It always gets me when those who have known/known of me for a while ask what I did to lose as much weight as I have over the past six years, and promptly follow the question with “I am not going to stop eating meat!” This is thrown out there as a lazy method of narrowing the possibility of my mentioning vegetarianism, as if it is a trend. I can hear them thinking “Please don’t start talking about vegetables and animals.” and some even go so far as to assume I only eat plain “rabbit food,” as if there are two or three bland options without meat. That part is actually comical to me, at this point in my journey. I have only recently transition from being pescetarian, but for years I notice repeating reactions to my personal choices that I myself have even tried to avoid, by shying away from deep discussions.
There is something odd and interesting to witnessing those who are intimidated by vegetarianism, vegans, and the like, so much that they start defending their carnivorous lifestyle without being prompted. Some literally tend portray themselves to me as if they could not survive a day of their life without eating parts of a deceased carcass. I understand that there are many levels to this programming, but as I delve deeper into my personal experience, I cannot help but notice the deep fear of change many are so comfortably uncomfortable with. Whether I want to or not, I tend to feel pushed to explain myself, whenever a group of people discover that I do not eat certain foods which they collectively lust over.
Not once have I ever offered my opinion and truth to anyone, without them asking about it, and yet, I find myself reiterating why I choose to be the way I am. That is fine, but I will admit that I am bothered by the resistance and projections from people. I digress. It is true that when you are one of the only people you know who is making changes and growing the way you are, it can be difficult and lonely. Through it all, you also become a sort of example for others; a curious enigma to experience the vegetarian lifestyle through, vicariously. I ask myself why being compassionate for fellow animals seen as radical, still. Would it be easier if I said that I don’t care about animals and am doing this to get slim, or for my overall health? How about my happiness? Could you even fathom that the food you put into your body is not only fuel for how it functions physically, but aids mental clarity and spiritual health as well?
I remember being so appalled by the resistance I experienced while working the phone line for a company which sells herbal detox cleanses. I will not forget how clients would (initially) be repelled at the thought of eating raw earth-grown foods for about two weeks, not even a month. A lot of them still thought it to be way too much. But what is more unbearable than having diabetes and high blood pressure? I have researched and heard people say that these detoxes, along with a change of lifestyle helped them eliminate illnesses others are taking tons of prescribed medicine to supposedly control (which might add three more reactive illnesses to the mix). Still, there are those who need more convincing to change. A raw fruit, vegetable, and seed diet still seems absolutely ridiculous in this culture, and that is sad. Since I stopped working there for that short time, I have spent numerous hours reading and researching, and trying new recipes to nourish my own body. I have learned so much which I should have already been exposed to, I believe.
This is the very reason that I have become more open and confident about why I eat the way I eat, and the things I believe as far as animals and the importance of choosing nourishing food to eat. I was miserable and lost in the past because of the way my body reacted internally and externally, to an unnatural meat-based diet. I felt like a victim of our consumerist society, food, beauty standards, God, and everything because I simply did not know any better. That’s dramatic, but it is the truth. Of course, I was able to learn how to heal myself, and I am much happier and content with what I continue to learn, every day. I have found that everything draws us back to our daily food intake. Everything. The way we eat plays a greater role in how we feel, than we realize.
I am learning to speak up more confidently and not feel so shut-down and apologetic for presenting a different perspective to those in my life who live the more common lifestyle, even when I am not trying. I have decided to know my facts, because while I come across those who are discomforted merely by they way I choose to eat, I also have influenced others into learning more about the true benefits of eating food that is grown in nature, fed by energy. I hope anyone who comes across this might do the same.