Wherein I Apologize To A Chicken For Being A Vegetarian

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During my tenure as a human being, I discovered rather early on that people don’t seem to like people who are different from them.  Even when they accept your differences, well, they still have to make it known that they accept you even though you’re different.  In fact, you’re not just yourself, you’re actually just a sub-classification of what everyone else is.

I recently witnessed an internet argument wherein someone decided it’d be a barrel of laughs to bash vegetarianism publicly.  The argument had started when a man had posted a link to a captioned picture that basically called any vegetarian who wouldn’t eat a piece of chicken that accidentally ended up on their plate an “asshole”.  Now, I’m not one to get easily offended or back off from things so quickly, so I kind of chuckled to myself and decided to read on to find out why, exactly, I was being called an “asshole” by  someone who’d never met me or most of the people he was insulting.  You see, I would not eat that piece of chicken.

Well, internet, it turns out I am being termed as an expletive, because that chicken would have died in vain because of me.  I preach for the animals, and then I let them go to waste. Apparently.

Firstly, no. No, I don’t preach for the animals.  I keep my thoughts mostly to myself, especially lately in this weird hipster-vegan vegetarian climate.  I don’t want to force my views on anyone, but here I am being called an “asshole” by someone who wants to label my sense of conviction as “hypocritical”.  If I were to eat every single piece of animal that ended up on my plate, I wouldn’t be a vegetarian. I’d be a meat-eater who ate meat very selectively.  Your argument, whoever you are, that it’s my fault that chicken is going to waste is just your way of forcing the issue that, for some reason, you don’t like vegetarians.  We can’t do anything right because you don’t like what we believe, and since you can’t understand why we wouldn’t eat that piece of chicken on our plate… we’re hypocritical assholes.  It’s not my fault that there’s a farm out in the middle of nowhere slaughtering animals, nor is it my fault if some waiter accidentally slips me a piece of chicken or even the completely wrong order filled with meat. I don’t eat meat for an array of reasons, and some of the less important reasons include the fact that the idea of putting that in my mouth makes me want to gag.  So, no.  I wouldn’t eat it.  That doesn’t make me an asshole, that makes me a vegetarian.

Or, you know, just an omnivore who’s choosing not to eat meat… according to some people.

So, after having been called names for sticking to my belief system in times of trial, I went on to read the comments to the aforementioned post.  A woman who seemed to agree wholeheartedly with it, remarked that vegetarians are all ridiculous.  We’re not born vegetarians, we choose to be. Remember how I said that “you’re not yourself, you’re just a sub-classification” of what everyone else is? Yeah, that gem belongs to her.  Apparently, there’s no such thing as “vegetarians”.  Humans are omnivores by nature, and “choosing” not to eat meat doesn’t change that fact.  I would like to address my next paragraph to this woman.

Darling, you see… “choosing” does, indeed, change the fact.  Just having a choice changes the fact.  I have a mind of my own, and I have free will, and I will never eat meat again. You cannot call me an omnivore, because you would be incorrect.  My body may be built to process meat, but I, as a person, am not.  I’m myself, and not a sub-classification of what you are, just because you think what you are is right or better, or the way people are “supposed” to be.  I can think of quite a few other things that would help me along in this argument, but I’ll keep them to myself seeing as how the majority of this rant has been about vegetarianism.  I’ll just leave it at: it must be hard being your friend if that’s how you think.  Let’s hope it doesn’t translate in to every facet of your life, or you must be a very closed-minded and bigoted person.

I am a vegetarian because I choose to be, but that doesn’t make it any less valid… and since I choose to be, I choose to stick with it even if, every so often, it means a chicken has to die in vain because I refuse to eat it.

By the way, I’m sorry about that, Chicken.

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2 responses »

  1. It’s funny how defensive people are about eating meat—to the point that they have to bash people who choose not to. Your choice not to eat meat really doesn’t affect other people in any way, yet I think they feel threatened by it because there’s a certain amount of cognitive dissonance that’s involved with eating meat. People have to come up with excuses for continuing to do it even though it’s pretty much immoral, and I think they go so far with that as to get angry at vegetarians for existing. I also think PETA has done a lot to make people hate vegetarians and vegans.

    • You’re exactly right. Especially about the idea that cognitive dissonance (yay, a psychology term!) comes in to play here. Some people will attack us and try to make us out to seem like the bad guys in an attempt to paint themselves in a better light. Also, generally, people are always a little bit afraid of others who think and behave differently from themselves. They certainly feel threatened. Even though, as you said, my choice not to put certain foods in my mouth really has no affect on them whatsoever… they feel like it calls their own behavior in to question. They feel that, just by me not eating meat, I am passing judgement on them that do. Which organizations like PETA have done a great job of confirming. It’s sad that such a vocal minority has to make the rest of us look like a bunch of nut jobs. Anyhow, I think it all more or less boils down to people feeling like they have to defend themselves by bashing others.

      Thank you very much for your response! It’s always nice to see that people who eat meat can look at the subject objectively. Unless you are a vegetarian yourself; in which case, solidarity!

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