>On Vegetarianism and Being

>A good friend (whose opinion I respect) recommended that I read the blog of her boyfriend (who I usually like). The blog seems to mostly consist of political rants of sorts, along with some extra rants and some just-for fun rants. Which is fine, blogs are meant for ranting.

Unfortunately one of his more recent entries consisted mainly of trashing a bunch of vegans who are busy trashing Anthony Bordain in response to the particularly-aggressive vegan-trashing that Bordain wrote in Kitchen Confidential.

All of which of course gets my hackles up just the way it was intended.

So here’s my fricking piece on vegetarianism.

I have been a vegetarian for 16yrs and yes, that is since I was 11. I eat no fish. I do eat dairy and eggs though I try my damnedest to purchase products I believe to be produced locally and with less cruelty.

I don’t give a flying frick if you’re a vegetarian or not. If you are a vegetarian, or if you’re comfortable eating vegetarian foods I’m going to have an easier time cooking for/with you or dining with you. If you eat meat that’s fine, it’s your choice. I hope you put as much choice into your consumption and selection of meat-products as I have into my elimination of these products. If you’ve made a choice that’s compassionate in a way that makes you feel comfortable with yourself, then good for you.

If I come to eat at your house I do not feel guilty about my dietary requirements. I will warn you in advance, I will bring a food offering that I can definitely eat, I will thank you for the wonderful meal. I don’t want to explain my choice at every meal and I certainly don’t want to be cross-examined about my decision. If I can’t eat your food, I won’t eat your food. That’s all. If I am traveling I will learn how to say that I don’t eat meat in the local language. If a mistake happens on my part or on the part of someone producing the food I consume I will certainly be disappointed, but I will not hate myself because I am doing the best I can.

As a long-term vegetarian I have no problem maintaining my weight (so long as I am not forced to use certain prescription medicines). My blood pressure is so low that each person who measures it remarks upon it. My cholesterol is also very low. I have plenty of energy to exercise in a manner that suits my level of physical fitness.

I am (in my own opinion) an excellent cook. I am thoughtful about what I make in terms of flavor, nutrition, and culture. I read and learn about food constantly. Sometimes I make or use an imitation meat product, often to add some sort of protein to my meal. And why not? As described by Sarah Kramer, faux animal products are, “Tasty, healthy, and cruelty-free.”

Why am I a vegetarian? I have a personal issue with eating the flesh of other animals- that’s my issue. I believe that animals raised for food in America are horribly mistreated, and I think that is a problem affecting all US citizens. I believe that worldwide if resources were used to raise plant matter for people to eat rather than feeding animals no one on this planet would need to go hungry.

If you don’t believe those things, please find your own moral agenda and stick with it.

And I dare you to leave my table hungry.

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Posted on April 2, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. >I'm not vegetarian any longer, but spent enough years as one or as a vegan (and am back to not being able to eat anything more than seafood)… still to this day baffled by the strange hostility with which some non-vegetarians react to the concept. The defense of the hostility I've heard is usually some variation on "Well those vegetarians are always so high and mighty and tell me how bad it is for me to eat meat." And I'm always like, "Huh? WHICH vegetarians? Who has done this? I want evidence." Because most vegetarians I know for the most part keep their mouth shut about it unless it's somehow relevant to some action that needs to be taken. And lord, the questioning, always the questioning. I've found the most effective answer to why I am still not eating meat or poultry is "I don't like to eat things that I find cute at some stage of their life." Generally ends the conversation because a) it puts people off-kilter because they were expecting some moral reason with which they could argue and b) they realize they can't argue with my finding something too cute to eat. 🙂

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