Non Vegan Vacation

Although I live in close proximity to my son and his family, I rarely get invited to events.  That is partly because I am a regular part of their daily life, so when it comes to holidays and weekends, they need to spend time with the rest of the family. Thus, it was extra special to be invited on a mini vacation for Spring Break to accompany the family on a road trip to San Antonio.  But the destination made it problematic: they were going to Sea World.

Fortunately, my son was sensitive enough to suggest I may want to hang out at the hotel while they went to the Aqua Prison.  I knew there were family members who had been wanting to go to Sea World for the past year or two.  If I went, it would also mean having to figure out where to leave my feline roommate, since my son is the one who normally cares for her when I need to go out of town. It is priceless to be a part of a family, but hanging out solo in a hotel somehow misses the point of it all. These are the times that try the vegan soul.

Refusing to Participate

I know that for people who are not part of the vegan community, my choices may seem odd; I am sure it would be easier for my son if I were just a Mainstream Mom who didn’t have to make these kinds of decisions. But to leave the animal that most depends upon me to attend an event where animals are suffering  seemed to be a poor trade-off.  It is always good to get away, but this particular event seemed like it would only emphasize the barriers between my family and my own beliefs.

I decided to decline the invitation, let my son know how much it meant to be asked, and will hope that in the future they can decide to do something celebratory that does not require the suffering, death or imprisonment of animals. Progress sometimes feels agonizingly slow – last year I was asked to stay home from my grandson’s birthday because they were fishing; this year I was not only included, but taken along with the family. But whatever the personal price I might pay, it is important for my children and grandchildren to know I am a person of principle, even if it makes me odd, different, or excluded at times. They already know, it is not about me not loving them, but rather is not about them at all. It is about what is fair and what is just. Sometimes, all one can do is refuse to participate — even if what you are avoiding is a family vacation.

 

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11 Responses to “Non Vegan Vacation”

  1. Monty Python says:

    Isn’t your cat “imprisoned”, and therefore “suffering”?

  2. veganacious says:

    The cat I live with is a domesticated animal and is not used to entertain others. She is dependent upon me. She is not imprisoned but her life is limited, due to her vulnerability. Actually, such indoor domesticates actually have longer lives (if well fed and provided good care) than their feral counterparts; whereas most animals used in entertainment have much shorter lives and much more restrictive environments than they would in the wild. I would hope that we would stop creating domesticates because of their dependency and because most do not find homes. But it is a troublesome dynamic, and I appreciate your questioning me about it.

  3. Michelle says:

    This not only encourages my veganism, but also my decision to be childfree, now and forever. No offense, but you can only rely on yourself, and family often causes pain.

  4. veganacious says:

    Hi Michelle:
    Family can cause pain but also joy. I applaud your self-sufficiency and your thoughtfulness about bringing more humans into the world. Any close relationship holds the power we give it – our value of it – to cause us great pain. But without love, what is the point of it all?

  5. veganlinda says:

    I think it is great your son asked you to go along so you had a choice. It can be hard for non-vegan family or friends, they might be worried about asking vegans to events they know are vegan unfriendly. Great that you were able to stick to your principles without hurting your relationship with your son.

  6. veganacious says:

    Hi Linda!
    I think my son and I have a strong bond, but nonetheless, it is always heart wrenching to have to stay behind. The beauty of this declination, however, was the result: I was invited to go with the family in the future on a trip abroad! Thank you for looking at it from the side of non-vegan family members, too. It helps spread peace when we broaden our vantage point.

  7. Apple Neilson says:

    Dear Veganacious,
    i think it is wonderful that you stick by your beliefs & do not contribute to the captivity of wild sea-mammals by not buying a ticket to Seaworld, even though you wanted to be with your family. I gotta’ hand it to you for your patience with them too. If this had happened to me, i would have told them that they could find me out front of Seaworld with a PROTEST SIGN & handing some pamphlets about freeing the Cetaceans! L.O.L. I guess since you had your Kitty to tend to that was not possible for you anyway right then. ;o)
    Though it might not seem like it at times, your family will no doubt benefit from your good example. :) My hat is off to you.

  8. veganacious says:

    Hi Apple!
    Thanks for the support. Family is always the most difficult, but in their own way they do respect and support me. I know this is an issue for other vegans, too.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Tony Reed says:

    Love this post! In so many ways, we vegans are outcasts. But we must always remind ourselves that this feeling pales in comparison to the pain experienced by so many animals.

    On a lighter note, I love to travel, but do find it rather challenging to find good vegan meals in most places.

  10. veganacious says:

    Thanks, Tony. There are some good vegan travel blogs out there, including Marty’s Flying Vegan Review and The Vegans Directory: http://vegansdirectory.com/category/travel-blog/ ~ I know from working on the directory that more and more places are offering vegan options.

  11. [...] representative that was willing to help me. Since I had missed most family events in the past (see Non Vegan Vacation and Missing the Party), I was determined to participate in this important event.This cruise line, [...]

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