so i don’t eat meat. let’s talk about that.
avoiding meat is really no issue for me. i have no desire to eat meat. it’s not something i struggle with or think about. i just don’t want to. however, in the past nine months, i’ve encountered some unexpected consequences of being a veggie.
i have to deal with the why.
it seems that every time someone discovers that i’m a vegetarian, there is an automatic stream of questions that follow. why? is it difficult? what do you eat? how long? isn’t it unhealthy? do you get enough nutrients? why? why? why? i could never do that…..
i honestly go back and forth between being glad people are interested and annoyed that i’m being interrogated. sometimes the way people address it seems very accusatory, rather than curious. i shouldn’t have to go on the defensive and explain a personal choice. especially when i make it a point to be a very “crowd-friendly” vegetarian. i don’t make any big scenes or declarations. i try not to order special things whenever possible. i’m not so picky as to care that meat has touched something that i eat; i’m okay with eating around it. i’m not completely freaked out if i accidentally eat a little hidden meat. i don’t insist that i pay less when splitting a bill, just because i didn’t eat the main dish. i never expect anyone to remember or cater to me. i would rather suck it up and eat a piece of meat than offend a gracious host to which i cannot communicate. i try never to make someone else feel bad about their meat-eating choice; no guilt trip from me.
i think it’s because i’m so relaxed and accommodating about it, that it can just seem so callous in the way some people approach it. i don’t ever ask anyone why they choose to eat dead animal carcass. that would be highly rude. so why is it that i can be freely interrogated? i tend to cut my responses short if i feel like i’m being judged. but there are some people who are genuinely interested, and for them i have a repertoire of answers, one as true as the next. to me, any of these reasons would be enough, but together, it makes for such an obvious choice that i can still find myself having a hard time trying to explain.
- i want to be healthy. this presents a sort of dichotomy for me. i really want to be healthy and i invest time into researching benefits, risks, and healthy recipes, yet at the same time, i can’t use this as my top choice right now, because i have a far from perfect diet that still includes baked goods, chips, ice cream, pizza, etcetera. i’m working on that part, but for now avoiding meat is a healthy step in the right direction.
- the meat industry disgusts me. if you haven’t read or watched Food, Inc, I highly encourage you to do so. this isn’t propaganda over-the-top crap, it’s just the brutal truth. even taking away the mistreatment of animals, i don’t understand how people can just ignore the lack of sanitation surrounding what you put in your body, not to mention the improper diets of corn and chemical cocktails fed to livestock that eventually enters your system . [EDIT: See also, this and this.]
- meat production and transportation is bad for the environment. i’m not a global warming scare tactics kind of person, but nothing about eating meat is worth the damage that it causes the earth.
- i love animals. ever since i was little, i’ve felt a deep connection to animals. if anyone would ever refer to “cow” instead of “beef,” there was no way i would be able to finish that hamburger. *on a side note, i have strong feelings about how much the origins of food are disguised in the US. whereas in korea, restaurants have cartoons of cute little pigs, photos of chickens grazing in a field, or actual fishtanks on the sidewalk with your potential meal staring you in the face.
- i’ve never been a big meat eater. to me, there are so many other tasty things to eat. perhaps a result of the above, i’ve never had much trouble cutting meat out. for as long as i can remember on big holidays, everyone else seems to get so excited about the thanksgiving turkey or the christmas ham, but not me. i was all, “cheesy hashbrowns! gram’s greenbean casserole! stuffing! DESSERT!” therefore, i’ve always had a vegetarian tendency, and i was in high school for a while, i just wasn’t doing it in a healthy way but i always figured i’d go back to it.
- meat is expensive. seriously. i’ll take a can of beans or a slab of tofu any day.
- i got sick. for some reason, people seem to respect this answer. “bad meat poisoned me and i almost died and spent two nights in a beijing hospital.” i didn’t know that i’d need an excuse to be able to legitimize my choice, but i sure have one.
lame video i found….at least i’m not the only one.
disclaimer one: this is not directed at any single person, but rather a gradual build-up of oh so many encounters.
disclaimer two: i’m not speaking on behalf of anyone but me. i only have my own experiences and viewpoint, so please don’t assume all vegetarians feel the same way.