I went for dinner last night and I was chatting to my friend about us both being vegetarian and what it meant for us.
Sharing very similar thoughts on the topic with her made me realise; I honestly cannot believe how elitist other people are about what is a very personal choice. This is my 7th year of being vego and I don’t and have never felt more morally and ethically sound than anyone who chooses to eat meat. It was a quiet decision I made a long time ago and I don’t justify or impose it on anyone.
I just don’t understand how some vegetarians feel entitled to preach to others with such a sense of superiority about their own choice. It’s not up to any vegetarian to ‘convert’ people with the persistence of Jehovah’s Witness doorknockers. If a person chooses to eat meat, it’s not up to you or anyone to shame them. If they come to decide to reduce the meat in their diet or omit it outright then power to them. But it’s wrong to impose any views on anyone else and make him or her feel shitty about their decisions.
I also think it’s wrong to impose vegetarianism on vulnerable beings in your life, like your dog or your children. Why can’t vegetarians just let people come to their own decisions about whom they are and how they want to live? If someone can’t come to the conclusion themselves then I think it’s wrong to impose it on them.
Recently, I have been trying to introduce small amounts of seafood into my diet. It’s not a permanent decision and it was one I made in light of some health struggles. It’s amazing how quiet I have had to keep it in light of people (both vegetarian and meat-eating) accosting me about my decision. But each time I shrug it off - I’ve been living this way for a quarter of my life and I sure as shit don’t care if someone wants to downgrade my contribution to the cause by accusing me of selling out or whatever.
I think what people need to realise is that vegetarianism doesn’t necessarily need to be an outright decision to never eat meat again. It should exist on a continuum - if a person comes out for dinner with me and decides to get the vegetarian meal just for kicks, then good on them. One vegetarian day a week is great. Any sort of consideration for the meat on your plate is great. They are all small steps towards recognising the terrible slaughter and inequality in an industry primarily determined by the bottom line.
The elitism that invariably comes with ruling out meat from your diet seems to only damage the cause of animal rights by repelling people who resent the way most vegetarians make them feel.
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- saalvaje said:Yes. yes. yes. The elitism is disheartening. It shuts people out from wanting to understand these practises and reinforces the stigma of vegetarianism and veganism being extremely exclusive.
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