I find it sad that vegans are more obnoxious than fundamental Christians, and having a conversation with most is more underwhelming than having a nonversation with a Buddhist.
I can, however, identify with both vegans (having been one) and fundamentalists. In a recent Fast Company feature about Apple (July, 2010), the author said research shows that committed Apple consumers have the same neurological make-up of religious fundamentalists.
This makes sense. Despite horrible coverage, a strategic product roll out launch that has me purchasing a new phone with each iteration, and massive pressure from everyone in the business world to own a Blackberry, I maintain unquestioning loyalty to my ideals and identity as an Apple user. I can identify with fundamental Christians, terrorists, and vegans. I am, in fact, one of them.
There is a slight difference though. I don’t care what kind of phone you have, I am not interested in you having a different one, and I am not going to try and convert you to the iPhone, blow you up for owning a Blackberry, or engage you in endless and condescending conversation because you just don’t somehow get it.
Perhaps the terrorists analogy went too far? I think so. Vegans aren’t blowing people up or crashing airplanes into dairy farms (mostly). The fundamentalist Christian analogy is more on par: die hard beliefs without questioning the implications of the beliefs or their measurement in the context of reality.
Don’t balk. Remember, I am one of you. I am a fundamentalist. I also used to be a vegan, and I was a professional spiritualist featuring a chiseled-sharp edge of activism (I have the tattoos and tee-shirts to prove it). During my spiritually profound glory days of veganism and ramped narcissistic judgment, I recall watching an episode of Newlyweds, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson’s reality show. During this episode Nick expressed interest in buying a Hummer. I thought, I must confess: “What an asshole—ignorant douche bags like him are destroying our planet…”
Times are different now. I have matured. Slightly. Or perhaps I just care less. Either way, the universe is a big place, and my ego-driven ideas about what is right and wrong, and what others should and shouldn’t do aren’t that relevant (except to this post, perhaps).
It takes 100,000 gallons of gasoline to produce and ship a Prius to the United States (and even more to get it to Boulder, which is a well loved vegan and green lifestyle hot spot). Buying a used locally-owned Hummer would be better, one could argue, for the environment than buying a new Prius. Though, this of course wouldn’t accentuate your spiritual vegan ego, which might be hard for us. But it might be the right choice for the planet. (Full disclosure: I own a Prius).
Point being, there is nothing wrong with being a Christian, vegan, iPhone user, Hummer driver or Prius owner…but there is nothing holy or right about it either. The universe is full of give and takes and it’s a much bigger place than any of us can imagine.
And, point further being, if we blow people up in the name of God or Allah or vandalize dairy farms under the pretense of compassion, you, not Nick Lachey, are the d-bag.