I’ll just go ahead and say it. Being a vegetarian is hard.
Now before you get all, “I knew it! You want meat!”, that’s not what I meant. I don’t miss meat. I don’t crave is EVER. What’s hard about being a vegetarian is that I feel like it’s a lifestyle that has to be defended constantly. And you know what? That shit gets old.
On top of feeling like you have to defend it to meat eaters, there are some vigilant vegetarians that irritate the crap out of me. They also embarrass me because they sound insane sometimes. Or they just sound like idiots.
Look – I don’t push my vegetarianism down anyone’s throat so why do people feel the need to harass me about it? Why do people question how I’m getting protein? Just take a minute, look up the nutritional content on vegetables and then we’ll talk. Believe me, I’m getting plenty of protein.
Or why is it that everyone has written me off as a dinner date? My own mother has declared that its not fun to eat with me anymore. Geezy peezy.
I’m not a vegan but I am transitioning. I’ve cut most dairy from my diet. My weakness comes in the form of desserts. But you know what? The reasons behind my switch to vegetarianism should compell me to cut out all animal products. I can’t hide behind a weakness of sweets because that’s ridiculous.
So where is this coming from, right? With the hub bub around Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals book and perhaps with the holidays coming up, I feel like I’ve seen more and more chatter about vegetarianism.
Bloggers are writing about it and the comments to their posts are more entertaining than reality tv. They are also as embarrassing as having your mother show up to pick you up from school wearing a rice paddy hat (okay my mom has never done that but she is a fan of black shoes with white socks. Who knew she liked Michael Jackson so much?)
Oftentimes, meat-eaters like to poke fun at the fanatical vegan ranting on and on about animal rights. Look – clearly I went veg because I got all weepy and empathetic towards animals but I also know better than to try to convince the burger-lovin’ frat boy to accept my viewpoint.
Aside from some of the crazy comments back and forth between vegs and non-vegs, I’ve had a few things said to me or that I’ve seen written by bloggers or friends about the topic. I’m going to address a few now.
1) A friend posted on Facebook that he had been a vegetarian for 19 years (although if you’re reading this, you don’t eat vegetables! I’m glad you don’t eat meat but you are the worst vegetarian I know! Get some greens in your system before you turn into a cheese quesadilla. haha). One of the comments left was something along the lines of, “You were a vegetarian before it became trendy.” I don’t know why this made me so mad but it did.
Yes – the topic of vegetarianism is popping up all over the place but if it means that people aren’t eating animals, who the f cares? This isn’t like discovering some awesome underground band that you want to keep to yourself. This is about a lifestyle and I’m all for it becoming trendy. At least being trendy could potentially mean more restaurants would offer good vegetarian meals!
2) There is a popular blogger that is a vegetarian. S/he is known to be vegetarian and has said that s/he does not consume meat because s/he morally objects to it. Okay – sure, me too. But s/he isn’t vegan. And this is where I struggle.
I’m not going to knock this person for not being a vegan. I’m slowly transitioning (as I mentioned above).
Anywho – what really gets my panties in a bunch about this particular blogger is that s/he had the audacity to preach moral viewpoints and rail against the organic and cage free marketing of farms but s/he is not a vegan. If anything, egg-laying hens and dairy cows are almost treated worse than those that are slaughtered. Hello? Anyone in there? Do you see your hypocrisy? (and yes – I get that if I’m not a vegan, I’m just as much of a hypocrite. But you know what? I’m not shoveling moral viewpoints in your face. Suck it.)
3) I am pretty open about the fact that if I have children, I will feed them a vegetarian diet. You would be surprised by the number of people that seem almost offended that I would even consider such a thing. I’ve been asked things like:
How will they get enough protein?
What are you going to do when they go to someone’s house?
But my favorite question (and I’ve had it from a number of people) is: Why wouldn’t you let them make the choice?
Okay. I’m not a parent so I get that perhaps I don’t have the right to talk about parenting but here’s how I see it. Parents are responsible for the well-being of their children. Correct? And I think that while eating meat is objectionable, my reasons for not eating animal products also has to do with a number of health issues. Regardless… let my child make the choice? I’m pretty sure if you polled a group of 5-10 year olds on what they wanted for dinner, they’d answer that they want junk food. And I’m pretty sure that if you’re a responsible parent, you aren’t letting your kids eat cookies, cakes and candy as their primary source of calories. That’s how I view being a parent.
When my child is old enough to make an educated decision, I’m not going to disown them for wanting a hamburger. I’m just never ever going to make it for them.
I could probably rattle on about this all day but that goes against my whole “I don’t want to shove it in your face” stance. Clearly I don’t care if you eat meat. I’m in the minority with my friends and it hasn’t stopped me from hanging out with them.
I think I’m just getting tired of defending my lifestyle choice.