On Respecting Other People’s Diets

Food. We need it to live. We started out in the Paleolithic age as nomads following the animals for food and supplies before the Neolithic Revolution brought us farming, and from there, some other stuff happened, and vegetables became a thing. Some people liked vegetables so much that they stopped eating the animals altogether! Neat, right? Well, that’s a gilded image of how we view this today. Essentially, we got defensive and judge-y.

Why is it that there is such a negative connotation around vegetarianism and veganism? Is it our approach that freaks you out? Understandable. Some people in the vegetarian/vegan community, or “veggies”, might not promote it in the right way and perhaps with too much lecturing. That’s not it? Was it our senseless waving of Kale leaves, our protein-deficient, gangly bodies wobbling through the streets, indoctrinating the nation’s youth with unjust thoughts of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables? THE HORROR.

In all seriousness, I’ve had some regrettable encounters with veggie skeptics. Just this year, I’ve been called “morally corrupt”, “brain dead”, and “just so difficult!” but I want to know why. I never told anyone that they were morally corrupt for financially supporting the mass murder of millions of innocent animals every year. I would never dream of batting an eye if every one around me was munching down on a bacon cheeseburger. I never called an omnivore “brain dead” for ignoring Harvard’s study linking red meat to illness such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and several other potentially fatal diseases. I certainly never called anyone “just so difficult!” for insisting we eat at a steakhouse. If I did, I hope whoever I mistreated would call me out on it- constructive criticism and tolerance is the only way we will progress in this matter.

I am secure in my choice to refrain from eating meat. I won’t ever try to convert anyone or criticize them for their dietary choices because truthfully, everyone deserves to eat what makes them feel happy and healthy. This lifestyle is the one that I’ve chosen and in no way does that make me inferior or adversely superior to anyone. We are all people. Some of us eat meat and some of us do not. Some of drink Almond Milk and some of us find it atrocious. (Really though, it tastes wonderful, c’mon people!) Respect and tolerate that and we will all feel a little more at peace.