Monday, November 3, 2008

The Veggie Files

I've been vegetarian for well over a decade (ovo-lacto to be specific).

My mom is fond of telling the story of "my switch." It was the weekend before Thanksgiving. A delightful meal was in the cabinets waiting for preparation. Family was on the way. Everyone was excited.

It was this precise time that I chose to walk into the living room and drop a bomb on my mom, "I think I want to become a vegetarian." Silence. I could see it in her eyes, her mind was racing... at the time, I didn't know why, but later I would learn visions of the upcoming Family Feast were running through her head... turkey, ham, pot roast. She finally spoke, "Can you wait until after Thanksgiving?" I agreed, & for one more weekend I feasted on the best home-cooked meats & vegetables. The following week, I took up a vegetarian lifestyle.

My parents were hugely accommodating... becoming quite creative with meal solutions, learning the fine art of tofu, & even pointing out to my southern grandparents that "yes, bacon fat is considered non-vegetarian." I am forever grateful for my parents support in letting me make that decision.

You may have gathered from the article I posted a while ago... I am proud of my food choices, and I don't consider being vegetarian secondary to an omnivorous diet. There are several standard remarks when I first tell people I'm vegetarian. Everything from, "Why?" to "What do you eat?" to "I knew someone who was a vegetarian until they got sick from it." The occasional, "I bet I can get you to eat meat again," and sometimes the more sympathetic, "I don't eat much meat either."

While I am very happy to share my food preferences with folks, I find myself between a rock and a hard place in some of these situations. You see, I know being vegetarian is the right decision for me, but I also realize that I've made a personal choice that not everyone feels is necessary. I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm not a militant vegetarian & I have absolutely no intentions of trying to take over the world (just wanted to get that out on the table now). I do, however, believe that a vegetarian diet can be a completely healthy option. If I'm willing & the resources are available to me... what place does anyone else have in questioning my preferences?!? If I said my favorite color was green, would I need a composed thesis explaining my choices? No, I wouldn't.

This post has very little point.... just something I've wanted to get out for a long time.

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