I love to hear stories about why people eat what they eat: ethical reasons, health reasons, a lifestyle choice, the devil made me do it, god inspired me.
What I love even more is the judgment placed upon my choice of diet when there are ethical vegans or vegetarians that are present during a conversation about food. I ask them why they pass judgment and then I get an earful about the consciousness of the animal, how they’re mistreated, how their fear can cause the meat to become unhealthy for our bodies, or that it’s just wrong to consume meat, amongst many other reasons. I listen in full. I listen attentively. I give my undivided attention to their opinions, because that’s all it is – an opinion.
Then it’s my turn to speak. And I am not tender when I do. No, I do not yell or speak in anger; I speak gently, with enthusiasm and as much passion as an ethical vegan has for their food choice.
“Plant proteins are poison to my body. I cannot eat them. They destroy my red blood cells, which deprives my organs of the nutrients they need. Ingest a high enough amount of plant protein and I could end up in a coma. Death is, of course, the most severe case of my “condition”.”
Their facial expressions are priceless. There’s shock, denial, and the occasional defensive retort. I love to end my enthusiastic responses with, “Plants are just as much alive as animals, and they too feel . . . “fearful” [for a lack of a better term]. They are just as aware of their impending doom as are animals. So the point is being conscious about how one consumes ones food. Because not everything you hold to be just and true will benefit others.”
I recall ordering lunch after a YUM [ecstatic dance] Session in San Luis Obispo, CA five years ago. A man commented on the sandwich I ordered – it had meat in it. When I told him why I needed to eat meat and stay away from all legumes, his response was that I could meditate to heal my blood.
Right . . . I’ll just meditate so that I can change the genetic coding in my DNA to turn the trigger off, so that I can eat plants.
It doesn’t matter to me what you eat. What matters is the awareness you have of yourself and those around you. You are uniquely different, apart from everyone else around you; while at the same time connected through an immaterial existence. Imagine the web of a spider . . .
However if you cannot see beyond the hedges of your little bubble and make the assumption that everyone that comes to your neighborhood is just like you – you still have a very long way to go in your development.
Eat what’s best for your body. Don’t assume that everyone thinks and behaves like you. Have respect for the choices that other people make. Having respect doesn’t mean taking their decisions/actions/beliefs as your own. Be present; bear witness; observe. Judge not.
Ask. Don’t Assume.
Besides, I see my deficiency as a blessing from the heavens. I’ll explain why . . .