Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On Becoming Veggie

Oh, come on. Not ONE comment on my Ziggy sex post? Oh, well. On to other things.

One of my blog friends named Sarah (and I have a lot of them) asked me to blog about how I announced my vegetarianism and how I deal with people criticizing my decision. Sarah asked me about this a HONKIN' LONG TIME AGO and I'm just getting to it. So here it is.

I didn't go veggie until we moved to Arkansas. I've never liked meat all that much and had fantasized about giving it up altogether but I figured it would be too hard since I live with carnivores. I was reading online one day about going veggie and I decided it wouldn't really be that hard after all. A couple of days later, I was sitting in Burger King eating a salad with big chunks of chicken in it. I thought, "This is the last time I'm eating this stuff." And it was. Upon more reading, I've discovered the health benefits of not eating meat. You can cut your cancer risk by as much as 60 percent, and you also lower your chances of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. All those things run in my family, so I'm just trying to be smart.

What's funny about giving up meat is this. All of a sudden, people who have previously taken no interest whatsoever in your dietary habits are suddenly very concerned that you are not getting enough protein, iron, grease, etc. because you have given up meat. I did have to deal with this somewhat. But what has helped me a lot is that there are several other veggie people at our church, so I just kind of got lumped in with them. "Oh, you're one of THEM now..." So at church functions, the wonderful cooks who know about me and the other couple of veggie people will invariably have a couple of Bocas or other veggie alternatives stashed in the kitchen for us. We have never asked for special treatment, so this consideration is always very much appreciated.

Then there are the people who just want to harass you about not eating meat. We have a teen in our youth group who does this. He's always calling me a vegan (which I'm not) and rolling his eyes and making comments like I'm the biggest idiot alive for not wanting to eat dead animals. (Never mind that giving up meat is actually healthy, and this person is pouring soda into his body every time I see him, and I think he's going to be on insulin by age 40, and I've never pointed this out to him. But I might soon.)

And there's a guy who brings it up every time we are eating together. I went vegetarian "just to get attention," he says. First of all, I am the youngest in my family. Believe me, I can get attention without having to give up an entire food group. Second, I never, NEVER bring up my veggie-ism with this guy. (I really don't bring it up with anyone.) He always does. So if my vegetarianism ever gets me attention when he's around, it's because of him and not me. But I digress.

Here is my basic rule for vegetarians and their friends. This is important, so you might want to take notes. My rule is this: Don't be a jerk. Seriously. If you go veggie and your friend doesn't, do not EVER say, as that person is lifting a cheeseburger to his mouth, "Do you know what that animal went through before it died???" And friends of vegetarians, you also don't get to be jerks. Your veggie friends did not give up meat as a personal attack against you. To be honest, our eating choices are actually private matters and not your business.

The bottom line is that meat-eaters and veggie-eaters can all co-exist in peace. We can go out to Olive Garden without me gagging over your veal parmiagana and you snickering over my veggie lasagna. Let's be friends and leave each others' food alone.



  • At Wed Nov 14, 03:11:00 PM, Blogger Wade said…

    Hey D,

    Sorry I didn't comment on your previous post but your blog was blocked by my filter for having 'mature content'! Didn't realize your blog was that kind of blog!!!

    (Just kidding, of course!)

    Thanks for setting the ground rules for the carnivore/herbivore crowd. I certainly don't mind anyone being a veggie eater so long as they don't pass judgment on me just because I like me some ribeye!

    In fact, tonight my manager is taking our team out to a swanky chophouse in Dallas. I'll think of you when I nibble on my salad!

    Although I have no intentions of removing meat from my diet I have to admire your self-descipline to make such a major life style change and be able to stick with it. I only wish I could do the same with ice cream!


  • At Wed Nov 14, 08:04:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said… eat ice cream? Don't you know what the ice had to go through...

  • At Wed Nov 14, 08:05:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    P.S. "The Swanky Chophouse" sounds like a porn flick.

  • At Wed Nov 14, 08:14:00 PM, Blogger Wade said…

    Yeah, and you can only imagine how awkward it was when we showed up and realized it was one of those kind of restaurants!


  • At Wed Nov 14, 11:15:00 PM, Blogger SG said…

    I'm sort of allergic to beef and could take it or leave it. I go for the veggie stuff 80 percent of the time but there is that 20 percent part of me that is holding out. That and the fact that for many years people in my family made their living of of cattle. If everyone stopped eating meat that rancher way of life would go away. And that would be sad. But kudos to you and anyone who gives something up just to be healthier. I admire that!

  • At Thu Nov 15, 06:24:00 AM, Blogger Susan said…

    Actually I wanted to comment on your Ziggy post, but just did not know what to say. That was not in my paper. I checked. Immediately.

  • At Thu Nov 15, 07:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I didn't comment on the Ziggy post b/c I was highly offended. You typed the S-E-X word.

    Do you think the five Dr. Peppers a day I drank in college was bad for me? What about the Cocoa Puffs with chocolate milk? You have to admit... I was pretty darn FUN with all that caffeine and sugar running through my body!!! :-)

    Listen, I didn't climb my way up the food chain to eat leaves you hippie. HA! JUST KIDDIN' PEOPLE! Actually, I'm off beef... it has to do with being pregnant... you don't want to know.

    You know I love you, you tree huggin' granola eating vegetarian.

  • At Thu Nov 15, 08:43:00 AM, Blogger GraceSaves said…

    s.i.c.k. Well I can't go veggie b/c I am allergic to several of em and let's face it...meat is good...I am a carnivore! But it sure would be nice to be as skinny as you! ;-) lol love ya deana!

  • At Thu Nov 15, 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Cool post! Thanks! :) I think I have learned to deal with immature people saying I'm less of a Christian or worse, not a good southern minister's wife because I chose not to eat their cuisine with them, thus rejecting their culture. Long story. Nowadays I don't even tell anyone I'm any kind of veggie. It's working. It's still hard with family sometimes though because they just take holiday meals and stuff so personally!

    Thanks for sharing :)
    -just one of your many Sarah blog friends.

  • At Thu Nov 15, 10:24:00 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Me again - I thought I'd share a post I recently wrote about this myself (got tired of waiting on you, hehe, just kidding). :)

    Have a great week!

  • At Thu Nov 15, 04:59:00 PM, Blogger KentF said…

    You've got sex and fantasize in a post about vegetables. That's as far as I go with that topic.

  • At Thu Nov 15, 07:37:00 PM, Blogger Snapshot said…

    Question actually, I've considered dropping meats out of my diet as well. So do you just leave off meat or do you also leave off animal products like milk, cheese, etc.

  • At Fri Nov 16, 05:29:00 AM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Snapshot -- Vegans are the ones who eat no animal products of any kind. So no dairy for them, and many of them don't even eat honey. Vegetarians just give up meat (although some of them, like me, eat fish.)

    There are lots of books and resources online for both.

  • At Fri Nov 16, 05:21:00 PM, Anonymous Leecy said…

    Great. Now I'm hungry.


  • At Mon Nov 19, 03:09:00 PM, Blogger sarahdawn said…

    Good post. Meat won't be leaving our household any time soo, but we are most likely going gluten free after the holidays. Not the same, but similar in how we will handle this with friends and family. You rpost has encouraged me. Thanks! Oh, and I too just didn't know what to say about Ziggy.


Post a Comment

<< Home