To Meat, or Not To Meat

Last summer and fall I attempted something way different for me. I decided to adopt a vegan diet. Certain decisions made me need to back away from that for a bit, my reliance on others for groceries chief among them. I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy going back to eating meat, it is yummy and forty years of meat-eating is a hell of a habit to kick. Still, once I am back on my own again, in a week or two (yay) I will be attempting to adopt the vegan diet again.

Each vegan, or vegetarian’s, reasons are their own, and really they don’t owe anyone an explanation, but I shouldn’t be writing about my decision without offering my reasons. I decided, after research that among all the ecologically horrible ways we grow our food, animal products are by far the worse. With that in mind I tried to cut all animal product from my diet. What happened next was only more encouragement.

After just a few weeks I felt healthier than I had in decades. My joints hurt less, I lost weight at rate that was only slightly troubling in its speed, I had truck loads more energy and just felt generally more positive. That is the main reason, though the environmental ones still stand, that I will be going back. It just felt to good to give up on, even after throwing myself on the track to temptation again (I will so miss sausage though.)

Please don’t mistake this as some sort of attempt to convert you to my diet. It is a personal decision. It started as a small attempt to do my part to make the world a better place and ended up something I enjoy.  By all means, eat what you want. Please don’t judge me for eating as I see fit though.

Which gets me to this final point, my one gripe about so many of those that continue to eat meat. Most of the people in my life have been supportive on this front (as well as others) but I have encountered some strangely hostile attitudes as well. I have been told that vegans are rude for expecting others to cook according to their diet. This is odd, because I haven’t asked anyone to do so, and provide my vegan options if I go to a group dinner, as do any of the other (far more disciplined) vegans I know. I have been told vegans, and vegetarians, are naive and stupid, because plants are alive too. Frankly I agree with that particular critique of the “meat is murder” type of veg eaters. That said, that is not my reason for the choice, and even if someone is wrong about that, what does it matter to you? As long as they are not screaming at you, or even just telling you that you are a bad person for eating meat, what do you care if they are doing it for the wrong reasons?

People can be so strange. They can be incredibly critical of radical departures from their own choices, even if those departures don’t affect them at all. I don’t care if you still eat meat, or dairy, or honey, why should you care that I choose not to?

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