Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Importance of Being Reasonable

I often run into the same conversation when out to dinner with friends or family. It goes something like this:

Me: There's no meat in this, right?
Waiter: Nope, no meat. Are you a vegetarian?
Family/Friend Elect: I've seen you eat sushi, Deb. That's not sustainable. Why not just get the salmon? You need your protein.
Sister: I have a picture of you eating Mom Carter's fried chicken! Diet Coke and a turkey sandwich!
Me: Zip it, sister. I never claimed to be vegetarian. I only try to eat consciously and (making quote signs in the air) 'vote with my fork.' I also try to be polite when I am a guest in someone's home. Have you ever seen me purchase or order a meat dish? No. The environmental, health and anthrozoological consequences of mass-produced factory farmed meat appall me. But then again, so do the uber-rigid vegans who look upon the sneetches without stars... (waiter tries to excuse him/herself from the conversation)
Family/Friend Elect: You can't be half a vegetarian. What are you? Is there even a word for it? Why don't you just become Amish?
Me: Because I love the Internet too much.

While I certainly wish there were a simple word - like flexitarian - assigned to my beliefs and decisions around the dining table, I'm somewhat grateful there isn't because sometimes the strongest beliefs evolve over time along with exposure to knowledge and experiences. What I am trying to say is much better said in the fantastic article up on Treehugger that prompted this post to begin with.

The article, by Sami Grover's, emphasizes the importance of being sincere in your beliefs without shutting out new ideas and that "self reflection is not a lack of conviction." There is a wide spectrum of environmentalists out there and it is important that we remain reasonable and do not become too rigid. Progress, not perfection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nicely presented! I do like true stories. LM