The Vegan (Flash Fiction #24)

Photo by Sascha Bosshard on Unsplash

When Tony Tung suddenly announces at the dinner table that he is going to be a vegan starting the following week, his parents are totally confused what he’s talking about. They’ve never heard the word before and have to consult the online dictionary.

“It means a person who does not eat any food derived from animals and who typically does not use other animal products.” His mother Sheena reads out of her iPhone.

His father Shang doesn’t say anything, but his mother, always the good family administrator, is quick to grasp the significance of this.

“Does this mean you are not going to eat my pan fried salmon, and stir fried beef?” She asks.

“Fish is not animal, right? Tony? You are still going to eat fish?” Shang says.

“No fish. No salmon. No beef. Also no leather products for me.” Tony says.

When Tony finishes his dinner and goes upstairs in his typical idle and pensive teenager ways, his parents look at each other. They are both a little shocked. His mother is worried about his health–can he get enough nutrition as a vegan? But she also feels, vaguely, that this is a deliberate rebuke to her cooking. His father is concerned about his mental state and the friends he keeps.

“Where did he get the idea?” Shang says.

“Must be the internet. He’s like you, surfing the internet all the time. I’ve told you not to go online aimlessly. Now your son is following your steps.” Sheena says.

“I beg to differ. It must be you. You are the one who talks about nutrition all the time and want to try this and that new food. Now he is taking after you. He’s trying a completely new approach to food.” Shang says.

“Can’t believe you said that. I’ve tried so hard to present healthy and varied food. Now I was blamed for all my efforts. I try new things but I have moderation and I won’t go overboard. Wait a minute. I think it is your mom. It’s all her fault.” Sheena says.

“Stop blaming my mom for everything.” Shang says.

“It’s her indulgence. When she was here for several months, Tony’s character is decidedly going worse because your mom has limitless indulgence. She coddled Tony too much. She makes him think that every whimsical idea coming to his mind can earn him a Nobel Prize if he insists on it.”

“Can you leave the poor woman alone. She suffered a lot. Life is not easy for her.” Shang says to his wife.

“You have so much forgiveness for her and why can’t you reserve some for me? This stubborn mind of yours is owing to her too.” Sheena piles the dishes and brings them to the sink. Since the sink is full, she balance the pile on the counter. Then she picks up a chopstick to knock on Shang’s ear, and Shang, sensing something coming his way but not knowing what, jerks quickly to one side and in the process knocks the pile of dirty dishes to the floor.

There’s a terrific crash when the ceramics hit the marble surface, shattered pieces big and small spreading everywhere.

42 thoughts on “The Vegan (Flash Fiction #24)

    1. Thank you, Terveen. It is based on a true story and this is why it needs a little kick of imagination. LOL, but I’ve always have problem of adding things to a true event. I need to try. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Everyone of my friend eats non-veg except me. And the thing I’m happy about is that they care for my choice and never force me to get involved in eating non-veg.
    However the myths about non-veg are more funnier than the actual truth!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, people have weird idea about what is considered animal and what is considered veggie. LOL. And being a vegan is so wonderful. I wish I could do it, but I am not so disciplined. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol it’s definitely tough but people definitely have interesting thoughts about it. I occasionally get the most amusing comments from friends and family- usually from my mother 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s true. I can just imagine those questions. “Are you having enough proteins?” “Eating beans will be gassy.” “I know a meat eater who live to 100 years old and I know a vegetarian who

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Lol I have heard those questions for sure. It’s funny how people feel the need to comment on things they have little understanding of but that’s just how the world is

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Yes, people have opinions about everything, including things they don’t understand. Some people even have strong and unwavering opinions about things they know nothing about.

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        4. sorry, it was sent by accident. Here is the rest of the message– I know a vegetarian who didn’t live nearly as long.” “Are you going to be a Buddhist monk?” LOL. People who eat meat always have a lot to say about people who eat vegetables even if they know nothing about how to be a vegan or a vegetarian.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the industry of raising and processing animal can be very cruel. I always minimize my meat intake but I can’t completely get rid of it. I only eat a small amount of free range chicken. I try to eat more tofu and beans. LOL. When I was young, people in my hometown raised chicken themselves. Those days feel like so remote and unreal. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you 😜😍. I’ve tried for years and it’s a gradual process of reducing the intake until finally reaching the level of one piece of chicken a day and no other meat. LOL. Yes, you are right that it is not trying to be judgemental, but a lot of industry practices are very bad indeed, which causes animal suffering and global warming. Eating beans are so much more environmental friendly.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s an interesting story. I believe, Just like in the West, it is especially hard to become vegan in East Asia. Even if one does become, travelling makes life hard. It’s hard to find a vegetarian restaurant anywhere! And think about a place with no dairy lol. I’m personally “eggitarian”- I eat absolutely no meat but eat egg on some rare occasions just so I don’t end up with some serious protein deficiency. A good number of people I’ve met are like this. But in more Eastern Asia (China, Korea, etc..) this may be seen as “absurd” and a result of Western media’s influence. The diet is also heavy in meat, traditionally, so it will come as a surprise to those poor parents Lol. Sorry for the looong comment 😅🙈

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love your word “eggitarian”. LOL. It is true. I eat egg and some chicken too, but no other meat. I tried to be a vegetarian but can’t do it, but I’ve tried to minimize my meat intake. LOL. Vegetarians or vegans are rare in East Asia and parents need to adjust if a member of the household is a vegan. LOL. Thank you for the long comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is interesting. To me, Asian cuisine makes it VERY easy to be vegan. Cheese is from the West. Milk is popular in some countries more than others. If one wanted to be a vegan in China or Korea, it’s very possible. The only reason why I know people don’t turn vegan is mainly due to status.

    In China, vegan and vegetarian diets are seen as for poor people. Therefore, the more meat you eat the richer you seem. Korea sorta has that mentality as well. Although, I know of people who enjoy meat as if it is an addiction.

    In India, it’s practically a vegan haven. Hindu diets can be very strict especially when it comes to adding any type of animal products.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know one Indian–by the way he really looks like Gandhi and he is incredibly clever and a character in a book I am still revising–who is a vegetarian. He eats eggs. So I guess he is not really a vegan. I think being a vegan is great for the environment and for animal welfare. I can’t be a vegan, but I try to eat very small amount of meat, just so that I don’t contribute too much to the industry that may abuse poor animals.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, I once met an Tamil from South India, who told me that he’s a Brahmin and he is a vegetarian. He’s very clever and I often think being vegetarian makes him smarter. LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you meant, “I beg to differ.” Otherwise great story. it will be interesting to see how Tony turns out. Mom and dad need to work together on this one and decide whether or not to support his decision. they need to quit the blame game, it only creates bad feelings. The broken dishes are, to me, a kind of metaphor of the whole situaltion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the message. I’ve changed it. LOL. I didn’t even know I made that mistake until you pointed it out. LOL. Yes, this is a true story and the parents battled for six months before finally settle down on the fact that they have to rearrange their cooking and even get a new bigger refrigerator. LOL. A lot of things were changed and it has not been easy for them.

      Liked by 1 person

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