Swimming Against The Conventional Stream

Posted on 18 July 2016

Coco Chanel Meme for Starling & Ivy

Oh Coco Chanel, how true your words ring! I’d love to speak from a place of saying I’ve mastered the art of being courageous and that I wouldn’t flinch at taking a different opinion from a crowd. Yet, there are moments of inner conflict where I think for myself but don’t say a word. Case in point, I recently went out to dinner with a good friend and her fiancé. Her fiancé knows I’m vegan, and yet relayed his tale of confusion over his vegetarian neighbors inviting them over for dinner where there was no meat option. Even with pasta, roasted veggies, and a salad, the dinner felt insufficient to him. He went on to say with great gusto that he’s a carnivore and that he eats meat at every meal. I sucked in my breath and nodded politely, even though he would have been served something similar if I had him over for dinner. Should I have been more courageous and stood up for his vegetarian neighbor and for the animals? Looking back, I probably could have said that his neighbor’s meal sounded delicious, but I didn’t. I’m still wrestling with the fear of being labeled the Obnoxious Vegan.  

It takes courage to speak up in this world, especially when ideas like veganism are unpopular or go against the status quo. At times, being vegan feels like I’m a salmon swimming against the conventional stream. For instance, I’m planning the menu for my wedding, and I’m at a crossroads. Do I follow my moral roadmap and have the vegan wedding of my dreams? Or do I compromise with other people’s beliefs and have a meat option? If the most courageous act is to think for myself aloud, then loved ones, you might be having the most delicious vegan meal of your life come next May! 

It’s not easy, no, to be ourselves out loud and in public, especially around the people we love who might disagree, but I have found in life that the hardest things are usually the most worthwhile. 

So I extend this reminder to me and to you: Be a trendsetter. Be an activist. Be you. Speak up for love and empathy, always. Thanks for the wisdom, Coco. 


Starlings, what's your thoughts on the fine line of being tactful and polite versus standing up and sharing your beliefs with others? For instance, should ethical vegans like myself have a meat option at their wedding? Leave a comment below. 


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1 comment

  • Sapna: July 18, 2016

    It’s so tough! I for one really wanted to have all vegan food at my wedding reception, but in my parents’ culture not serving meat options is considered “cheap” and disrespectful of your guests. We compromised and had one meat dish in the dinner buffet, with the rest of the appetizers, main course, and desserts (yum!) being vegan. People hardly noticed, and those that did were pleasantly surprised when we told them their meal was animal-free! I will say that one meat dish still nags me though….

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