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Please don’t gawk at the vegetarian

Submitted by Sharon Steed on May 24, 2010 – 2:26 amComments

I’m a vegetarian. I’m also black. This has turned out to be quite the complicated relationship. When I say “I don’t eat meat” to people, you’d swear they heard “I actually LOVE Heidi’s plastic surgery. And Spencer? Awesome.” General looks of shock. Horror. Total confusion.

Of course, I get the typical meat-eater responses: How do you get protein? Is that rabbit food enough to fill you? Aren’t you hungry without meat to coat your stomach? It’s almost as if meat-eaters feel like us vegetarians are Lindsay Lohan-level psychotic. Yeah, I’m a crazy person because I’m coosing a diet rooted in real, living foods that make me feel amazing. Totally insane.

Explaining to them that I stopped eating meat because I love animals too much to consume them is usually futile. So I stick with the “health reasons” response; my body just feels and looks better when my diet is based on fresh fruits and vegatables (and not whatever value meal they suggested at Burger King’s drive thru).

And people, especially in my community, just don’t get it. They’re convinced that I’m depriving myself of some valuable nutrient fried pork grinds slathered with barbeque sauce that I just can’t get from steamed kale and blueberries.  I mean, really?

In the end, it’s a personal decision. I’m proud of the way I view my health, so the looks of pity and confusion provide a great laugh. And besides, the “But you can’t eat a burger again?” question will just never get old.

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  • Rose
    I totally agree with your point of view. I don't get these people, it's 2010!! We don't need meat. I also think people who eat meat are a bit arrogant. The animal must die for my pleasure. (Because come on who needs to eat meat three times a day?)
    I never got the fact that so many people claim to be religious but have no problems slaughtering God's image. (No I'm not a fanatic Christian type.)
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