I’ve been a vegetarian off and on for several years. For the last year I’ve been a strict vegetarian broaching into vegan-ism at times.
I was initially surprised that (for me at least) it isn’t very hard to not eat animals. There are many vegetarian options available today – even at modern chain restaurants. So, I’m never without options.
No, the reason I’ve bounced back to my carnivorous ways each time is that frankly it is just hard to live as a vegetarian around the non-vegetarians I interact with.
As an example of this, today a co-worker of mine brought in a T-shirt that read “Save a Cow, Eat a Vegetarian!” – a joke of course directed at me.
While mildly humorous it reminds me that I’m in enemy territory.
No – no one is going to try an air raid on my lunch break. What I mean is that there is a clear “Vegetarians not welcome” vibe I get from many carnivores.
For example, the company pot-lucks and festivities really don’t include me. We often have b-b-q or grilling happening at our very relaxed office and I’m never even alerted that the grill has been pulled out until I look around the office and realize no one is at their desk!
The feelings of isolation and ridicule have been hard to adjust to not just from my co-workers. I hated to see my mom frown when I refused to eat her home prepared meals. Although, she has since gotten on board with my vegetarianism.
And it was hard for me the first time I got tricked into eating meat during a Thanksgiving gathering – that is a story for another time!
My point is that I’ve found myself in countless vegetarian-unfriendly situations that each time reminded that I’m not welcome.
While it may be hard, being under attack has it’s advantages. Adversity causes comradery. As proof I site all of those veteran clubs that have high attendance long after the war is over – bridge is not that interesting of a game so something else must be keeping them together.
Therefore, I say to all of you; draw strength from the support of each other no matter your choices or lifestyle.
And be nice to the vegetarians, after all – I’m willing to help support you in your lifestyle choices.