I’m so pleased to be guest blogging for such a MilSpouse institution! I love Melissa’s blog and am honored to be here. I’m an army wife supporting my physician husband, OccDoc, during his first deployment to Afghanistan. My little slice of the interwebs is the annoyed army wife.
If you’ve never had me over to eat dinner you would probably never know I was a pescetarian. A pescetarian is kind of like a vegetarian but they eat fish. I’ve mentioned it on my blog, but for people who know me in real life (my blog is anonymous) they would never guess that about me.
Initially I went vegetarian right around my 22nd birthday about 9 years ago. People often wonder why I made such a drastic change to my eating habits, and by people I mean my family and close friends. They assume it was to take a stance on Animal Rights or due to an aversion to meat. Good guesses, people, but wrong. No, I made the decision just like I make all my important decisions; I woke up one morning and my gut told me.
Let me explain a bit. In grad school I lived in a cute little apartment with just me and my house bunnies, which was down the road from Sonic, a dining establishment my hometown never had. I love Sonic, especially their hamburgers, and I went there quite often for dinner being a busy grad student. One day I woke up and decided my life needed a change before my Sonic addiction had a more detrimental effect on my waist line, so a vegetarian was born on that day.
I started eating fish again about 4 years ago to fit in and to make dinners out with army folks a bit easier and less explaining for OccDoc to army folks about why I never ate anything at neighborhood BBQs when we lived on post. The army folks we knew just assumed I was some sort of weird hippie freak because I didn’t eat meat. Whatever.
Enough back story, here’s my point. Most people don’t know I’m vegetarian/pescetarian because I don’t like the way I’m sometimes treated after I tell someone. I have never, ever made a comment about anyone’s eating preferences, unless they were drowning their food in ketchup (because that’s gross). :) Even though I’ve never done it to others, some people feel it’s completely acceptable to hold steak in front of my face, cluck like a chicken, or tell me how delicious their bacon is (honestly, I don’t care how good your bacon is, I still don’t want any, and I really hope you don’t choke on it). I can’t believe people I barely know think it’s okay to tease me just because I load my plate with veggies instead of whatever was just burned on their grill. I've even had people be pissed at me because I won't just try a piece of meat because they're sure I'll like it. Seriously? Don't try to 'turn' a vegetarian, unless they're trying to 'turn' you. My husband is a glaring exception to this, he has never criticized my eating habits, and he eats vegetarian at home. Every once in awhile he asks to go to a steakhouse so he can have his fill of red meat, which I gladly go along with and order fish.
I’m not sure if the people who tease me had once met a vocal vegetarian who criticized their eating habits, but I don’t criticize the eating habits of others for one simple reason: RESPECT. I respect others’ beliefs and opinions. And I respect my own opinions and beliefs. I don’t try to convince people my religion, political views or eating habits are right for them – my beliefs are right for me. Some times when I hear someone forcing their ideals or beliefs on someone else I have to wonder ‘Who are they trying to convince? The other person? Or themselves?’
Food for thought…