While trying to think of a blog topic last week, I recalled that I’d wanted to use the above subject line, which I’d thought of a while ago. At that time, I had become annoyed that every(!) time(!) we get together to eat at work, without fail, someone will comment on me being a vegetarian. I finally pointed this out to someone, and she replied defensively, “Well, you’ve gotta expect it when you choose to eat that way.” I said, “But it’s the SAME people and the SAME comments every time!” Apparently, my simply sitting there eating my meatless food just begs comment from some people.
As I saw it, the whole thing was a prime example of their cliquish, small town attitude. (Don’t get me wrong. I *love* small towns. I’m *from* a small town, but if we act like that, I apologize profusely because I remain oblivious.) The comments aren’t a polite interest in a different way of doing things. They’re to point out, “You’re different, and that’s just not right.”
As I mentioned, I thought again of bringing this up, but I realized that no one had said much about the vegetarian thing beyond their “joke” of suggesting bacon when I mention being hungry. But the same day I was thinking it hadn’t been mentioned much, it was brought up twice. Once when someone announced that “there are some leftover Subway sandwiches up front, with meat, because that’s how normal people eat.” And again when someone else declared that it says in the Bible that we are to eat meat. (Um, what translation are you reading? Correct me if I’m wrong, but what the Bible does is call out what animals were deemed unclean for those following the Old Testament laws. “Can eat” and “must eat” are two different things.)
Once again, I completely understand why a guy vegetarian friend of mine stopped telling people he was a vegetarian. He wasn’t ashamed of it. He simply got tired of having to defend his choice to the vast majority of the people he knows every time they shared a meal.