I still haven’t had any meat. And I’m still feeling very good about my decision.
Eating meat reduced me to a chronic stomach acid pill chewer and swallow-er who, in a quest to stave off daily stomach pain, heartburn, bloating, and other digestive issues that we’re not going to get into, ended up eyeing beloved food like it was the enemy. That was the worst plight of all. I mean, take food away from me and you won’t like what you see. Food and I are like two peas in a pod.
But seriously, who wants to live popping horse size anti-acid pills on a daily basis? Not me. I’m too young for that. When you look at how I was living, and when you consider other options are available, there is not even a question about how easy it was for me to call time-out on meat. As great as I feel now, I have absolutely no interest in eating another piece of meat for the rest of my life.
There is one thing to consider though: the reaction to a radical diet change, which can have a shocking reaction from some people around you. People look at you differently. They question your motives. They act as if you are a risk to national meat eating security.
“Oh, you’re one of those people” they say. Why, yes I am. Just not in the way that you probably think.
I have compiled a list that details the ways in which I have been judged by militant meat eaters since cutting meat out of my life…
The Seven Deadly Ways Meat eaters Judge and Rub Pesco-Vegetarian/Vegetarian/Vegans The Wrong Way:
1. Meat eaters might directly oppose your pesco-vegetarian/vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.
I grew up in a Nigerian household eating meat, meat and more meat. Meat was eaten almost every day. This is probably not the healthiest thing for even meat eaters to do, but there it was. I was bloated and had a very tender stomach for a long time. Quitting meat, was an informed decision that I made for the sake of my health.
2. Meat eaters might think that you are trying to be trendy or you’re going through a phase.
No, I’m not trying to be a cool and trendy hippy (which, as a very liberal person and a borderline hippy, my family thought was the case with my diet change). My body announced its needs and I decided to meet them.
3. Meat eaters might think that you are looking down on them.
No I am not looking down on you, meat eaters. I am surrounded by you. I love you meat eaters very much and I appreciate your right to eat whatever you like. Now please judge-y meat eaters (you know who you are!) stop judging me.
4. Meat eaters might think that you have a food complex or that you are using a no-meat diet to starve yourself fit.
I have been asked if I’m eating everything I need or if I’m trying to starve myself. Some meat eaters are under the delusion that being a vegetarian is all about quick and easy dieting. It is not about that for me, thank you. I love good food and I take great care to ensure that I’m getting everything I need.
5. Meat eaters might angry when you start asking questions about what they put in the food they made before you start eating it.
Some of the meat eaters in my life have flat out side-eyed and snapped at me for asking the questions I need to ask. No meat eaters, I am not at all sorry for asking those questions. When you live with chronic stomach pain (which was connected to the difficulty I had digesting meat), you get picky and you start to ask integral food questions. Deal with it.
6. Meat eaters might feel threatened by your lifestyle.
Believe me, some of them do. They think we have plans to seize all the meat and burn it during a late night séance. Please note: I have no such plans.
7. Meat eaters think that every Pesco/Vegetarian/Vegan is trying to convert the entire world.
My not eating meat does not mean I’m interested in forcing you to convert to my lifestyle too. I am not a militant Pesco/vegetarian/vegan. In fact, I won’t give you my opinion on food and eating unless you superficially ask me to. That would mean you are interested or curious. And I would still be careful to not turn it into some sort of superiority debate. My people, as I said, are mostly meat eaters. My entire family eats meat too. So, you see no judge-y judge-y here.