Tuesday, May 30, 2006

yes, I am a vegetarian

Just because I don't eat meat doesn't mean I don't eat anything. And yes, fish are meat. If it has (had) a nervous system, I don't eat it.

Please don't bother me about why I'm a vegetarian. You can ask, but maybe I don't feel like I have to defend my choices to you. There could be any number of reasons: I am pro-animal rights, I am health conscious, I just don't like the taste of meat, it's too expensive, I'm scared of disease, etc. Don't assume that I'm some right-wing freak out to blow up animal shelters or poison the McDonald's burger supply to "teach you meat eaters a lesson." I don't care what you do.

I don't push my beliefs on you. Please don't push yours on me. Don't get defensive or try to trip me up by catching me in my "lie" or my ignorance. Asking "do you eat something with an animal ingredient?" isn't going to lead me to the realization that I am not a "real" vegetarian. You do not know more about it than me, and you prove this to me by becoming accusatory or by generalizing.

I am not a hippie. I do shower, I don't play hackey sack, and I am not on drugs.

I don't eat just fruit & vegetables. I eat whatever I want. Yes, fruit & veggies, but also grains, nuts, bread, soy, etc. Any concoction and combination of these. And soy does not just mean tofu. I do eat tofu, but soy can be made into anything. In fact, if you take the time to read the ingredients on what you are eating, chances are very high that you will find soy among them.

If you have vegetarian food with you, don't offer it to me only because "that's all I eat" or "I am undernourished." It's not your responsibilty to feed me, and chances are that I am actually healthier than you because I don't have any animal fat in my diet. (It's true that once in a while I eat something made with dairy, but if I can get a vegan alternative, I will.)

If you offer to share some of your snacks with me out of the goodness of your heart, that's fine. But don't assume that I must have it because it's meat-free. If I politely decline your offering, please don't try to force it on me. Maybe I'm allergic to that, or I just don't like the taste, or I just ate something else. The reasoning "I thought you were a vegetarian" does not mean that I am always starving and will hungrily devour whatever scraps of fruit you throw at me. This is like assuming that homosexuals are attracted to everyone that is the same sex as them, and if you talk to a gay man or woman, they will try to hit on you. They have some standards, as do vegetarians.

Thank you for letting me rant a bit, and maybe you've learned something here today.


Suebob said...

I have learned that we have exactly the same veg issues. The thing I love most is when people, upon hearing I am a veg, want to tell me their grossest dead animal stories "I love to HUNT and I love to SKIN and I love to kill cute little deer..." Does this happen to you?

The other thing that irks me is that some people will eat ANY meat-based swill, but ask them to try your homemade veggie lasagna and they act like you are trying to feed them nutritional yeast casserole or something.

super des said...

I've learned to make it painfully aware I'm not in to dead animal stories, and to not tell people that my cooking is veggie.

I make a killer strawberry cheesecake, and if you ask the meat-eaters, they would never know it's vegan. :)

gandhi rules said...

Bob-'they act like you are trying to feed them nutritional yeast casserole or something.'
Love this line.

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