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15 April 2001 Issue
Mindfulness

Anonymous

A co-worker arrived with a basket full of Easter trinkets which she was giving out to everyone in our department. The trinkets were decorated, multicolor eggs on a stick, surrounded by colored wispy feathers.

"Oh, great... just great... Please tell me she is not going to give me an egg," I thought to myself. "If it's not bad enough to think of all the chickens forced to suffer for something this silly and pointless, the eggs were probably colored with PAAS egg-decorating dye which is made by the egregious animal testing conglomerate Schering-Plough. Ugh."

Surprisingly, when she got to my desk (after every one else had been given the egg-on-a-stick trinket), she dug way down in the bottom of the basket while saying with a coy smile, "But you, Ms. Thang... YOU get something different because I KNEW you wouldn't want me to give you an egg," and she produced from the basket a little chicken shaped candle. [Yeah, you guessed it - the candle is not vegan either... but for a moment, let's work with the premise that it's the thought that counts!]

No sooner had she spoken the words, when all the egg-on-a-stick recipients encircled my desk asking, "Uh, what is wrong with eggs?"

In this micro-second, I considered shrugging it off (making a flippant joke or changing the subject) and avoiding the question... just to let them enjoy what was a well-intended gesture on the part of the coworker who gave them the egg-on-a-stick trinkets. But, then I considered the chickens and any reluctance to shield the "mindful-LESS" went out the window. In a way, it is very good that my coworker thought enough about the issue to have not given me an egg... but really the point is not that eggs shouldn't be given to vegans but to avoid consumerism of these products all-together.

I immediately pulled UPC's website up on my computer in their view, and began explaining "what's wrong with eggs." I answered all their questions patiently and in-depth, and when the topic of eating chickens arose, I described specifically what happens in a chicken slaughterhouse. When answering questions like "why are you vegan?" and "what's wrong with eggs?", I always reply with a nonchalant, matter-of-fact intonation (as if I were telling them that the Earth is not flat).

Needless to say, I rained on the parade of half a dozen people and completely ruined the enjoyment of the coworker who was trying to spread goodwill by giving out the trinkets... Sigh. I certainly don't like being in that position... but for the chickens, what choice is there?

Go on to A Review of the 106th Congress on Animal Legislation
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