Vile Vegetarian.

     Reading the title you were probably either slightly insulted or intrigued by what sort of objection I might have against vegetarians. The reality is that I've been a vegetarian for a few months and don't have any objections to it, nor do I think other vegetarians are vile; arrogant at times, sure. Since making this dietary shift I've had a pretty consistent reaction from people. The first question after a perplexed facial expression is usually "why." I won't go into the why because I don't want this post to be about my personal experience but rather how we observe people who live differently than us.

     The way our brains work is that we compartmentalize the information given to us so that it makes sense within the context and culture we know. When information doesn't fit within one of our predetermined compartments or have an easy understanding often we tend to label it as wrong, illegitimate, or even discardable. After living in a culture drastically different than my own for a short six months, I was forced to try and break this habit of thinking things were wrong because it was different from what I thought was 'right'. I'm definitely not a pro when it comes to this but I am more aware of the times I start to discredit someones opinions or ideas because it doesn't align with what I think would be optimal. At one point I thought people who were vegetarians just wanted to bring attention to themselves through this declaration of not eating one of the core staples in our North American diet. It wasn't until I dug deeper by earnestly reading, watching, and listening to people's reasoning for being vegetarian that I made the 180 degree switch over to what many people in my circles see as the 'dark side'.

     Ultimately there will always be an option A or option B and what I hope people start to practice is the hesitation to villainize or immediately start justifying their stance. Rather listen, discuss, and be intentional in actually comprehending why someone is capable of holding an entirely opposing view of your own. There's a plethora of influences that form how and what we believe so take time to build that understanding and relationship with people before tossing them into the 'wrong' compartment. If you have any questions or want a follow up post about why I decided to go vegetarian just let me know, if not silence is often louder than words (haha).