Ask And You Shall Receive!
A few days ago I had to go to a neighboring (larger) city for a medical appointment. While I was there I stopped at Whole Foods. I always do this as we don't have one in my small city. I spent about an hour wandering the aisles in amazement, looking at all the vegan food, and all the gluten-free food (my daughter is a celiac). I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go there. There should be angelic music playing and white light while I stare up at all the shelves. I have to speak sternly to myself and make a concerted effort not to spend every penny that I have. I finished this particular excursion with a piece of vegan kale/artichoke pizza and a chocolate chip vegan scone – they are seriously to die for. I've daydreamed about moving just so I can have them regularly.
In the car on the way home, I was feeling sorry for myself. Why doesn't my city have Whole Foods? How come I have to drive almost two hours to get a piece of freaking kale pizza? Oh, the injustice. Life is hard. First world problems. All that stuff. The further away I got from Whole Foods, the sadder I became. In reality, my little city has a fair bit of good vegan fare. We have a wonderful little restaurant that makes phenomenal muffins and a fantastic grain/veggie Buddha bowl thingie. We have a really good health food store, a couple actually, and most of our grocery stores are starting to stock more and more items. Which brings me to my point. Every time my favorite grocery store doesn't stock something that I want, I complain. At home. To my partner. Oh, woe is me. I can't find my food. Blah blah blah. Said partner said to me the other day “why don't you ask the store if they'll stock some of that stuff?”
I'm as guilty as the next guy who does nothing. If you (I) want to change, then ask for it. Go out there and see what you can do about it. They can only say no, and chances are they'll say yes. Or at least maybe. I'm so excited when I see gluten-free, vegan food and I cannot possibly be the only one. In fact, I know for a fact (two facts in one sentence, or is it three?) that I'm NOT the only one. That's the thing I'm going to do now. I'm going to ask in my local stores if this or that product or something similar can be brought in; my guess is that's how the products we do have get there. More assertive people have asked for them. A store is going to stock what people want right? That's the whole point.
So. From now on, I've decided to actually be a part of my community and get involved. What's the point in whining and complaining? If we all sit around doing that, then who is actually out there making change happen? Be the change, as they say (I can't remember who they are). But I get it. I live in a cool little city, full of great people and wonderful stores and it's growing every day. There's a strong vegan community, and we're gathering more “members” all the time. In the eleven years I've lived here I've seen enormous, positive change. I'd rather be involved in that growth, and be a part of my community than sit at home wishing that I lived in the city next door. So get out there and if you don't like something, change it!