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To Be or Not To Be ( A Vegetarian)
2004-12-16 - 8:01 p.m.

I've been a vegetarian for about 15 months now. I became a vegetarian for health reasons, but it is also nice to not have to think about my food being killed.

I had to have my gall bladder removed a couple of years ago, and since that time my body became picky about how much fat it would allow into my system. So, after discovering just how fatty my diet was, I decided to drop a lot of the fat by eating a vegetarian diet.

Now, when I say that I'm a vegetarian, realize that I'm not a Vegan, which is someone that is a pure vegetarian. And a Vegan will absolutely not eat anything that is an animal product. Not only no beef or pork, but also no dairy products or eggs.

I was born and raised in the South. Don't run away! I'm not about to launch into a diatribe about how "the South's gonna rise again", or any of that crap. I mention this specifically to explain why I'm not a Vegan. Being born and raised in the South, eggs, milk and cheese were always on the table. I love cheese, I love eggs, and I love milk. It is also a Southern tradition to deep-fry anything that we can get our hands on, and as soon as I can figure out a way to deep-fry me some cheese, I'm there.

I mention my vegetarian leanings, simply because I want to gripe about the people that blow me static for being a vegetarian.

Why? Why do you eedjits assault me with “logical” gems like “the only way you can get protein is through meat”, or “if cavemen had been vegetarians, they wouldn’t have survived”, or “what are you, some kind of communist” ?

I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the communist party. I was once a member of a keg party, but that’s another story. But not eating meat makes you un-American? I thought that blowing up federal buildings with moving trucks filled with fertilizer made you un-American. But maybe I missed the memo on the meat-eating bit.

Also, you can get protein from sources other than meat: beans, wheat, rye, potatoes, spinach, sesame and soy products to name a few. Plus, since I still eat dairy, I get plenty of protein from eggs, milk and cheeses.

And “if cavemen had been vegetarians, they wouldn’t have survived”? Okay, I’m willing to give you this one, even though I have not been able to interview any cavemen to see if they were all meat eaters. But guess what? If you haven’t noticed, we’re not living in caves anymore. I don’t have to hunt down my food, live in a cave, or wear a fur loincloth (which is great, because fur tends to make me look fat).

So, I will continue with my pseudo-vegetarian diet, because it seems to make my stomach happy.

But I also get hassled about my pseudo-vegetarian diet from other vegetarians. They seem to be equally upset that I continue to consume “cow secretions” (milk) and “chicken embryos” (eggs). They say that if I’m still eating those things, then I can’t truly call myself a vegetarian.

I am not a meat eater, because I don’t eat any animal meat at all. So I can’t say that I’m a carnivore. The vegetarians say I can’t be a vegetarian, because I still eat eggs and milk.

To be a vegetarian, or not to be a vegetarian?

If I can’t be a vegetarian, I’ve decided that I need a new term to indicate my diet lifestyle.


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