How Do You React To Accidental Consumption Of Animal Products?

Most people I know who are strict vegan or vegetarian have had at least one accident or another regarding animal based products.

Unfortunately its one of those things that happens when you buy and live in a world that uses animals for almost all of its products.

I myself have had many accidents in my 7 vegan years, some through lack of checking – yes assumption really does make an ass out of you and me – and some through sneaky companies.

For example, since I have been vegan, Skittles have been vegan twice, but are now not vegan in the UK again, Walkers crisps have changed their recipe (without publication) to include milk and Sainbury’s FigRolls that were once perfectly ok for me to eat – suddenly contained butter. Overnight. It was devastating!

So yes. I have eaten non vegan products, and tonight is another example of one of those.

My husband Benj, who is a fabulous vegan cook, decided to make vegan pizzas tonight using his very own vegan cheese recipe (I will blog one day) we used pre made bases that were vegan friendly, he made his own sauce and poured his cheese overtop.

Just look. Isn’t it freaking delicious looking…

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After one slice I was happily munching away when he said … I put a drop of wine in the sauce to make it richer… My heart dropped. Wine?… Oh no, I haven’t checked that wine (its our housemates).

I stopped eating.

“Did you check if its vegan?”

His bunny in the headlights look said it all.

“Ohhhhhh Ben!!!!”

I go out and take note of the wine – Anakena Chili Sauvignon Blanc.

Please I think as I google it – Pleeeease!

Nothing comes up, which is so often the case, and you know what, thats worse than knowing. It leaves that awkward thought…Do you continue to eat? Or do you not eat?

Ben advised me to keep eating.

“But what if its got fish guts in it? That repulses me, I cant eat it.” I snap.

He looks angry, and I get it, he’s cooked this amazing meal and I cant eat it, just in case it has something in it, that possibly may not.

Needless to say I didn’t eat it, and after a few sharp words I explained to a Ben that it wasn’t the fact he made a mistake that upset me (as said above we all do, and this is the first time) it was the assumption that – you’ve already ate a bit, so might as well keep going. Like it didn’t matter.

Everyone goes through stages when they find out there is an alien ingredient in their mouth, something unfriendly, un-vegan and just not right.

I think I’m definitely a blamer. I blame others when I eat something I shouldn’t. Its my mums fault for contaminating the potatoes with the meat. Its Bens fault for not reading the label properly (I have really bad eyesight) or its the companies fault for changing the ingredients when I’ve already checked the old ones.

I’m also a guilt holder. Even now I’m picturing the poor fish being gutted. Its like a heavy weight in my stomach that will haunt me for days. I don’t think this is a healthy way to think about it, but it does act as a wake up call to how I truly feel about my beliefs. It shows me just how much I care.

I also know people who are violent reactors – instantly making themselves sick or cleansing themselves by taking laxatives.

Then there’s the people who would continue to eat the food, on the principle that the animal had been killed or used for this, they had made a mistake but now should not waste the produce that the animal went through suffering for.

None of them are right or wrong, its just about processing your emotional and physical response and reacting the way you think is best. No one but yourself should judge you on that.

How do you react? Disgust? Acceptance? Guilt?

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4 thoughts on “How Do You React To Accidental Consumption Of Animal Products?

  1. Interesting post! My reaction has changed over time. When I first went vegan two years ago, if I was in a restaurant and ordered something without cheese and butter I’d send it back if it came with dairy. I figured that this was a way to let the restaurant know how important this was to me and perhaps even inspire someone to consider veganism. Now, however; if a restaurant makes a mistake like this, I eat it anyway. My reasoning is that the animal has already suffered, and by not eating it I’m being wasteful because the restaurant will have to make me another meal. Besides this, I don’t feel that returning an item is appreciated by people who work at restaurants and is only likely to make them hate vegans instead of making them consider going vegan. I typically eat at vegan restaurants, so I don’t run into this issue often. But a few months ago my husband and I ordered a cheese-free pizza and it came with cheese. We ate it, but politely told the waiter that we requested a no-cheese pizza so that he was aware of the mistake. I know my reaction is different from many vegans and it may change again – who knows. Great post! Celeste πŸ™‚

    • Celeste – thank you for your kind words and response! I completely understand what you’re saying and I think you really have a point about how vegans are perceived when they refuse to eat things – there is a polite, and then a blunt way of treating people, and sometimes (chefs in particular) just don’t understand your life choices! I’m not saying we should justify ourselves to people, just that a little patience is whats needed.

      Plus, as said above, only you can choose what you feel is right. In your case wasting the food and the suffering the animal went through to get it would be worse than eating it and that’s your choice and you should be proud of it!

      I think the ‘PR’ of vegans often comes under attack and you’ve inspired me to write a post about it! So thank you! x

  2. My last boyfriend worked at a restaurant that made deep dish pizza with vegan options. He and his co workers would split a pizza, half was made vegan half was not. One night be brought his vegan half home for me (YAY, pizza!) and as I was eating it I got a mouth full of sausage. I just burst into tears that I ate a piggy! It was a terrible feeling and my man felt so bad but it wasn’t his fault at all. After the waterworks we found a new dinner.

    The other night my friend made a bunch of food (chili and BBQ cauliflower) with a lot of beer in it (I don’t drink or consume alcohol) She told me after I had eaten it and i felt really bad. She didn’t even apologize and kinda acted offended I didn’t want to eat any more. That made me more upset than eating the beer food. At least say “sorry!”

    • awwww! Saplingvegan! I feel your pain! When Benj made the mistake he felt awful! and although you want to ease their guilt, you can’t help but react to the guilt and responses you feel – in your case, crying about the poor piggy 😦

      At least he was nice about it though – and I hope he treated you to a nice dinner!!!

      As for your ‘friend’ that’s just a bit wrong. I don’t know what I’d do if I found out someone had purposefully made me eat something with animal products in it – let alone if I was T- Total and I had consumed alcohol!

      I can only hope they see sense and apologies to you soon for the lack of respect and empathy they showed!

      Thank you for commenting! : ) x

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