I am quite aware that I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my vegetarianism.
It’s a lifestyle choice I made. I have never been the type of person to make choices because of what someone else is doing. I do things because I want to or because I think it’s the right thing to do. No other reason is necessary.
But when the subject of my vegetaranism inevitably comes up in conversation, usually when I say that I don’t want a slice of pepperoni pizza or that we probably can’t go to a meat ball restaurant for dinner, I’m met with the same responses over and over.
So in an effort to stop repeating myself, I am going to preemptively answer all those pesky questions, and can therefore direct people to this informative blog post next time I get asked.
1. But, Why??
This one is usually associated with a confused look, as if the person can’t comprehend why anyone wouldn’t want to eat meat. This is actually kind of tough to answer because there isn’t just one reason that I’m vegetarian.
I started off back in 2011 by testing what kind of affects it had on my health, and I saw great results so I decided I should definitely keep going with it. I also knew it was a good thing for animal welfare so I felt like it was the right thing to do.
That was four years ago, and while my original reasons still stand, I’ve also gained a new perspective on vegetarianism. I’ve become aware of the benefits this lifestyle has not only for animal rights, but also for the environment.
(PS. I highly recommend you watch Cowspiracy to get an idea of some of the environmental effects of agriculture, and then follow it up with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Prepare for your mind to be blown).
2. Do you get enough [insert vitamin here]??
Every time someone asks me this, I want to punch them in the face.
For one thing, why is it anyone but a dietitian’s business how many vitamins and minerals I’m getting in my diet.
For another thing, I can guarantee that 95% of the time, I know more about what is in my diet than the person who is asking. I can name the exact sources of my calcium, iron, and protein. Most people will just say ‘meat’ or ‘dairy’ as their sources, but guess what – there are about a million other ways that you can get these nutrients (without the cholesterol and fat, too).
So the answer to this question is yes, I am getting enough nutrients, and my smartass comeback is ‘are you?’.
3. But what about bacon??
No. Just, no. I did indulge in the occasional serving of bacon back in the day, but now it’s the very last thing I ever want to eat. It no longer appeals to me.
Some people just can’t understand that a person would not want to eat/enjoy bacon, but seriously, that’s similar to presuming that everyone in the world likes dark chocolate, or mashed potatoes. It might be a minority, but there’s definitely people who prefer not to eat these things.
Also, once you watch this super adorable video of a puppy playing with a piglet, you might see why bacon seems less appealing.
I think that people can eat meat if they want, but they should probably be aware of the animal welfare and environmental ramifications of doing so.
Every action has consequences, and eating meat is no exception.
In my opinion, being vegetarian is not really about not eating meat – it’s about making a positive change in the world. That’s what I’m aiming for.