A friend of mine told me a sad fact that chickens kept in the dark only see the light of day when their head is on the chopping block. In that moment, I felt terrible for the chickens and my vegetarianism was reinforced which led me to think “It’s funny how people in my family have become vegetarians.”
My grandfather was a vegetarian because he was raised that way. Then when he married my grandmother, who loved meat, he scared my father into hating it by taking him to the local butcher and making him watch the way chickens were killed for meat. On seeing the blood and the way a poor creature was literally stripped down to its bone, my dad refused to eat meat.The only time he ever did was when he suffered kidney failure and needed higher amounts of protein. So he had a few buckets of KFC. Yes, he thought it tasted great but once he recovered, he went back to his vegetarian ways. So don’t tell me that vegetarians are people who never eat meat, they’re people who choose to not eat meat.
My mom, on the other hand, wasn’t raised as a vegetarian but when she married my dad she learned to love being one. In fact, she clearly remembers the exact moment she decided to give up eating meat. It was in her yoga class. Her instructor wore a t-shirt with a cow and a speech bubble emanating from its cud chewing mouth saying, ” Eat vegetables.”
She told me,”I thought to myself how animals don’t have the ability to speak out or protest against the pain we inflict on them. What gives us the right to take the lives of other creatures? Nothing. And that was it. I quit eating meat after that and have ever since.”
I myself have been raised as a vegetarian since I was a child and I’ve never felt like I missed out on anything although many others seem to pity this way of life as if it were devoid of meaning itself. Having faced the many pestilent questions like “How do you live?” and “Why would you deprive yourself of meat? Just why?” Some have even pointed at my food and said ‘ewwwwwww’. Thankfully my parents raised me not to grimace at other people’s food and call it disgusting so when anyone else was eating non-veg I’d pay no attention to it. Everyone has their own food preferences and I respect that. I just wish others could respect that as well.
I understand that there is some amount of resentment towards vegetarians because of the high and mighty way they explain why they don’t eat meat, saying they don’t have the heart to kill an animal and that everyone else around them should stop frequenting their favourite fried chicken joints. I don’t preach to others and try to convert them into vegetarians but god knows there have been countless people insistent on me trying a piece of chicken popcorn or a beef burger, ignorant of how uncomfortable it is for me to eat meat.
I’ve been in arguments before where non-vegetarians say that vegetarians kill plants which provide the earth with clean air but are so blind to the fact that, if that argument were true, they kill animals and plants because obviously your meat goes with vegetables.
I’m not going to lie. I’ve eaten KFC popcorn chicken and loved it but they were only the really small bits. There’s no denying that it tastes amazing but I’d still rather eat my veggies because I choose to do so.
So the take away from this is, respect vegetarians. It’s not like they’re killing anyone (pun intended haha).