Allow me to step up on my soapboax for a moment.
What is it with Portland vegans? Why is it so difficult to treat other humans the way you are treating animals? Why is it so important that you are cool and hip and tattooed and pierced and trendy?
The reason I bring this up is because of a recent couchsurfer (www.couchsurfing.org) that I hosted. She was a lovely, effervescent young woman from Quebec City, Canada. She was eager to come visit Portland because it seemed, she said, like a vegan paradise. Of course, the reality was, when she got here, she was immediately persecuted just for being her: she wasn't young enough (she is a whopping 32-years-old!), not skinny enough, not trendy enough, and, apparently, not vegan enough, to be welcomed. She said I was the only vegan (she had met at least five others) that treated her well.
This is an outrage! I'm sick of the elitist vegan attitude that is so prevalent here. I'm tired of calling myself a vegan, at least in certain circles. I've only met one other Portland vegan with whom I've shared the same philosophy. Otherwise, it seems that the vegans here are the "protest in front of a fur store and subscribe to all things PETA" type. I feel almost embarrassed to tell people I don't consume animal products, because then I see myself being lumped in with the rest of that group in their eyes.
Portland vegans have forgotten what it's like to be condemned or judged for their diet, so they feel free to do it to others. The approach people take to promoting veganism in this city is similar to when someone coughs heavily at a smoker or comments on how "large" a person is - right in front of him/her. Assuming you are right in all things without really even considering the other person's feelings, reasons behind his/her actions, or current situation, is just awful. I thought vegans were striving to make the world a better place, in promoting a healthier lifestyle and a freer conscience, but apparently, it all comes down to how many tattoos you have on your body.