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
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?
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.