While eating lunch one day I began to notice what an odd contradiction my friend was. For the year that I had known her she was vegetarian. On this day, she was having a typical lunch consisting mainly of cookies and chips. For a vegetarian she lacked any sort of vegetable in her diet; I think I have seen her eat carrots with ranch three times in my life. Then, I noticed she was wearing leather boots. I thought over the main reasons people assume a vegetarian diet:
ethical or environmental
But none of these seemed to apply. So I asked why she was a vegetarian.
Wrong move. She gave a look that said wtf? This vegan wants to know why I don't eat meat.
She quickly pointed out that I had no merit to ask since I was vegan. Then I explained why I didn’t understand her choice considering that she still ate unhealthy and contributed to the use of animals for fashion.
“We don’t need to talk about this anymore.” she said crossing one leather boot over the other and cramming another handful of potato chips in her mouth.
I crossed a line; this made the next half hour fairly awkward.I typically do not bring up these topics in casual conversation, but the curiosity got to me. What is the point? Why be restrictive when there is no true benefit? Meat is not inherently unhealthy, and when prepared well it is nutritious. The problem with meat arises when you fry the crap out of it and eat enough to feed a family of stoners. In my friend’s case, she is missing out on potential nutrients and even enjoyment from eating meat -face it, meat can be pretty tasty.
So does she even know why she is a vegetarian? Does her refusal to answer my question stem from insecurity about her decision? Could this just be another jump on the bandwagon; like the time she went “goth” in middle school?