each other, no questions asked.

We are generally a group of like minded strong women form 30 to 70, happily existing in the same space. Sharing, caring and lifting each other up. We know each other intimately like the unique social experiment we are, as most of us have never even met!

That said, we aren't clones of each other and we aren't perfect. I've never personally believed perfection exists anyway, but we are generally all trying to be the best humans we can be, supportive colleagues and good friends.

If there's an aim to our admin chat, it's that we are 'better together', always. It doesn't suit everyone and some don't get it. No worries, but we are a unique friendship group and we wont apologise for that. We do absolutely have different political and religious views, I'm sure but we generally agree to leave these off the chat, so why did we fall fowl of that rule today? I'd say I don't know but I do, it's because we are HUMAN after all!

My god we've all been through it one way or another but our team is so very precious to us all, so when one of us gets offended or upset, we all feel it deeply. I really regret any hurt and upset caused.

At one stage or another we've all been so very grateful for each other, our group and wondered what we would do without the chat! It's been a lifeline for all at one time or another. At anytime of the night or day, we can join the chat and be accepted and included, no questions asked. Thats priceless!

So, V E G A N I S M?

Why such and emotive subject?

Personally, for me and after a lot of thought, I feel strongly that I have no real issue with most personal lifestyle choices unless dangerous or outlawed. Of course not. I do not consider myself a 'hater' or didn't until accused of being one. When someone labels you something you absolutely did not expect, it shocks! I was horrified. Could it be true? Am I a hater? I shouldn't be. I'm not a divisive person am I?

Suddenly, I'm questioning myself, which I guess that's a good thing?

As a Celiac with a restricted diet anyway and not a lot of supermarket produce to choose from, maybe I am little bitter?

Lifestyle choice versus no choice?


Jesus, am I actually jealous of people having a lifestyle choice? I guess so!! I must do something meaningful about that and soon! Broadly though, it's only part of the Vegan movement I dislike and that's the crazy pushy part. The cult part which exists in everything doesn't it? However, most vegans make the choice for their own personal reasons and leave us meat eaters alone? Don't they? Sadly, I can't say this is the case so far in my experience. Every vegan I have met has gone on and on and on.........piously! Not a fan of this at all. Happy to discuss the merits of veganism with you for ten minutes, then go back to my ham salad. I'm not ignorant, I'm just not in the market for conversion, thank you. I also don't believe a vegan sausage tastes remotely like a pork sausage in the same way Gluten Free bread doesn't have the taste or texture of a fresh wheat based loaf! Also factories do a lot of damage to our environment, I mean look at all the plastic they turn out daily!

I know, I know, all this doesn't mean we shouldn't try harder to eat less meat!

Vegans that push their lifestyle choice hard as a 'healthier' more planet friendly than the meat version? Not keen if I'm honest. I can read you see. I do read scientific papers on veganisim and other lifestyle diets. It all interests me despite my fear of a world without meat. I am obviously very aware that we need to eat less meat for the health of the planet. We also need to farm meat more sustainably. Absolutely!

Honestly, I think most humans want the planet to go on, don't they? I do! I'm willing to make sacrifices where I can, sure. Most of us are totally prepared to make positive changes in our lifestyles, in order to repair the damage consumerism has done. Agreed. Is veganism the answer? I sincerely hope not.

That said, I personally don't believe factories churning out 'fake' or replacement meat are any better for the planet than farming meat, frankly. I do not believe the vegan diet is ultimately healthier either, unless one stays away from the replacement meats and cheeses which are factory made. Anyone with a restricted diet needs to top up with minerals and vitamin replacements. So in dietary terms Veganism is a restrictive diet, no?

Humans are ultimately carnivores! Our teeth tell us this! What we do need is a balanced diet! There's no need for meat 7 days a week is there?

Do I hate all VEGANS? No, god NO, I do not and if you are a Vegan and come to my home, I will adapt my diet best I can to suit yours without question. I promise I wont feed you anything you don't want to eat. I will absolutely afford you that respect. However, if you try to convert me I will be livid! Much like religion or politics, I'm not interested in becoming a vegan anytime soon. Live and let live I say! Push it down my throat and you will find yourself sat on my door step and not at my kitchen table!

There are issues with farming meat that need addressing, I'm not deluded. We must absolutely make changes and soon. We eat too much meat, that is clear. Still, given all I now know about veganisim, I'm not sure it is the only answer. I don't hate you for your choice to be a VEGAN but you will loose my support in your lifestyle choice if you push me to join you. Thats MY choice, that's all. Honestly, if I was forced to have a plant based diet I would become incredibly ill. Not every digestive system is robust enough to take it! Ask anyone with Crones or Colitis? There is not a one size fits all dietary approach that solves all the planets issues. Sorry.

We should all work together to make the planet a better place, of course and we all need to learn to be tolerant about others choices, BUT we need to be careful talking about food as being good or bad anyway. Whats good for you may not be good for me and we've a long way to go before we have a solution for all! We have to stop trying to make everyone the same I guess. It's not healthy. We are 'absolutely fabulous' because we are individuals. We make choices to suit ourselves every darn day. I don't want us to be all the same and actually I love food and all the options it gives us daily.

So dear VEGAN, I don't hate you and you can come for supper and a little saving the planet chat because I'm with you on that one. Come anytime as long as your mind is open to other opinions, don't judge me and I won't judge you, okay? Sorry but your pushy vegan friend isn't welcome at my table. Same goes for the pushy Yoga expert, lifestyle, religion, politics.......need I go on? I have a lot of informed opinions and some I just decided I do or don't like because......get it? Somethings are best left alone eh!

I'm sorry we upset you my friend, truly. Thank you for reminding us to live more tolerantly, we are all a work in progress, right?


Donna x

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