2nd May 2018
Mood – Pretty shitty
Events – Car shopping
Focus – Being an outsider
I’m gonna be honest… I have had a pretty crappy day.
The kids have been very challenging lately and it has lead to me being a less-than-respectful parent.
I have got to the point where I am flitting from one to the other aaalll daaay, trying to help sort their issues but it’s me that ends up being the one who got it wrong and made their issues worse.
We are in a tough spot.
We are currently living with my parents and my Nan whilst I sort out a new place for us to live and being slung into someone else’s house with house rules that differ from each other is hard on everyone involved.
My parents are awesome!
They have taken me and my 3 mini me’s in at the drop of a hat!
All in all it’s been fairly good, with each person making compromises, but combining two very different households with very different views on, pretty much everything… is bound to bring some fireworks.
As a result, I feel like I am failing at respectful parenting, radical unschooling and life in general.
I have started comparing my life to other’s again (not good, don’t do that, your existence is exactly how it needs to be for the world, we are not all supposed to be the same – yes I should listen to my own advice and no, of course I don’t listen to my own advice… no one does)
I feel like all eyes are on me, whereas before I was happily getting on with our hippy ways and rocking it and now that I feel like i’m being watched, I’ve lost my mojo.
We are away from our ‘home’ town where everything was in walking distance and I am feeling pretty isolated because we have no car (gave it up previously to save money and be environmentally friendly) and buses are actually really fucking expensive when you are a single parent to 3 kids and don’t have a lot coming in.
My mental health is bulging out of my brain like a large boil that desperately needs squeezing when, in previous years, it was pretty easy to smooth down with ointment… now, I feel like the entire world can see it and I need some fucking mental health boil concealer… do they sell that?
I’ll invent it.
It will be super shiny and bounce light off it like a bastard and everyone who looks and me will get a glaring light, so bright it almost screams, piercing into their judgey eyeballs and they will say ‘Gosh darn Becky! You are glowing!’ and fuck off back to Costa for a noneofyourfuckingbusinessimfinethanks-chino.
Yes, Weird Vegan Lady has issues.
And Costa are doing some nice vegan things at the moment so…
I went car shopping today.
The only practical cars in my price range were 30 minutes away, in opposite directions, so the entire afternoon was spent being driven to to see these cars (thanks mum).
The first one was so different to the pictures that I asked my mum to double check we came to the right place!
Fag burns ALL OVER ALL the seats, wooden blocks holding up the drivers window and the cover for the petrol bit was missing, among other things.
In the pictures it looked pristine!
The next car was perfect! Except that it had a huge oil issue that the salesman tried to bullshit us about.
I’m a feminist but… he totally fooled us, until we sent the photo of it to a man and he confirmed it was a real issue.
Back to the drawing board.
Back to waiting.
Back to being told ‘You should get out more, that will make everything better!’ and politely saying ‘Yeah you’re right, i’m just whiny, don’t listen to me, i’ll be fine tomorrow once I have spent half our food budget on a day out and then feel shit for not being able to contribute to anything else.’ with a forced smile.
As vegans, we all know what feeling like an outsider is like.
In my Facebook group ‘Vegans living with non vegans’ (now closed) I saw so many people who felt the daily struggle of simply being a vegan.
I also, see so many posts from vegans asking why all other vegans are not joining the cube of truth or animal saves or avoiding palm oil or avoiding plastic or using their Facebook for activism etc etc etc…
I mean, damn!
I am really struggling right now, to exist as I am.
To make sure my kids are ok.
To make sure I am not treading on anyone else’s toes.
To make sure I am not causing inconvenience to anyone else.
To make it right when I do.
To make sure people know I appreciate them.
To make sure I have a future mapped out for my family.
To make sure I don’t let my issues affect anyone else.
To make sure I am eating properly.
To make sure my kids are eating properly.
Where the fuck are we going to live?
To make sure I have enough money to get some transport.
To make sure my kids all feel valued as individuals.
To make sure I gear myself up to book that doctors appointment even though I have social anxiety.
To make sure I get that balance between talking too much about my issues and listening to other people’s.
To make sure I have checked my inbox to see if anyone has reached out to me.
To make sure I add enough content on my instagram to not lose more followers.
To make sure I have got my calculations right with the fundraiser I did for Hillside.
To make sure I don’t feel guilty for spending time on vegan activism when my kids are bored.
To make sure I don’t spend too much time away from vegan activism when my kids are bored…
Imagine if I had any other disadvantages!?
Like being a woman of colour, disabled, gay, trans etc etc etc…
This list would go on for days!
As it is I only stopped my rantings so that no one would get bored.
(Note to self, add to list: To make sure my readers aren’t bored)
So to all those vegans who say that you are not a ‘real vegan’ unless you get out there and do some outreach, stop.
Your opinion screams of privilege and it’s gross.
Not everyone can shout vegan slogans from their ivory tower, looking down at the commoners below with disgust.
It’s lovely that you do, but it sucks when you use your privilege to undermine all those with less resources.
If you use your vegan activism to convince other people, vegan or not, that they are not good enough unless they have access to money and transport, mental well-being and physical well-being, childcare, time and are comfortable standing next to those who think their entire existence is wrong… then you are making sure that only elite, privileged white people can partake in veganism.
You are what is wrong with the vegan movement.
So stand down, or change your approach.
Not everyone has an ivory tower.
A shit load of people live with their parents, with no money, no transport, and a whole host of other issues that prevent them from doing the ‘perfect vegan’ outreach that you can do.
*slow clap* well done for being privileged.
Instead of vilifying those who aren’t, make room for them.
Use your privilege to include those who want to be included, call out those who won’t include others and support those who are trying despite their daily struggles.
Be an intersectional vegan.
There are only so many people who have ivory towers.
Make space for a tent in your massive fucking garden.