Last week Jane and I were in New York. We were not there to play, but rather to attend the funeral of one of Jane's aunts. As with most of these events, it was bittersweet, a somber affair, but it was pleasant to see the rest of the family.
After the funeral, there was a luncheon scheduled at a banquet hall in a far suburb of Manhattan. We were all offered a choice of prime rib, chicken, or salmon. Of course, we were the crazy fruit and nut people from California who eat no meat. When the waitress came over to take our beverage order, I discreetly called her over and asked if she could accomodate us with some kind of vegetable plate or salad. Imagine my surprize when she asked me if we were vegetarian or vegan. We were in an area that has zero vegan restaurants, zero vegetarian restaurants, and very few vegan options in the grocery store. Our waitress was not a twenty-something young college student whom you might expect to have a vague idea of what veganism means, nor was she a "hippie." She was an average 40-something female, living in a non-vegan-friendly environment. And we didn't have to explain, in detail, what we did not want in our food!
We were given a heaping plate of pasta with a marinara sauce and a heaping plate of beans and carrots which had been sauteed in olive oil and garlic. The food was only mediocre, but we ate most of what we had been served simply because we were so excited to have been given something we could eat!
Of course, our meal was commented on at the table. Some of our readers seem to take exception to this kind of thing. We didn't mind at all. No one was openly disparaging; they all appeared curious. When asked if it was difficult to change to a vegan diet, Jane phrased her response quite eloquently. She commented that it was just like starting any new eating regime. It takes a bit of effort to get into the swing of things, but once you know what you're doing, it's pretty much effortless. We didn't proselytize, it's not our style, nor was it the time for that type of behavior, but we did answer the questions that were asked of us. And to Jane's cousin who commented, "You eat the food of my food," we responded, "Yes, and by doing so we're helping to save the planet for your children," which allowed us to segue into some of the environmental benefits of eating vegan.
Afterwards, when we were expressing our gratitute to our waitress, she informed us that she ate vegan as often as she could, and was excited that we'd made that special request so she could also share in our meal (the staff apparently gets to eat the same food as the guests). She's not a vegan, but likes to eat vegan as often as possible.
I guess the point I'm trying to get across in this post is that even when you least expect it, there may be the opportunity to find vegan food.