Return of QOTW April 5 07

Discussion in 'Vegetarian' started by drumminmama, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Slacker me has not been keeping up with question of the week, but my intentions are good!

    so for April 5, 2007 the QOTW is:

    Do people say some form of: "I don't eat much meat anyway" when they learn you are vegetarian?

    why do you think you get that answer?

    Do you consider those valid reasons, considering the circumstances?
  2. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

    :lol I hear that EVERY time someone first learns I'm a veggie! Usually right after "But you eat fish, right?" and followed immediately by "I know ____ is a vegetarian too. Have you met them?"

    I guess I'd not thought of their reasons being valid or invalid, but I do find it funny that I always get the same response. I thought perhaps it was their way of trying to make me/them more comfortable - as if we had something in common?
  3. rubicon

    rubicon Member

    People often say that! It's as if they assume I will consider them a 'bad person' for not being veg*n, or that I'll start preaching and showing them pictures from the PETA website... I don't know... maybe they are trying to point out that they are somehow superior to an omni who eats lots of meat. I suppose that eating less meat IS a good thing, but this response seems defensive and suggests that they are aware of the suffering of animals and the environmental impact of meat eating, but simply don't want to change.

    I recently when vegan, and now the first thing most people say is that they couldn't live without cheese. I just sort of smile and shrug; I can't think of a good reply to that.
  4. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    I have heard that a few times; actually though it's more often addressed to my brother (who really doesn't eat much meat - but for various complicated reasons isn't up for going veg).
    For the most part though I get the 'do you eat fish' thing, or some comment about how that must be why I'm so slim. For some reason I used to get asked if I'd been raised veg, but that's tailed up. Apparently you don't have a mind of your own until you're 20.

    Anyway yes, pretty much ditto Rubicon :)
    Maybe it's that in a way they're trying to show suppourt/understanding, or play down their own issues around the fact that for whatever reason they aren't veg. I've seen the same thing during discussions about being straight edge, not having a TV, that sort of thing. So maybe it's just human nature in some way. I've done it myself; but try not to, because honestly why do we need the validation of strangers on the net?

    I haven't given it any thought. If you really get done to it there aren't any 'valid' reasons not to eat meat (well maybe there, but probably not for generally healthy people in the first world). But you can't make me people change if they aren't ready, so I'm really not going to loose sleep over it.
  5. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    my answer is that I get it a lot, and I think it's tied to an earlier comment I made about denying, or giving up flesh, rather than embracing vegetarianism.

    I think that somehow it is considered a "purity trip" and many people resonate with WANTING to be rigorous and pure, so they have a guilt (or at least awareness that they indulge) reaction to a judgment that was never expressed, even if we as veggies do think flesh eating odd, or a sign of gluttony.

    Somehow, the desire to eat an apple over apple smoked bacon is seen as a strength.
    perhaps for some it is, but what about the large group of veggies who claim to be nauseous from the mere sight of flesh?
    (which I posit is a great transitioning reaction, but unhealthy in the long haul: thinking of it as neutral is far easier after a while.)
  6. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    Hmm yeah that makes sense.

    Maybe it is strength in a way, to be swimming against the tide of a meat-centric lifetime/culture.
    That said although I grew up eating meat, because it was 'the norm', I had no particular attachment or desire for it. Even as a kid I'd lean more toward veg foods. So the transition was overnight, and the [rare] slip ups were simply due to temporary lapses back into old habits than craving.

    To begin with the smell of meat did make me queasy; maybe that was a combination of my own guilt and that it was in the front of my mind what meat literal is. Now I guess I am pretty much neutral toward it, just doesn't factor in as part of my life at all.
  7. i think its more to do with people trying to make you unweird rather than any guilt. most people dont think about it enough to feel guilty. i hear 'i really like vegetarian food' a lot too.
  8. hummblebee

    hummblebee hipstertist.

    I do hear that a lot, and I'm not really sure why... to be honest I've always thought that it was along the lines of the guilt/purity comments already made, but it had never occurred to me before that omnis could actually be saying it to make me feel like less of a weirdo!

    People accuse me all the time of acting high-holy about my personal practices of what I eat and what I allow in my body (in the last 6 years I've quit liquor, tobacco, coffee, soda, meat, eggs and dairy). But really, I never even bring it up - it usually comes up when someone offers me a coke or something. That said, on a personal level for me it really is about purity and self control. Now that I'm over all of those vices I've given up, they hold no attraction to me at all (except liquor, which I gave up first of all those things and had the biggest problem with - I still get tempted occasionally, usually when stressed or depressed...) but they were each substances I was HEAVILY addicted to, where everyone around me said quitting would be the hardest thing I'd ever done. In every case though, I found by just stepping back from myself and seeing how irrational my addiction was, kicking the habit was not that hard.

    Sorry for going on like that, but the point I was trying to make was that in the beginning for me, it *was* about denying myself something. Not in a bad way, but just because I saw how detached from the process of living I'd become with an easy to obtain, unhealthy substance in my way. As the years have gone by, I've adapted and embraced my eating habits as just a part of my lifestyle. It barely even occurs to me anymore. :)
  9. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    mystery tramp: interesting take.
    I've always thought that pause before the answer "I don't eat that much meat" was an indicator of some personal feeling about flesh-eating.
  10. I have always taken it to be the others finding common ground to talk about in the discussion as opposed to making the conversation a heated debate.
  11. dharmadrums

    dharmadrums Member

    In all honesty, I don't get that many weird comments from people about my diet. My family is very supportive, and most of my friends are veg*n, or at least enlightened enough to know it's not some freaky-deaky abberation. Not that I deny it happens, it has in fact happened to me a few times, and I know it is a real problem for some people. And I have in fact had someone say to me that they don't eat much meat, or that they're trying to cut down or whatever it was. I basically agree with the purity argument in terms of why people have that response. I think the conversation about the problems with meat have seeped out into the mainstream enough that many people are now at least dimly aware of issues like the ethical and environmental impact of being an omni, and of course the health benefits of cutting out (or at least way down on) meat has been pretty mainstreamed. And I think that the (unfortunate) perceived denial aspect that's associated with veg*nism makes people feel that you are way stronger than they are. All of this makes them feel guilty, hence the response.

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