Thoughts on Being a Vegetarian

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.

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17 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

17 responses to “Thoughts on Being a Vegetarian

  1. Kt

    I think it’s really tough for non-vegs to understand it. While I am not a vegetarian, I think animals are important, and with that, it’s important to buy meats where the animals are treated better. I also look at stories of people getting sick, or getting in accidents, who eventually have to eat meat to get better. So for me, I think it’s all about moderation.

    I’m sorry you have to defend it a lot! But I guess things that really mean a lot to us are worth fighting for. And we’re always up for going out to dinner with you guys – whether you eat meat or not is not an issue!

    We should plan a date (money permitting) to go to the Woodberry Kitchen!

  2. God, this is awful, but my first thought was “I wonder if the gas is caused by a vegetarian diet.” But my husband is just as gassy and he is a meat eater. Perhaps it is just the internal workings of some people versus others.

    Now that I am back to being 28 years old, I can admit I honestly could care less about what you shove in your piehole and likely you could care less what I shove in my piehole. Why do people make such a big deal one way or another? I chose not to drink soda, ever. And as “who cares?” as that is, people give me tons of shit about it. Dude, I use to be fat and drinking lots of soda helped me get there. So I drink water. WTF does it matter? Maybe one day when I have kids I might not let them drink soda at 2.

    This is perhaps totally random, but all of this reminds me why I don’t go to church. I can’t stand anyone putting their opinions on anyone else about their decisions. Like when people think they are morally above because they attend church. Burns my balls.

    You know – a lot of people say I’m gassy because of my veg diet. But I’ve been gassy my entire life! 🙂

    I also get shit about not drinking soda! it is so strange that people care so much about someone else’s diet.

    Btw – “burns my balls” might be my new favorite phrase.

  3. It’s probably really classy that I used “burns my balls” in the same sentence as church. Another beloved phrase along the same context is “chaps my ass”.

    Please feel free to distribute those class act phrases as much as possible. My husband just rolls his eyes when I say burns my balls.

    Hahaha – I don’t know if you can use “burns my balls” in a sentence outside of the word church. haha

  4. Angry Kim has made an appearance today. And did you just call me a meat-eating frat boy???

    I am in a bad mood today. I think all the people in the gym this morning threw off my game!

    And please – you wish I called you a frat boy. You’re way past your prime, buddy. 🙂 You’re a meat-eating ex-frat boy. Geez.

  5. Meredith

    I am NOT a vegetarian but I do try to eat very healthy, especially at breakfast and lunch when I feel more in control of what I eat by preparing it ahead of time and portioning it out. I am sick of the fast food lovers in my office giving me crap for never going to lunch with them. I’m sorry but I’m not going to McDonalds, Popeyes, Five Guys or any of the other places you frequent so leave me and my turkey burger be!! Also, so what if I pass up cake every time it’s someones birthday? 3pm cake and 5pm workouts do not go together. The point…no one should be judging anyone else on their food choices or trying to force their beliefs on anyone else!

    I think co-workers are the WORST when it comes to judging other peoples’ diets. It makes me batty!

  6. I agree with everything that you are saying. I am a new veghead, only about three or four months now. I love the lifestyle; I am learning so much about how to prepare and eat different meals, I feel like I am not advocating mistreatment of animals (although I am not vegan, as I love my dairy and eggs…), I have made some close veghead friends and I also am trying so many new restaurants! I think that people are afraid of what they do not know and vegetarianism/veganism is definitely one of them.

    That is so true (about being afraid of something they don’t know). I think because vegetarianism goes against the traditional diet of most Americans that it freaks them out. People don’t like change! 🙂

  7. sjmonk5

    I have a totally different world! I am one of the most pickiest eaters alive (always have been, always will be!) and all day, every day I have to listen to people tell me what I should try, what recipes I would like, and how much I’m missing out. If someone puts a fork to my face with something on it, I literally get panicked.

    I don’t like things combined – so soups and sandwiches, not only do I not like, but I get anxiety over it! (I know – it’s a texture issue or something…). People find it ridiculous that I eat turkey and a roll – but not together and I only eat iceberg lettuce (and yes I know there’s not much nutritional value in it).

    I just don’t enjoy food, the act of making it, eating it, all of the above. But that doesn’t mean I say “EWWWW” “YUCK” to everything other people eat – I just mind my business and try to keep from screaming that people should just do the same…I can always find something at every restaurant, with the exception of Indian and it becomes a huge topic of conversation if I don’t get something “exciting,” when in reality – I’m most likely going out on a limb!

    I’ve learned to eat at my desk…

    I also eat at my desk! I get all the comments when I heat things up at the microwave. 🙂

    But seriously – I feel like talking about someone’s food or diet is like the new small talk about weather.

  8. sjmonk5

    OOOOH and I want in on the woodberry kitchen night!!!

    Fridays work best 🙂 hehe

    We should get together! I haven’t seen you guys since Katie & Ian’s wedding… in 2008!!

  9. oh how i love you. it’s crazy to me how much other people’s diets offend others. I try to eat meatless as much as possible. Baby steps for me is I think whats going to make it long term. When I turn down meat or order a meatless item i’ve had countless people tell me, why are you werid, how could you not order meat with your meal? In no way am I asking them to not eat meat so I just personally don’t understand why it bothers people so much. grrrr. mind yo biznass 😉

    Seriously! I also seem to get a lot of “pity” for not eating meat. I don’t understand everyone’s fascination with what other people eat!

  10. Dude, I have to say I am loving this fiesty Kim. I’m not a vegetarian but I totally understand the reasoning behind it. And I know if I started down the vegetarian road, I’d become vegan. just like any other thing, I’d think “What’s the point if you aren’t helping cows and chickens too?” And then there goes leather. And all that other stuff.
    And then I think, well, plastic is not any better for the environment.
    And uh, cheese is my favorite food in the entire world. And I’ve already given up pop.
    I think I could pretty well get rid of most meat for the most part. But I could not give up a nice, fat juicy steak once in a while. And I definitely couldn’t give up bacon. I could be a bacatarian!

    Haha – bacatarian! That’s hilarious. You should start a bacatarian movement. I think it would really catch on because a lot of my friends share the belief that bacon makes everything better. 🙂

  11. Also, that would not in any way stop me from going out to dinner with you. I love veggies!

    Thank you!

  12. Hi! That’s a great post. I became veggie this year, never realised before how much veggies have to defend their choices. And my mother thinks I’m starving myself. I live in south-west France where it’s not common at all! Also transitioning, but I’m in rural SW France so being vegan would mean the end of dinner out ever…working it out. Really glad to find your blog!

    Don’t even get me started on my mom! She thinks I’m starving myself too. Ugh!

    And I’m so glad to read about a veg living in France! That’s one of the countries that I’m dying to visit but everyone has warned me that I would most likely starve to death (unless I was okay with just eating cheese). I may have to shoot you a message if I ever go out there to get some tips!

  13. sjmonk5

    OMG – I would totally join the bacatarian movement!!!

  14. Isn’t it annoying? I’m not even a vegetarian, and I’m sick of people having to defend their lifestyle. How come people are so concerned about your protein intake, but nobody seems to give a shit about the obscene amounts about of sugar I consume? As long as I’m eating a burger for dinner, nobody seems to care if I follow it up with a giant ice cream sundae. It’s like people just get stuck on something and can’t see how stupid it is. Just shut up and let them eat their vegetables already!

    haha – thank you! That’s exactly how I feel. Its not like I’m hovering over someone’s meal screaming, “Murder!” 🙂

  15. Wow! What a website. You have a real knack for making a blog readable and easy on the eyes. I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes you have here (after a trip to the market to get the ingredients). Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I love improvising in the kitchen. I don’t have time to read all the recipes on your site right now, I found your site while I was looking for something else on Bing, but I’ve bookmarked your home page and will check back soon to see the latest recipes. Please bookmark my recipe web site at http://www.KAChef.com. Keep up the great work, and happy cooking!

  16. I agree your saying, because I am a pure vegetarian.
    I don’t know how most of the people are sticking towards non-veg. I think all vegetarian food helps to keep the body fit and healthy. I think all the non-vegetarian eaters should stop eating the non-veg items.

  17. Kris

    Wow. Google just sent me here because I googled “vegetarian charm” and I’m thinking thank goodness it’s not just me. :). I’ve been veg for 14 years as of today. I feel like I’ve heard it ALL so many times! I researched nutrition for over 4 years before making the transition and at 13 informed my parents that it is my body, it is my soul, it is my choice, and I do not and will not ever again eat meat. All hell broke loose, lol. Yet here I am alive and healthy as a mostly vegan vegetarian… Fourteen years later. And still people think they are brilliant with the same dumb statements I’ve heard for over a decade.

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