Being a woman and a vegetarian

Making apologies and being invisible are what I’m pre-programmed to do.

I’m on a lot of different herbal supplaments and medications right now. I have chemicals I throw down my throat every morning, afternoon, and night just to make sure I maintain some sort of “balance” and “functionaility.” When that doesn’t work, I eat my feelings or I don’t eat at all. The scale jumps from 130 to 140 to 125 pounds in a matter of weeks or months, depending on my stress levels.

I know how unhealthy that is — all of it. Every “coping” mechanism I have is based around what I eat or don’t eat, whether or not I feel empty or full. Sometimes this moves over to spending money: retail therapy and the idea that if I just have the perfect lipgloss, mascara, or new shirt things in my world will feel like they’re back into place.

But I hide this as much as possible. I look for ways to make my “crazy” invisible, just like I look for ways to make myself seem smaller, demure, seen and not heard. I don’t want to bother anybody and I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. Even more, I hate to burden other people with what I’m thinking or feeling, with what I’m doing to make myself feel better.

Part of making myself feel better is limiting the amount of chemicals I put into my body. Some of the changes are small: I cut back on drinking, I’m working with my therpaist on ways to cope without the need of Xanax. But the biggest change I made is where my diet is concerned.

I’m now a vegetarian.

Part of this choice is ethical and political. I’ve done my research into diets, into industrial farming, into what actually goes into mass produced food and I know that it’s not something that I want to be putting into my body. I also don’t believe in the idea of raising an animal just to be sent to slaughter. For me, this directly correlates with being a woman. We raise our girls to be sent out into the world thinking that we are lesser than, that we will always be lesser than, so we will have to work twice as hard, take self defense, in order to save ourselves from societal slaughter.

The other part is obviously making sure I limit the amount of chemicals, the amount of GMO’s, that go into my body.

Back to the woman thing, though. I haven’t told anybody that I’m vegetarian. I mention it in passing and decline meat if it’s being served — which makes me feel guilty. My family, friends, etc. have prepared this amazing meal and now I’m not eating part of it. Even when they tell me beforehand what they’ve planned on making, I don’t want them to feel bad or change what they have planned just because I’ve made a change to my diet.

But isn’t this how we were raised? Isn’t this part of being a woman?

I apologize, feel guilty for the things I believe in. I stay silent while the world moves around me just because I don’t want to make anyone else feel bad. I don’t want them to take me thoughts or feelings into account because who the hell am I?

I’m a woman. I’m a nurturer. I make sure that everyone else is happy before I consider my own happiness. But I’m also someone who believes in Ayurvedic balance, in karma, and that the sole purpose of animals is not to sustain human life. I was not put on this earth to make and sustain human life.

Being a woman and being a vegetarian are interlocked for me. I make myself small, make my beliefs small — invisible — to make sure I don’t make anyone else uncomfortable. I am a byproduct of a mass production, GMO’s, bleach baths, and the demand that breasts need to be bigger.

I don’t want to be part of the slaughter anymore.

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