If you haven’t guessed already I am a vegetarian. Although I have dabbled in veganism I find it hard to say goodbye to my beloved cheese and milk. I’m also not a fan of the self-entitlement attitude that seems to appear in plenty of vegans I cross paths with. You know, the ones who spend their lives being very angry at anyone who eats, thinks or acts differently than they do. Of course this isn’t every vegan I know – most I love and want to sit down and share a nondairy frozen yogurt with.
Now for the question of the day. I just can’t seem to grasp why whenever my eating habits come up in conversation the reactions I get are so extreme it’s as if I just told them I eat dog shit instead of baby cows? I cannot tell you how many times people ask with such exasperation why – oh why – would I choose not to eat meat? People come on now! 1. It’s rude 2. I don’t criticized what you choose to put in your mouth and 3. I definitely have opinions. Yes, very strong opinions. But I don’t shove them in your face unless provoked.
If I hear one more rant about how fantastic meat is I might have to strap that individual to an eco-friendly chair and force tofu and soy milk down their throat as my bitch of a cat Nala uses them as scratching post.
Now to answer the “why – oh why – would you choose not to eat meat question." Up until a few years ago I was quite a bit more relaxed in my eating habits. That was until I found out about the growth hormones and the treatment of slaughter animals. For me it was like watching a train wreck. I was devastated and outraged by what I saw, but at the same time I needed to find out more. And what I discovered wasn’t pretty. Meat has been linked to cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, and kidney stones (just to name a few). So on top of eating those adorable, happy cows from the California cheese commercials, I was also increasing my chances of disease. Obviously that sizzling steak didn’t seem all that appetizing anymore.
But for now, I am going to continue living under the delusion that all dairy cows and goats are free range and live happy lil’ lives. Go ahead PETA and all you vegans out there discredit me and call me a hypocrite, but I believe my heart is in the right place.
I also have the support and encouragement of my husband who is a converted vegetarian. One day I broke down in the shower and started crying. As shampoo and mascara ran down my face I cried about the baby boy chickens that are thrown into grinders as they are sexed because there is no need for them. At first I believe Edward thought I was having a nervous breakdown or maybe on my period and then (because he loves me) he realized how passionate I was about changing our lifestyle and eating habits. Since that day he gave up meat cold turkey (no pun intended).
But you can guarantee, after how many years of being meat free, on holidays my Italian family (who parallels Toula Portokalos’s family from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding) will try and convince us that the little bit of meat used in the spaghetti sauce is really not breaking from our lifestyle.
(Check our diana debord's photostream on flickr from whom I borrowed the picture from. Very powerful. Very moving.)