Today is my father’s birthday. And it’s the first year I’m far away and can’t celebrate with him. But I will do here a small homage to him, to a man who always helped and supported my choice of being vegan.
When I told the news that I would stop to eat meat at home, it was not a big surprise because I have never been a big fan of meat. So my mother said something like “what’s the big deal?”. Than came the second part: I would stop to eat (and use) all kind of animal product. Well, this was a big surprise and something they couldn’t understand at that time. For the first one or two years, my father thought it was a kind of “rebellious attitude” that was coming with the punk/hardcore lifestyle. He used to say that it wouldn’t last for a long time. Even without understanding (and believing in my choice) he started to help me. First, I was still living with them at that time, so he (and my mother) started change some small, but important things to me, at home. Everything that we could eat together (like pasta, margarine, biscuits) they started to buy the vegan option of (oh yes, pasta in Brazil usually has eggs). And many times he was going to the supermarket, he was coming back with something that he discovered (reading the ingredients) that was vegan.
He has never let any of his friends or our relatives make funny (and stupid) jokes about the vegetarianism. Every time we have been out to eat, he always talked to the manager of the place to ask to some vegan options for me. Every party he did at home, there was lot of food for me. This may seem not a big deal, but most of my friends hadn’t the support of the family when they decided to become vegetarian or vegan. And he was there, for me. Trying to make my choice easier in a city and in a time when there weren’t many vegan options around. When people didn’t even know what was veganism. He was one of this people too. He didn’t even know how to explain my choice. When people asked him if his daughter was vegetarian, the answer was always “she is more than vegetarian, she doesn’t eat nothing that comes from animals”. This was the way he found to explain the veganism. And I couldn’t be more proud.
Today he’s celebrating his birthday with friends and family in his house. And I am here. And I will have a big and great vegan salted cake to celebrate!
Happy Birthday, daddy.
And thank you for always being by my side.
PS. 1 I will have to translate this post to him, but it’s worth it.
PS. 2 Today is also the birthday of a great vegan Brazilian friend. Clarissa, we will celebrate this day together in Berlin soon!