Friday, July 16, 2010

Me....On Being A Vegetarian

I am not certain, but it has been my experience more often than not, as people find out that I now consider myself a vegetarian, they do not know how to respond to this...so what ends up happening is that I get 'mocked' or told to 'eat a hamburger, it'll make you stronger/faster', or just given a wide eyed look/gaze of shock, disbelief, and yes sometimes horror and the simple statements of 'wow' or 'why'...

I think that when people are faced with a 'situation' that dont/cant comprehend, it makes them nervous.  There is a Pearl Izumi ad about how 'running makes people nervous'.  Or was it that it 'makes joggers nervous'...one of those...but I think its spot on.

And I also think that most people misunderstand the difference between vegetarian and vegan.  So I get a lot of follow up questions like 'do you eat eggs?', 'do you eat [this] or [that]?' 

Its kind of mind boggling that people dont seem to be sure exactly what a vegetable is?  Kind of funny actually...

And just so we're clear, I DO eat eggs, dairy, cheese, etc...there is no way I would ever become a vegan.  And I know there are alternatives but to me that is not a true statement. 

And also...its not that I dont/wont ever eat meat.  I have and I will again.  Maybe 3 times since Lent was over.  Oh wait, make that 4.  But unless its sparingly I am NOT going to do well afterwards.  I found that out the first 2 times.  Was sick and just felt awful for days.  And thats leaving out TMI stuff :o)
Anyway, my point is that every single thing we as individuals decides to do with our lives as it pertains to ANYTHING, is really just that.  An individual decision.  I dont understand why people continually think that its their right to a) ask for reasoning behind it (outside of normal curiousity)  b) ridicule it  c) make you feel less than 'normal' .... the list could go on and on ...

You know, I actually get that from non-runners too...people are so quick to cite why they dont do this or dont do that ... to what, make themselves feel better for not taking care of themselves? 

I think its absolutely true...I think whenever someone eats well, and/or exercises for example...people who dont/arent/wont become very, very nervous...I think its brought on my shame and/or guilt?  I dont know...

Because I run or because of my choices I do not think I am better than anyone else...if YOU think that I think I am, then thats YOUR problem...Yes while I may take issue with laziness and gluttony (because it KILLS PEOPLE)...if thats how you want to live your life then so be it...
So I just ask the same respect in return...dont question or ridicule my decisions either...

P.S.  not that its anyones business, but I chose a change in WOE first off as to see if I could (during Lent; even though I wasnt a huge meat eater to begin with)...then as I began to see/feel the effects of a different lifestyle as it pertains to food, I became increasingly smitten with it all...changing the 'inside' was and has been the best benefit of all of this...not the 'outside'...because lets make one thing crystal clear...I dont do this as some 'diet'....there are some other personal reasons, which indeed have to do with the 'process' of the manufacturing of animals that I am completely against...but now we're getting into that area where I think keeping my opinion to myself is the smart thing to do...

5 comments:

I Pull 400 Watts said...

Being a vegan, and nearly raw at that, I totally know where you are coming from!

I usually do not bring it up too often, but if someone finds outs I'm a vegan and an ultra runner/triathlete they tend to shut up about the jokes :p

Heather said...

I have found lots of recipes that I like better that are vegetarian. I find it hard to label myself as anything but I have definitely cut out a lot of meat eating. Fish is something I would have a hard time giving up, but I try to choose sustainable ones when I do.

Great post!

K said...

Oh, girl... you have my heart! I know exactly what you are talking about. I am vegan, but prefer to use the term, plant-based, as I don't necessarily practice the life of a true vegan, ie, I like my leather purse, seats, couch, etc... But I am against the way that our food supply is handled in this country. I wish more people would educate themselves as to what exactly they are putting into their mouths, but so many just don't want to know.
You are so right. When others question me, they are really measuring themselves against me, which no one should ever do. I am an experiment of one and who knows how it will turn out. I can only say that it works for me now. What the future holds, I have no idea.
The most interesting thing I have discovered over the years is that the medical community does not promote a vegetable based diet until a patient is diagnosed with cancer. Almost immediately, the diet becomes one that is organic and mostly vegetarian. What is it that they say about prevention?

Pony and Petey said...

Amen to everything you said!!

I Pull 400 Watts said...

K...

Way to take the words out of my mouth. I am not against hunting, actually I am probably more for it. Most hunters I know (I'm in South Dakota) have respect for the out doors and wild life, and that is how it should be. Not the mass captivity, torture, and slaughter of animals.

About your last paragraph. The Heart Hospital near here has a menu based on the Mediterranean diet, which has proven to be very healthy diet alternative. However like you mentioned, before and after the hospital the patients probably eat a very SAD diet.