The Healthy Butcher Tried to Convert Me

I’ve been thinking this post over and over and I think the right thing to do is post it.

@MathieuLLF and I went to the Live Green Festival and we were approached by a person from the Healthy Butcher booth. He asked if we wanted sausage. I said no, we’re vegans. He said he has converted many vegans to eating meat. My jaw slightly dropped. I didn’t think this was very nice. I had politely said no and kept walking and he had responded with this?

I wrote an email to the Healthy Butcher and it was the owner who had spoken to us in this way.

Here’s my email to them:

“Hello people of Healthy Butcher,

My name is Lidia, my husband Mathieu and I were at the Live Green
Festival today and as we were walking around a person from the Healthy
Butcher asked us if we wanted sausage. I replied we were vegan and he
said he had converted many vegans to eating his product. I thought
this was really disgusting and rather insulting. What a disrespectful
answer to our lifestyle. I nicely said no and here he was pushing and
not only that, but insinuating that a vegan would eat animal product
sausage. Seriously?  The truth is, you’re the only close vendor of
Aiden’s bread, and that is the only reason we go to your store. This
morning I bought $44 worth of bread, is this the kind of customer you
want to lose? I would rather drive to the Michael Angelo’s in
Mississauga (we live at Bayview and Eglinton) than be treated that
way. Not impressed at all. It’s hard enough as a vegan to step foot in
a store called Healthy Butcher let alone be insulted by one of your
employees.”

 

This is his response back:
“Hi Lidia & Mathieu,

I’m the owner of The Healthy Butcher, and I was the one yesterday at the Live Green Festival who said that to you.  I meant absolutely no disrespect to veganism.  My wife and I were vegetarians before opening The Healthy Butcher – and the impetus for opening the store was to provide a source for ethically and organically raised meat.  The truth is, while we were vegetarians, we did not feel 100% – no matter what we did to balance our diet.  Over the course of the last several years, I have encountered many many more people that have had the same experience…. vegetarians, vegans, and to a lesser extent pescatarians – who simply don’t feel physically 100% (I’m not talking one or two, literally in the hundreds).  Some think it’s blood type (a la Dr. D’Adamo theory), others think that it’s not possible to source sufficient iron and B vitamins through other foods – I don’t know what the truth is… in any case – I have met many people that feel great not eating meat, and others who don’t.  Anyway, this is all another discussion – the main point is, I didn’t mean any disrespect to you.  You have my utmost apology.  If you shop in my store you know that we carry a LOT of products, including prepared foods, that fit both vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, and you also know that the meat we carry is the best there is – local, ethically raised, and organically raised.

Do you want me to call you to discuss this further?

Again, I’m very sorry… my comment was meant to be somewhat humerous based on the real experiences I’ve had selling meat to vegans in the past.  Obviously, that humour didn’t come out the right way.

I don’t want to lose you as a customer.  How can I make it up to you?

Sincerely,

Mario Fiorucci”

I haven’t replied as there is no way he can make it up to me. What on earth can he do? I don’t want discounted products, I don’t want to step foot in the store and we’ve found another vendor of Aidan’s Bread, so I’m fine going elsewhere. I feel wrong stepping into a place called the Healthy Butcher, which, in itself is an oxymoron, nothing healthy about butchering any animal.

I’m sure this post is going to spark some kind of debate and all, but let’s not separate issues and start finger pointing. I hope this is just going to highlight the kind of thinking people have towards vegans. I’m not out there on the street trying to convert people, I’m just expressing what happened to us and that’s just matter of fact.

I’d love to hear other stories.

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9 Comments

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9 Responses to The Healthy Butcher Tried to Convert Me

  1. Alfonse

    Your post doesn’t highlight ‘the kind of thinking people have towards vegans’, but rather emphasizes that vegans are capable of being hypersensitive, self-righteous, and irrational individuals. Mario merely stated some anecdotes from his own experiences that some vegans have converted back to eating (ethically and organically raised) meat, which for whatever reasons you found to be reprehensible and even ‘disgusting’ behaviour. I don’t doubt that’s how you truly feel, but an ongoing indignant attitude like this will result in a lonely road ahead for the two of you in terms of food purchasing and dining options. Keep having fun!

    • aireater

      There are tones of options where we can eat thank you, I don’t see your personal attack as a contribution to your argument.

  2. emu

    Yeah….mr. healthy butcher was not disrespectful, and the whole incident makes you sound kind of crazed.

    • aireater

      Emu, do you follow me on this blog too? I didn’t know you read it. I’m not interested in a stillepost type of argument. I’d invite you to explain yourself, but this would just be a negative spiral and I feel I’ve left that behind. Why you’re deciding to comment I’m not sure as you are neither vegan or gluten free.

  3. Hmm. I always try to see both sides of a situation, but as an equally passionate vegan, I, too, would have been offended by his comment. Perhaps he thought he was being witty, but we’re not vegans on a whim, and so many omnivores have simply chosen to remain blind to the facts. Though I probably wouldn’t have written a letter, it bothers me that he wouldn’t take no for an answer–that’s just rude, no matter what.

    His letter to you is BS (100s of people, yeah right), and I’m with you–I would absolutely take my business elsewhere. Whether he meant disrespect or not, his is not a business I would support.

    xoxo,
    LJ

  4. Oh and as far as ethically and organically raised meat is concerned, that is also complete BS. Meat is murder. Period.

    xoxo,
    LJ

  5. Mike

    I was a vegan for about four years, vegetarian for seven, and of course there was no end to people who thought they were being funny trying to convince me to eat meat. All told one butcher saying he thinks his meat will convince you is hardly something to get outraged about. People have many reasons for choosing not to eat meat and his store apparently attempts to address some of them. There is often a misconception among people that ethical treatment of animals is the only one, but the only way to dispel this misconception is through open dialogue with people, not getting indignant. His letter to you seems to indicate that he is willing to participate in such dialogue, why aren’t you? Don’t forget that people deserve ethical treatment too.

    • aireater

      The email back to me was basically sorry you don’t have a sense of humor. What dialog would I have exactly?

  6. Mathieu

    The point here is that you can’t just sell meat to a vegan by saying you’ve converted some in the past. A true vegan wouldn’t just be like “Oh ok since you’ve previously sold meat to vegans I will throw out all my morals and buy some on a whim…”

    Ethical meat is a moot point, either way the animal was killed. How is that ethical? If I ethically kill someone, does that make it alright?

    Everyone has their own morals, we respected Healthy Butcher’s… Hell we even shopped at his store! How many vegans would even step foot in a store with that name? We respect other peoples opinions, as long as they respect ours. We didn’t appreciate his humour as it was disrespectful. His reply was all just explaining his side and I have a very hard time believing he’s converted hundreds… If that is true, they were hardly true vegans to begin with.

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