It happened again this week. While conversing in the break room with a few of my co-workers discussions lead to me making what some consider to be a startling confession. I haven’t eaten meat in four years. That’s right, I’m a vegetarian.
I was eating a homemade burrito and when questioned what was in it I answered, Lettuce, cheese, salsa, avocado, chipotle dressing, and then the bomb: an artificial soy based beef substitute. Then the questions started…
A lot of people seem genuinely surprised that I’m a vegetarian and I can see why. I don’t embody the flower child stereotype that seems to accompany it at all and as my mother has pointed out on multiple occasions. “You’re a vegetarian, but then you watch stuff like this.” By ‘stuff like this’ she means gorno.
Generally I don’t go around flaunting my vegetarianism because I don’t want to have to answer all the questions as if I’m some kind of spokesperson for all vegetarians, but more importantly because I don’t like having to validate my diet.
When most people ask “Why?” it’s out of genuine interest, but there are a lot of other people who ask because in their minds my refusal to eat meat makes me an idiot and they can’t fathom how a person could ever give up bacon. Believe me when I say giving up bacon was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.
The way I see it what I choose to put in my mouth isn’t anyone else’s business and I don’t have to justify the things I choose not to. I’m not sitting across from you questioning why you’re eating that hamburger. Aside from people talking down to me why I hate going over the whole debate is that it makes me one of those vegetarians that I hate.
Ok yes, to a degree I DO think that my transcending the eating of the decaying flesh of an innocent creature that had to undergo a lifetime of torture and misery to find it’s way onto your plate DOES give me a sort of moral superiority over the those who do, but that doesn’t mean I want to go around rubbing everyones noses in it. That’s what douche-bag vegans are for.
That being said I am only going to do this once so pay attention. Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about being a vegetarian.
Why don’t you eat meat? I love the animals and I want that love to be reciprocated on a Snow White level. I’ve always wanted woodland friends to help me do chores, but I’d settle for a legion of rats willing to do my biding. I’ll take what I can get.
Do you eat chicken? Chickens are birds and birds are woodland creatures so no. That would be all kinds of bad press.
Do you eat fish? Wow, you really are having a hard time grasping the concept huh? No. it’s not a ‘health’ thing it’s an ‘I don’t eat anything that bleeds’ thing.
My sister is a vegetarian and she eats fish. Your sister is a poser.
How do you get protein? Despite popular belief fuck tones of vegetables do contain protein. Common substitutes are soy, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, spinach and your mom. BOOM!
Isn’t soy bad for you? I heard it has estrogen and can make men grow boobs! No actually, soy is actually crazy good for you. It’s high in protein, calcium, omega 3, and fiber. It’s known to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and even risks of some cancers including breast and prostate. So suck it. Those two guys from that Men’s Health article who claimed to grow bitch tits, one was drinking almost 3 liters of soy milk a day and the other had a pre-existing medical condition.
Don’t you miss meat? Just steak. I love steak, which I can’t eat on account of it makes me sad. Oh! And poutine. I am Canadian.
Isn’t it expensive? Fuck no! Total opposite actually. Did you know you can buy a block of tofu for under $3 most places? I’m too poor to go back to eating meat even if I wanted to.
Wasn’t Hitler a vegetarian? I don’t know. Maybe. We don’t all know each other you know.
I know I can’t change the way everyone thinks and who am I to tell you what you should consume. I don’t enjoy preaching to others but when I’m being grilled over my principles I don’t really have much choice in the matter. When you’re attacked what do you do? You go on the defensive.
That’s not to say I NEVER talk about animal exploitation. I do, especially after seeing some expose on the news, or after crying my way through ‘Earthlings’. Hurting animals makes me mad and sometimes I have to talk about it. And I can’t help but gawk at someone eating a drumstick. I just can’t. I find it both repulsive and morbidly fascinating. I just can’t look away…
It’s a difficult stance. I don’t want to be that jerk ruining your every meal by giving you a play by play on exactly how that steak became a steak but it’s hard knowing that by not telling I’m enabling the ignorance that allows suffering. So give me a break and leave me to my tofu and I won’t remind you that your hotdogs are made of lips and assholes.
OH! Side Note: I googled ‘evil vegetarians’, just ’cause, and found this website. Funny as shit.