When I was a vegetarian and even when I was a vegan for a few weeks (could never give up cheese and cream for longer than that), I was never the preachy sort. I might have been, but I was too busy fending off attacks from the meat eaters.
I never understood why my personal decision to eat or not eat something caused such ire in other people. When I was 19, I was taken to a Steakhouse on a first date. I was happily accomodating, ready to choose a caesar salad or some such off the menu, but spent the entire dinner having my canine teeth pointed out to me and berated for my “stupid lifestyle choice.”
My paternal family gave me shit at every turn and my Dad never tired of gleefully pointing out the time I snuck (or so I thought) a couple bites of my mom’s meatloaf one night, over a decade ago. I thought he’d never let me live it down when I told him I was jumping off the vegetarian wagon, but he’s surprisingly had no reaction to it. I did get some satisfaction when I told the rest of the family over Christmas and got an appropriate reaction. (Though, of course, I still apparently am not doing it right because I’m eating the “fancy” meat and baby cow. Since when my cousin got a conscience about the age of his dinner, I don’t know.)
So now that I’ve re-joined the ranks of the meat eaters, you’d think I could catch a break. Nope.
Now I get harassed by the vegetarian and vegan. And they’re almost worse. Harassment by meat eaters could be brushed off, because I felt slightly superior sitting up there on my vegetarian high horse. And that’s the thing – there’s an air of superiority about vegetarians and vegans, the harassment comes wrapped in condescending tones. And maybe they are superior, maybe I was, too, when I chose to eat that way.
I love my vegetarian and vegan friends, and I completely respect their dietary choices and if they come to my house for dinner I will make them very good non-meat food and not let it so much as touch a crumb of meat. Actually, if I had vegetarian/vegan friends over, I wouldn’t even eat meat myself.
However, this is my choice and I’m tired of getting it from all sides because of what I choose to eat. Maybe I’ll change my mind again some day and maybe I won’t.
You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.
Right now, my friends, I’m being selfish and thinking about pleasing myself. For all of the time.