On being a vegetarian

On Thursday someone asked me if I am a vegetarian, and she seemed a little surprised when I said yes. This happens to me from time to time.

And on the one hand, I’m always a little happy when that happens. Sometimes I get on a (tiny) soap box about eating meat. I mean, I don’t run around with pamphlets or anything, but if the topic comes up, I won’t shy away from sharing my thoughts on why it’s pretty gross.

I get the most riled up about chickens (they have the worst lives, get dipped in chlorine before you eat them, and are the most fleshy, you know? Like when you’re eating chicken, it feels the most like you’re eating a body part.) and about pigs (because they are so smart, eating a pig is like eating a dog. Sick.).

My point is that I worry about being a little off-putting, and so it makes me happy when someone I have known for a while doesn’t even know I’m a vegetarian, much less think I’m “militant” (hate that word) or evangelical about it.

But on the other hand, I want to be (a little) loud and proud. Being a vegetarian is empirically better than being an omnivore. And it’s so normal to me now, I sort of just assume people don’t eat meat until I see them doing otherwise, and then I’m a little surprised.