When We Don’t Always Agree

Persian Spiced Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes by Yup It's Vegan, photo credit Huffingtonpost.com

Persian Spiced Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes by Yup It’s Vegan, photo credit Huffingtonpost.com

She leaned in through the kitchen door tentatively.  She had her scarf, coat, boots and hat all organized. She drew in a chunk of air through her nose and into her chest. Then she mustered as much lighthearted cheer and walked purposefully in.

“I’m off, Mom.  I said good-bye to Dad already.”  She came up behind her mother, who was busy tidying up at the sink.  She gave her a peck on the cheek and a bear hug.

“Oh, where are you off to?”

“Remember, I had told you last week, we’re all going to Will’s place down the street. Sort of like a mini high school reunion, now that most of us have come back for Thanksgiving.”

“Ah, yes. I’m sure the Bensons have a full spread for their Thanksgiving. It’s Will’s favorite kind of meal,” she remembered.

“Yup. Turkey, sausage stuffing, and all, Mom.”

Seitan Stuffed With Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and Mushrrooms by FatFree Vegan Cooking, photo courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com

Seitan Stuffed With Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and mushrooms by FatFree Vegan Cooking, photo courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com

Then, she added feigning nonchalance, “I might have some myself,” and eyed her mother on the corner of her eye warily.

Her mother turned around and looked directly at her. “Really now. So, you’re still  carnivorous, huh?”

“A long time ago, Mom. And I know you don’t like to hear it, having raised all of us to only eat plants. But I’m an adult now, with a job and my own apartment. And I am entitled to eat what I want,” she explained gently.

Her mother looked away and faced the window about the sink. She went back to wiping the counter top.  She started to slowly shake her head, her shoulders hunched.

She walked closer to her mother and gently stroked her back. “It’s okay, Mom. I’ll be all right. I appreciate what you have done all these years. I know how strongly you feel about this. I get it. You are a big authority on Vegan nutrition, especially at the university. But, I have made this decision a long time ago and I have told you about it while I was still in college. We’ve had this conversation before, Mom.”

Pot Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cumin by Quentin Bacon/Food&Wine, photo courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com

Pot Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cumin by Paula Wolfert, photo by Quentin Bacon/Food&Wine, photo courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com

“I can’t help but wonder if Adam put you to it,” referring to her boyfriend.

“No one put me to it, Mom. I made this decision long before I met Adam. I resent that you would even think this way about Adam. I’m my own person. I make these decisions for myself. Look, we all appreciate the lengths you go to just to make our Thanksgiving dinners as close as possible to what the Pilgrims had: the stuffed squash, roasted eggplant, lentils, and all that. And they’re really tasty and flavorful. But, I want to eat meat every now and then. I think it’s healthy too. My decision has no bearing on your chosen lifestyle or anyone else’s.”

Her mother looked her way, still troubled but silent. She heaved a sigh and walked to the broom closet. The daughter walked away and marched to the front door.


It’s very hard when family members are at odds with some overarching values:  The ultra conservative right-wing patriarch and the LGBT offspring. The oil and gas executive and the near-fanatic environmental activist sib. The white supremacist grandparents and the granddaughter engaged to a Kenyan.  The Baptist minister whose son wants to marry an atheist, or at the very least, an agnostic. The doctor whose daughter refuses to have her children immunized, touting every single ill from ADHD to Autism as unintended consequences of childhood immunizations, in spite of data on the contrary.  The Jehovah’s Witness parents and the newborn with a life-threatening cardiac anomaly in need of emergency surgery that will entail going on the blood pump. The Saudi guardian and the feminist student. The list goes on.

People watch as stores burn Tuesday, November 125, 2014, in Ferguson, MO. Photo courtesy of David Goldman/AP and ABC.com

People watch as stores burn Tuesday, November 125, 2014, in Ferguson, MO. Photo courtesy of David Goldman/AP and ABC.com

 I believe that the biggest driving force to the segregation, the carve outs, the lines drawn, the peacock posturing, is fear.  Fear is such a raging tyrannical and overgrown misfit in all its irrationality and contagion. It comes with its close cousins, jaded bias and malicious prejudice.

Just look at Ferguson in the last few months, last night, and today. Sanford. Oakland. There’s a lot to be troubled about this week when we are supposed to be giving thanks.

This entry was posted in Biases, Opposing Beliefs, Thanksgiving, Vegan Thanksgiving and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to When We Don’t Always Agree

  1. A beautiful story that tug our hearts and knocks on our soul. Living in fear and acting on them on unguarded moments can create negative and painful results. Part of our freedom is to be free from fear that holds us back and truly enjoying the meaningful joyful life God had planned. I have my share, or shall I say, a bowl full of fears, each of which prevents me from achieving my fullest potentials and reaching the dreams thank will make happy. Each day, a try to make little baby steps. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail but then what matters is we try and that we have family and friends that help us in our goals to be a better person. Wishing you and your family a Thanksgiving full of love, joy, peace and blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. likeitiz says:

    Ahh, I have inspired you to speak, wise sage! the fear that I refer to in this piece goes beyond the flight of fight instincts that have helped to preserve our continued existence as living beings. Eat or get eaten. Thus is the rule of the jungle. What I describe are irrational fears borne from some conjured beliefs in the subconscious and has spilled into consciousness flooding it with twisted irrationality that now, the self is threatened.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Leon Mercado says:

      The worst irrational fears come from ignorance. And so again I say the oft ignored cliche’, ” The truth will set you free!”

      Christian fundamentalists fear Evolution,……..Muslims and Jews fear pork,………Catholic clergy fear gays,………..Republicans fear Global Warming,……….Democrats fear Religion,…………..Nazis feared the Jews,……….and so on and so forth. All caused by the flames of ignorance fanned by the spreading of lies.

      I happen to fear spiders myself,……….but not snakes. Perhaps if I knew as much about spiders as I know about snakes, I wouldn’t panic around arachnids as much. Of course all bets are off when you turn on the bathroom light and find a giant eight-spoked asterisk on the wall staring at you with beady eyes, ready to pounce and suck up your blood! That did happen in Manila one stormy night, that ended with one screaming, naked, fat man blazing away at the fiendish monster with a plastic pellet gun.

      SpiderMan was killed by some primordial fear that evening. He was given a burial at sea via the toilet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • likeitiz says:

        Hahaha! Tsk, tsk, tsk about the fat naked man screaming through the night. Not a very dignified execution for old Spidey, I must say.

        As for all the groups you enumerated, we should include ISIL, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and their kind (Including Turkey’s Erdogan!) and their fear of women, huh! Enough to attempt to kill Malala too.


  3. Leon Mercado says:

    Actually, fear much like pain is good for survival. When alarm bells go off in one’s mind about potentially bad life situations, then the brain goes double time to work on solutions. It is really the the irrational reactions to fear that can go bad. The knee jerk spasms that makes people lose perspective and control of their actions. But if you learn to face your fears intelligently, then in most all probability, you will do well.

    An extreme example would be the sport of skydiving. A skydiver is certainly afraid of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and falling to his death. It’s this fear and desire for self-preservation that drives the successful skydiver to learn the technology and master the safety disciplines to keep him from going “SPLAT!!!” on the ground.

    And it was probably fear of the dark and nocturnal predators that made people figure out how to make fire.

    The best way to deal with fear is to seek the truth about what is causing the alarmed concern. Knowing that, one can figure out how to face and slay the demons that haunt us.

    Noel Mercado

    Liked by 2 people

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