i have a lot of good friends who are vegetarians.
They are not a bunch of weirdos or hippies [as some non-vegetarians might presume] and for the most part if you met them as part of a group of people, you probably wouldn’t be able to pick them out as vegetarians. They are normal people. Normal people who have made a very specific choice.
i am not a vegetarian [at the time of writing this]. But the reason i thought it might be important to create some space for some of my vegetarian friends to give us a glimpse of their stories and motivation is because of the following.
For me, by and large, the only time i have heard conversation about Vegetarianism, it has typically gone something like this:
Vegetarian person: Says no to offer of meat at the table or some other statement that suggests they’re vegetarian
Non-vegetarian person: Why don’t you eat meat?
Vegetarian: I’m a vegetarian.
Non-vegetarian person: [Tries to convince vegetarian why they should eat meat or that there is something wrong with them or makes a joke about them being vegetarian]
i know this, cos that ass used to be me. Fortunately a long time ago. And i think it can possibly be filed in that place of awkward space where people who don’t know what to say, say the first thing that comes into their heads [see: How are you? Fine. Or meeting someone and asking ‘What do you do?’ when you don’t in the slightest bit care and are just trying to fill space]
There are different reasons why people have chosen to be vegetarian and i can imagine the above scenario must be at the very least annoying and at most quite insulting. For the most part, the vegetarians i know don’t spend their lives trying to make me stop eating meat, although given some of their strong convictions as to why they don’t it would make a lot more sense if they did.
So i am hoping that in part, creating this space for some vegetarians to share with us why they made the change and perhaps some of the highs and lows [and stupid things that have been said to them], we can make vegetarianism less of a taboo topic and more of a perfectly normal and healthy conversation.
i know a lot of people have been looking forward to reading these stories that will follow…
Meet S’thabiso Khuluse – 5 questions you ask guaranteed to break the peace with any black vegetarian
Meet Abi Ornellis – Mostly a vegetarian [one who loves meat!]
Meet Amy Benn – Who was a vegetarian and then wasn’t and now kinda is but may totally be again soon
Meet Mary Twin Enslin – 10 Questions/Statements vegetarians are tired of hearing