I have a friend who keeps McDonald's gift certificates in her car, to give to people who ask her for money "for food." I like the idea, but obviously can't support a burger chain, so I've taken to carrying a peanut butter sandwich along with me when I go into town, just in case I run across someone who's hungry. All questions aside about whether the guy in the hardware store parking lot really wants food, or prefers cash for something less life affirming. I just want to be ready, without pause for judgement, when a fellow human asks me for help. I can offer food. And when I supply a simple meatless meal like a humble but wonderful PB and J, I'm doing two good things in one. First, I feed someone, which is one of the main things I think I'm here for, and then, by giving them plant based food, I also eliminate a potential meaty meal they might have eaten otherwise.
I do this with our friends too, on another level, by inviting them over for dinner fairly often. I kind of hesitate to admit this here, in case any of those friends should read this, and stop accepting my invitations. I think they're better than that though, and that's why I call them friends. And even if they know what I'm up to, I think they truly like coming here. Anyone who eats at my house gets a beautiful (vegan) meal that replaces one of their regular meals - at least theoretically. Maybe some of them stop for a burger on their way home, but I hope not, and I think not. So really, when I have people over for dinner, I take the meat out of that meal for them, and sweetly, kind of subversively, turn them into "one-meal vegans." It's all for the common good, and everybody wins. I get to cook for people I care about, and serve them something filled with love and healthy goodness. They get a tasty meal they wouldn't normally make for themselves, along with an evening at our house, which everyone seems to enjoy. More animals are spared than if I cooked just for Rick and myself, fewer resources are used, and everyone goes home happy.
Sneaky? Maybe a little. But so what? I'm out to make things better for all concerned, but I've pretty much given up evangelizing about why my friends should follow me down the vegan path. I know where that will get me. Nowhere for sure, and probably with fewer friends. But by simply feeding people, I'm actually able to extend my own vegan reach. Every meatless meal I serve to someone else means one less meat-filled meal they might consume, and that's a good thing. Subversive Veganism has its place, and I'm all for exploring the possibilities. PB and J anyone? Meet me in the parking lot.