When I tell someone that I am vegetarian the first thing most people do is try to rudely convince me that I should eat meat. They assume that I do not eat meat because I want to save the earth or because I do not want to kill any animals that are “supposed to be killed and eaten” anyways. Even if I try to explain to them that being vegetarian was forced upon me they still try to force the idea of eating something that sickens me, literally.
I have been a vegetarian for half a year now and it all started because I ate chicken one day. Like any usual day I would eat meat as the main dish for dinner. The previous day I ate beef, the day I got a bad reaction to meat I ate chicken, the next day I ate a hamburger, then I skipped a day without any meat at all, then tried to eat beef again the following day and my stomach could not take it. When I first had a bad reaction my stomach felt like it was being beaten and torn apart from the inside for four hours straight. It could have been that that particular piece of chicken I ate was just not prepared well itself, but the bad reactions to other types of meat the following days could not have been coincidentally explained with the same reason. It could have also been the time of the year that something bad had entered my body that gave me a bad reaction to meat in general. But for that reaction that I could have picked up to have lasted more than a month is not believable. After half a year I still cannot eat meat without having a bad reaction to it, and it does not bother me in the slightest that I cannot eat meat. It bothers everyone else.
I take my vitamins everyday and I have done research on living a vegetarian lifestyle. I know that I can live perfectly fine, actually even healthier than meat eaters, without ingesting meat products for the rest of my life. It is everyone else that has been blessed with a strong stomach that wholeheartedly believes that I will die without eating meat from a cow, chicken, pig, duck, etc.
I just really want people to understand that not eating meat was a choice but it was forced upon me. Sure I can eat a hamburger right now, but do I really want to writhe in pain for hours? No, I don’t. And when people try to force me to eat meat after I have explained everything to them, my only conclusion about them is that they want me to hurt. They want their beliefs to rise to the top even if I receive hours of pain.
Not all types of meat give me a horribly bad reaction to them. I know that I cannot eat beef, chicken, or pork without wanting to die, but I can eat a small amount of eggs (gassy side effects) and some seafood. When I eat out and I don’t find anything that is fully vegetarian on the menu appetizing I go for something with shrimp or other small seafood, and when I’m staying at someone’s house I’ll eat a small amount of eggs in the morning. So it is not that hard for me to eat out in restaurants, like most people I have talked to about this assume, and I’m not a pain in the ass when I visit a family member or friends house. I know that my family was shocked when I first told them that I was vegetarian at a celebratory dinner. They were freaking out about what to feed me. Trying to find fast food places to call to get me something to eat. I had to tell them to calm down and look around at their spread that they had for the evening. I told them “I really don’t think that y’all are just eating meat tonight.” They stopped freaking out and realized that there was more than enough for me to eat.
I live in South Texas and I guess I should have already accepted the fact that most everyone here are hardcore meat eaters that can’t comprehend any other way of life, but it still sends my nerves on fire when people assume that I want to save the planet, that I’m being dumb and hurting my body because of that, or that I’m chicken (pun intended) and I won’t try to eat meat anymore because of one bad experience. Stop trying to force me to eat something that hurts me. I can take care of myself and if I need any help I’ll find it.
Just accept this.
August 6th, 2011:
I tried eating sausage because my mom had not cooked that in a while and it’s one of my favorite dishes. It tasted disgusting and my stomach retaliated so I stopped before I had to vomit.