A Vegan in the Streets
Well, I haven't always had it easy. I've spoken of the issues I've had with drugs, but here is another bit that I have had to deal with: living in the streets.
Now, although it wasn't tough, nor for a long period of time, I have had to deal with not having any money whatsoever for a while. This post is largely responsible for keeping me fed and at times, sheltered, so I thank the folks at TFV for this. I do other small tasks over the internet, but not having a solid job meant that I needed to clear the space I was in.
Thank goodness I didn't own too many things, nor do I have children, making it easy to live on the streets in a posh neighborhood where the people don't mind me - or at least, tolerate me. They comment about me, poke fun at me, and even judge (stop drinking you alcoholic w****!) which I ignored completely. I know why I was on the streets, and even though I did drink without having a roof over my head, I know that wasn't the reason for losing my job - a crazy boss was, and I'll keep that to myself for the time being.
But, what WAS hard was making people understand that a vegan still has to eat like a vegan. Not having much money meant that I begged for food once in a while so as to be able to pay for computer time to write articles and do my other internet jobs. However, many people never understod my wish to ONLY get the rice without some chicken, nor did I want that beef broth. Oh yes, it's nice and warm... but no, I don't want it! Is that all you're offering me? OK, thanks, talk to you later, I'll go ask someone else! Oh, you feel insulted? Sorry. Not my fault that vegan means vegan even if I'm poor! I kept most of my vegan values but did at times accept some non-vegan food, especially since some people didn't understand that 'no dairy' includes cheese. Whatever.
Although some didn't understand, I was touched by the number of people that did come through for me. And even more surprised that the one who came through the most was actually the poorest of all that gave to me - a young latino man named Jesus (appropriate, isn't it) who offered me free coffee every time I stopped by to talk to him. Yes, he was flirting a bit, even though he knew I had no home, nor money; his open mind touched me. He listened as I told him what I was going through and understood my sorrow. Today, I still see him; I buy his coffee, say hello and chat.