|Photo Credit: The Telegraph UK|
1. I am a vegetarian. I am not a vegan. Therefore I eat milk and eggs. Yes, this means that I eat cheese, and ice cream and quiches. Yes, I also know that many cheeses contain rennet and most ice creams contain gelatine, but I have chosen not to extend my vegetarianism that far. I’m allowed to choose what I do and don’t want to eat.
2. I am a vegetarian for spiritual reasons. Somewhere in my psyche, the thought of eating another soul doesn’t quite gel with me. I feel as though each body (be it of feather, fur or fin variety) was created to house a soul, and I don’t feel that it’s my place to decide when that body’s time is up. I’m well aware that may make me sound like a tree hugging hippie to you, but just let me be. I’m also an engineer, so clearly there’s some rational thought in my head too, right?
3. I am a vegetarian because I believe in animal rights. I don’t believe animals should be hurt, much less killed for me to eat them. I don’t need to eat them to survive, so there is no reason for them to suffer or die for me.
4. I am a vegetarian because I don’t like the taste of meat. Even as a child, before the issues about spirituality and animal rights came into my head, I never really liked the taste of meat. The chicken curry was always pushed to the side of the plate, the lamb curry was always palmed off to my mum because I was too full, and the smell of fried fish made me dry reach. Believe it or not, not everybody like the taste of meat, so when you ask me how I could possible enjoy life without bacon in it, you need to understand that the smell of bacon makes me feel ill.
5. I am a vegetarian. That’s right. ME. Not you, not my family, not my partner, not my friends. Their dietary choices are theirs to make. I do not want to influence them, or force them into changing their ways. I can enjoy a meal and their company at a table despite that fact that I am eating a different meal. It doesn’t make a difference.
6. Yes, I understand that plants have feelings too. But plants don’t have a central nervous system. Besides, let’s be a little bit practical here. Remember that rational thought that’s in my head? That’s what kicks in. I need to food to survive. If I’m not going to eat animals, then my only other option is plants. So I’m going to eat plants.
But the most important this I wish people would remember is that this is MY choice that I’ve made for MYSELF. I’m not hurting anyone, or trying to influence anyone, so please just let me be.