I hope that the following ‘situation’ is unique to me and my reason for this is simple, it’s not a pleasant situation. And to complicate matters even more, the issue isn’t mine nor had I ever really even considered it until it was brought up by someone else the second time. You see my being a vegetarian bothers some people.
At first, it was passed off as a sort of concern, “I feel bad that you can’t have any crawfish.” For those of you who don’t know, I live is southwest Louisiana and eating crawfish is a seasonal delight that many people live for like some people wait for their seasonal flavor of ice cream to appear at Baskin Robins. And yes, both groups are more than likely guilty of over indulgence. When I was a carnivore I loved crawfish. And for those of you trying to lose a few pounds it’s one of the free foods on Weight Watchers, you actually can eat AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. There aren’t too many foods that the average person on a diet wants to eat that falls into that category.
But I digress, the issue came up when I over heard a friend tells someone, “She would eat meat if she could,” which isn’t true. I corrected them, politely, saying that after the first year of being a vegetarian I had lost all desire and cravings for meat. By the end of the second year, the smell of strong meats and fish made me feel a bit queasy, and now I sometimes feel a bit ill walking through the meat department at my local grocery store. If you aren’t a full fledge vegetarian or haven’t been one very long, you may have not have experienced this phenomenon. At first I didn’t either but: as a vegetarian I have become very conscious of where my food comes from and what it actually is. Think about it. We call an egg an egg. We don’t relabel it but we do this with meat. Chicken is usually call poultry. Cow is referred to as beef. Pig is called pork. You can call them whatever you like, but they were still once living creatures that we all see peacefully grazing in the fields on a summer’s drive in the country. I didn’t bring this point up as they all sat merrily eating several pounds of crawfish each.
All would have been well except for one thing. I happened again, and again, and again. And with the same several people. It is as if my not eating meat offends them in some way. At first I found this situation frustrating, maddening, and socially difficult. It was mind boggling to me why anyone would be bothered by my eating habits, much less feel the need to ‘defend’ them. Then my ephiffany came. It wasn’t my diet, it wasn’t the that they felt I was deprived in some way, it was the fact that my conscious choice reminded them that their was not. And obviously, it disturbs them.
If you encounter situations where people have an issue with your lifestyle choices, and those choices don’t adversely affect others, then realize that the issue isn’t really about you or your choices, it’s their problem. Smile sweetly, politely correct any discrepancies in what they may have told people about your choice, and let it go. The only person you can controll, or change is yourself, don’t waste energy and time worrying about things that aren’t your problem.