You know how we all roll our eyes at the pushy vegan who, rather than suggest, simply inflicts their crazy food ideology upon you with utter intolerance of any opinion to the contrary? Yeah those people suck.
Because as it turns out, NOONE GIVES A FLAMING HOOT WHAT YOUR DIET IS COMPRISED OF. We're stuck in this infuriating time of obsessing over labels - like you must either be 100% something-a-tarian or don't bother. But how ridiculous is that?! You can be whatever you want! Just be mindful!
The best term I've heard for what I'm getting at is ‘flexitarian’, surely to the chagrin of hardcore vegetarians in this climate of defining oneself with absolutes. Eat according to you and you alone.
Though whilst we no doubt agree on this simple approach, there is a certain social price to be paid for choosing a specific diet. Despite the wholly personal nature of such a decision, people seem to still require a label of some description. The diet police, as it were.
It was humbling to learn this lesson the long way a little while back, by going strict vegan for about a year and observing the generally uninvited commentary of others (hint: there was shitloads). I was wary not to be overly vocal about it, telling someone only when circumstances necessitated. Unfortunately for me, it’s tricky to be inconspicuous when eating a vege burger at the pub if the other blokes at the table are all chewing steaks.
Anyway I only stayed vegan for roughly twelve months, at which point I began reintroducing various animal food groups after researching sustainable ways to consume them in the city. Eggs from rural friends, fish from my own rod, kangaroo meat, etc. But the most astounding discovery of all was how entitled people felt to an explanation when they saw me deviate from vegan parameters.
Not just people, but some of my closest friends, and still to this day! Never have I delivered my dietary approach with a high-and-mighty attitude, however I remain on the receiving end of raised eyebrows when I so much as reach for some cheese at a party. Amazing!! When did my food habits begin affecting other people's personal lives?
I think it boils down to excessive levels of “commitment” surrounding dietary rhetoric. Perhaps people have forgotten that the nutrition police don't actually exist, and what you put in your body is entirely a matter for you. BECAUSE GUESS WHAT? Carnivore or vegan, the people around you don’t matter!
Eat for the planet and eat for you!