Couldn’t, shouldn’t or simply wouldn’t?

I empathise with people who are afflicted with serious food allergies. Life threatening reactions to otherwise nourishing eats! It stands to reason that unless they want to inflict bodily trauma, these allergy suffers couldn’t eat certain foods.


Gratefully, knock on wood, I don’t have any serious allergies to any foods. Wheat though, bloats me – to 2nd trimester status, but it’s not celiac disease, and not life threatening. So therefore, if I want to look slim around the middle, I shouldn’t eat wheat.

food reaction

As a vegan, what’s wearing thin is being asked, “Are you allowed to eat cow’s milk, eggs, fishes, chickens, …?”   I am allowed to eat anything! Yet I wouldn’t eat animals, nor their secretions. And no, I’m not on a diet either.

being vegan

Yet as much as I might emphasise that I choose not to eat our fellow beings, I’m often met with a ‘yeh-right’ look of mistrust.

Okay, I do see why this is. (I was once there too, remember). We’re fed, encouraged and supported to believe, trust and place our hope in diets. Diets allow us to buy into an egocentric, quick-fix remedy rather than to re-examine what our society at-large teaches us is ‘normal, natural and necessary’.

My continuing exploration, re-thinking, un-learning, re-education is rewarding me by reclaiming a deeper, more healthful and environmentally sound way of nourishing my body.

 It’s that complex, and it’s that simple.

4 thoughts on “Couldn’t, shouldn’t or simply wouldn’t?

  1. Great post! It’s really interesting to listen to the language we use to communicate certain things, isn’t it? I think a lot of people are used to rules, in diets and everywhere else in life. That’s where the “Are you allowed to…” question comes from. I used to ignore it and just answer yes or no, but for some time now I’ve always answered like you, “I’m allowed to eat anything. I choose not to.” It can be scary, and empowering, for people to consider that they have choices for how they live their lives!

    1. So true Marissa! Our family are having such fun taking back some words, like ‘meat’, from ‘mete’, meaning solids. Now we feel comfortable referring to our lentil and walnut loaf as our meat loaf. Loaves made from animals would be called animal flesh loaves!

  2. That’s so well put, Lyn. For me as a newish Vegan, it’s so helpful to have responses that get to the essence of what it’s all about. Thank you for your blogs.

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