Google+ Bree Bronson's Babies: The girl who eats rabbit food only

Monday, March 11, 2013

The girl who eats rabbit food only

For a bit over 10 years ago I felt that the right thing for me to do was become a vegetarian. There were many reasons: I didn't like the way most meat is produced, I thought the animals weren't treated respectfully and to me it seemed that consuming meat takes too much resources from this planet. I felt that I'd been closing my eyes for these things and wanted to change that. I'm still vegetarian today - I eat eggs and some dairy products though. Cutting off all meat, poultry and fish was the easy choice for me: to be honest I'm too lazy to ask and do research all the time about what fish or meat would be responsible to eat. Finding organic and local food in the supermarket is relatively easy though so I try to do that. Keeping a balanced diet and finding something to eat in a restaurant is easier when I eat eggs and dairy products as well.

I've never had an urge to preach about my choices about eating and consuming. If asked I will explain, otherwise I'll keep it to myself mostly. Many times I've ended up eating only salad and bread at a party but that's ok for me. Being a vegetarian is something that comes up often though in everyday situations. And boy, does it cause the most peculiar reactions. I would never have thought beforehand how strong feelings my eating or non-eating can develop in others. The words "I'm a vegetarian" are heard so many different ways. Along these lines:

"I don't eat."

These people consider meat and potato the only things that will keep a person alive in the first place. Anything else is rabbit food and vegetarians simply torture themselves by refusing to eat. Typical question from a person in this group is "oh my, what do you live on?" and he will repeatedly offer a steak to the poor rabbit-food-eater by saying "you should try this, it's really good, you're missing out so much!". If forced to cook for a vegetarian there will be meat soup on the menu - one can always pick the meat bits aside. Age: typically 55+, also present in younger age groups.

"I'm a better person than you."

This group sees vegetarians as snobs who think their eating habits make them superior to others. If a vegeterian is confronted by one of these people a long, exhausting interrogation will follow where the aim is to find a fault in the vegetarian's "eating logic". If they succeed, it will not just make their day but the whole week. Usually heard from people in this group: "But how come you eat vegetables from all over the world but not domestic meat? The transportation pollutes so much. And why do eat eggs? And dairy products? You're exploiting the animals anyway." No matter what you say, it will be pointed out to you anyway that you're a fool.

"You're a disgusting savage who tortures animals."

For these people admitting that you're a vegetarian equals declaring war. They will be personally insulted by just the fact that the person next to them chooses to eat different to them. And since you already provoked them by being a vegetarian you will have to engage in an aggressive conversation although you don't necessarily give a rats ass about the person or how he eats. Typical questions from these people include "so you think I'm a rude caveman because I eat meat?!" followed by endless questions about whether the vegetarian would eat different meat or fish if it would be grown in a certain way. Civilized conversation or peaceful arguments are out of question with these people. If a vegetarian makes the mistake of cooking for any of these guys, the food will remain untouched and the guests will head to the nearest steakhouse.

"I'm saving the world."

These people will consider any vegetarian automatically as a goofy tree-hugging hippie who thinks the nature and animals - well the whole world - will be saved by his choices. These people are rather harmless to deal with as long the vegetarian plays his role well and doesn't mind being considered as a fool: "yes, I feel sorry for the animals and cry for every tree that is chopped down in the rainforests". If provoked for some reason, these guys can give the vegetarian hard time as well: "Do you really think it makes a difference that you don't eat meat? You're one of the bad guys anyway because you have a western lifestyle. You're not saving any animals by being a vegetarian, someone else will just eat your beef portion."

"I eat only veggies."

These guys are a delight to deal with. They make a genuine try to understand and don't eventually mind if they end up disagreeing. The differing eating habits will never be an issue. Some will ask friendly questions, others don't if you don't bring it up yourself. Some ask for cooking advice, some give good advice themselves. These people might say something like "my sister's a vegetarian too and she makes the most amazing falafel!" or "shit, I'd like to become one myself too but it's really hard!" or even "me too, but in my home town in India there's a restaurant where they serve meat as well". I just love all of you guys.

I'm sure that being gay, choosing not to have kids or any other slightly different quality will bring up similar attitudes. In Finland a sure bet is being a Swedish-speaking Finn. Indeed, I must write about that one of these days. But what else? What makes civilized people provoked unintentionally? Do you have an experience yourself?

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