Dave was the first vegan I ever knew, before I’d ever heard the word elsewhere. He immersed himself in it. With some ethics, that’s the only way it can be; complete. As far as I knew, his beliefs were being influenced by the people around him and the music he was listening to. Radical, different. There are a lot of thoughtful punks in the world. I’m not sure enough people recognize that.

I knew nothing about veganism other than that a lot of things you wouldn’t expect were on the restricted list. I had a few questions. One in particular was sincerely ignorant. I asked if he could eat Cheezies. My presumption was that they probably weren’t made with actual cheese, thereby avoiding the dairy qualifier; this was incorrect. They’re on the restricted list.

I’m looking back at my life and noticing different things now, memories like this. If it hadn’t been for Dave, my awakening to veganism might have taken longer, or maybe not at all. Today, I don’t look at my diet as having a restricted list. I can choose to eat anything I want. I make these choices every day guided by principles I believe in. Perhaps if I’d asked different questions that day, I wouldn’t have eaten so many Cheezies since.