I Dont Eat Meat (And I Don't Need Your Permission)

“Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends.” 
― George Bernard Shaw

I need to let this out. 

I cannot stand the reaction I receive from some people after they casually become aware that I am a vegetarian. 

Last week, I was minding my own business, sitting at a bar, sipping on my Rolling Rock - as one would do on a Sunday in Spring. The bartender recommended a dish at the restaurant I was meeting my parents at, and I quietly responded, "Oh, I actually don't eat meat."

But the men beside me must have heard something different - because the way they reacted, it was as if I stood up and damned the dudes to hell for devouring the flesh of a precious species. Which is weird, because all I remember doing was timidly stating my personal life choices, by innocently turning down an expensive seafood platter. 

The men were not just ill-informed - they were rude. I understand that humans can possess different opinions, especially with the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle - but I really have to ask, does it really concern you? Please explain how me not eating meat offends you, when you eating meat doesn't offend me

Just like how I respect your decision to eat meat, please respect mine to not. If you suddenly feel judged or guilty about your own lifestyle choice, that’s your issue - not mine, and you may want to look into why you are feeling so provoked. 

Also, if you think your uneducated lectures about how not eating meat will affect my health - as if this is a new argument I have never heard in the 10 years I have been practicing vegetarianism, will cause a sudden epiphany, I don’t know what you’re smoking. 

Lets all coexist peacefully, please. If I’m going to watch you mow down a pile of messy chicken wings without judgement, I expect you to at least refrain from telling me to “remove my carnivorous teeth that God gave me to eat meat with” - because that would also be assuming I believe in the guy… but that’s a whole other issue. 

- Lia, Xo