Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why I am vegetarian

This is why i am vegetarian: I absolutely love fruits and vegetables. They are beautiful, colorful and flavorful. It is the simple answer, but it truly is the heart of my reason. Of course, there are are the environmental, humane, ecological, health, etc reasons. But the reason I stopped eating meat over ten years ago was because I was living with a very limited food budget, and I didn't really like meat enough to spend my money on it. I found that I didn't crave or miss eating meat at all. So I made a conscious decision not to eat meat anymore. Then I embraced all of the other valid reasons for being vegetarian.

I find that sometimes when people ask me why I am vegetarian, they are really hoping to start an argument with me or express their disapproval. I also find that when I eat in the presence of people who are uncomfortable with vegetarianism, they will very likely pay close attention to and comment critically upon what I am eating. I can understand the first time, especially if they are just surprised and curious because they don't know very many vegetarians. But, I find it to be a very unpleasant experience when people cannot resist the urge to talk smack about my food or diet. I never comment on what they are eating. And I have never tried to convince anyone to be a vegetarian, no matter how happy I am with my diet. Usually, when I can, I avoid eating in the presence of people who continually make dining an unpleasant experience.


just pixels said...

I am a vegetarian for humane reasons: It is not necessary to kill and eat animals. I became a vegetarian (also ten years ago), ironically, by watching meat dishes prepared on TV.

I can't recall people reacting negatively to my vegetarianism. I only mention it when necessary, such as when invited to dinner. Often I am asked if it's for health reasons. (Is it something about the way I look?)

BTW: The food looks delicious.

Deborah said...

LynnH sent me. I've been a vegetarian for something like 40 (yikes) years. For reasons similar to yours. It works for me, and I think also the planet.

Anonymous said...

I became a vegetarian about 7 months ago ( a newbee) my family is not taking it very well, everytime we get together for a family meal i feel preassured to eat meat, i guess they think that its just a face im going through...
the worse is when someone tells me: "just eat it i wont tell anyone" i guess they dont undestand that the idea of eating decomposing flesh is a little gross to me now :0)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, when I go to events with people who've known me a while, they're always putting their nose to my plate to see what I'm eating. I never rubber neck their plates as they walk by.
I'm sure a bit of guilt or jealousy is involved because I really do bring yummy and interesting and colorful foods from a wide variety of ethnic cuisines while others have the same ol' bologna sandwich.
I try to make lemonade from these lemons. Most people love to try what I bring to potlucks. I'm a bit of a missionary, just aiming (in actions, rarely words) to show them they can eat healthfully and quite well without resorting to animal killing.

Anonymous said...

Well, i'm a very respectful omnivore, love my meat and no matter the arguments I will never give up that pleasure. Everyone is free to choose their diet. What I totally disagree with you is that i find vegetarians the ones who love lecturing with rage. In a dinner party if someone is vegetarian, everybody has to accomodate and eat their food but if its the other way around, veggies never compromise a bit with a omnivore guest. Anyway, the more veggies, the better because that way the price of delicacies like foie gras, parma ham, veal chops, chorizo and other amazing culinary marvels will be cheaper. Good luck! Out for a bloody hamburger! Yummy!

Kathleen said...

Hello, anonymous number 3:
I have not experienced your scenario. But, I would find a situation like that to be very uncomfortable. Lecturing someone, in rage or otherwise, is not a very endearing thing to do.

Maybe not all vegetarians would do this, but I for one, have accomodated omnivores. We ordered catering for a large party that we hosted, and we offered both fish and meat choices for our guests in addition to vegetarian food. Also, when we have ordered pizzas or other take-out/delivery food for friends who are visiting us, we have had no objection if they choose items with meat.

I have not objected when guests have brought meat into my house to consume themselves. I don't cook meat for my guests, but I don't tell them they can't eat meat in my presence.

I agree wholeheartedly with you that everyone is free to choose their diet. And, it really doesn't take all that much effort for people to find a common ground and to respect each other.