Why Should Eating Salad Make You "a Jerk"? A Vegetarian Rejects Judgement
Image credit: The Perennial Plate
I wondered before why I find myself apologizing to vegetarians for eating meat, even though I don't feel bad about it. At the time, I concluded that it was a similar issue to why any and every green lifestyle choice—even if kept completely to ourselves—what we choose to do, or not do, can be seen by others as a judgement on what they do. It seems that Mirra, the vegetarian half of the Perennial Plate, has been struggling with this as their 6 month foodie roadt rip continues. What she does and doesn't put on her plate is all too often seen as an attack on the choices of others.
Lately, I've wanted to disappear at meal times. I would prefer to be neither seen nor heard. That way I can eat without constant comments about what is on (or off) my plate. But sadly, as you break bread at least 3 times a day, food choices come up a lot. And what Im realizing is this: It doesnt matter if youre keeping your veggie preferences to yourself, if everyone else at the table is eating a steak, and you are eating a salad...well, then you are a jerk.
Yes, it is true that ethical eaters of all stripes can be snobby. But given Mirra's willingness to explore tough subjects like trapping and killing feral pigs, I think it is safe to say that she is a woman seeking to communicate about food in all its forms and to find common ground—not judge, dismiss or convert.
Let's hope those she visits do her the same favor from now on.
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