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A Model’s Stand: Upholding Straight-Edge Vegan Values in the World of Advertising

Originally Published: Monday, April 2, 2007
Written by: Crystal

The Offer and the Agreement

I am an amateur model. I have been working with some people on some projects and was approached by an advertising firm with an offer. I have (in my profiles) that I am a straight-edge vegan and because of my views on these topics will not promote anything that goes against my beliefs (specifically anything to do with animals, smoking, drinking, or drugs). These people ask me if I want a promotional job and of course, I jump up and down and say “of course!” (what aspiring model wouldn’t?). We agree to a time and place to meet to discuss the project (boy was I dumb for not asking what it was for).

The Shocking Proposal

When we meet to discuss the project, they have all of these fancy mock-ups of what they have in mind for me. Boy, are some people stupid. They want me to appear in some print ads and go to some local “hot spots” to promote VODKA! I said “are you nuts?”, and they just look at me like I am an alien or something. Then they get mad at me because I “wasted their precious time and energy and they passed up other aspiring models because I had the look they wanted and agreed to work with them”. I said, “hold the phone, you wouldn’t even tell me what the project was when they asked me if I wanted a job and said we would discuss it at the meeting.” Now they are talking about contacting their lawyers to try to sue me because they can’t read.

Challenges and Frustrations

Why are so many people so daft? Why do they believe that if you say you won’t do something that waving money in front of you will get you to change your mind? They offered me a very nice sum of money for the job and still, I declined and they just didn’t understand. I asked them if they had read my profile and they said yes. I asked them if they knew what vegan and straight edge were and they admitted that they didn’t know. So, I took the liberty of informing them as to why I do not promote poison.

The Deeper Meaning of Straight Edge and Veganism

I told them that being straight edge and vegan is more to me than just words. They are a statement about who I am and how I feel about myself. How, because I care about myself, I refuse to pollute my body with harmful poisons and toxic chemicals. They didn’t seem to understand this. I tried to explain how harmful cigarettes are, not just to the people smoking them, but to everyone around them. I also told them about all of the harmful things that alcohol does to your body and mind and how it can literally steal your soul if you let it. Some people live for tobacco and alcohol, and I am one who lives to help destroy them.

Resolution and Parting Ways

It took them a while, but they finally realized that I would not be swayed. So they stood up, thanked me for my time, promised not to involve the lawyers, and went on their merry way. I could see that they just didn’t get it. Then I saw one of them reach for a pack of cigarettes as they were walking out the door and could tell that they would never understand.

Promoting Self-Awareness and Self-Love

WE understand. WE get it, and no matter how hard it is to promote SELF-AWARENESS to others and SELF-LOVE we still need to try. Maybe we can get everyone to quit their self-destructive behaviors, and maybe we can’t. At least we can say that we tried!

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