I realize that this is probably another catharsis post, but it is something that really, really has been troubling me.
As I said on another thread, I've been vegan/vegetarian for 3/4 years now, committed to it for ethical and health reasons. It brings me a lot of joy, always finding new things, new foods to eat, meeting new people, plus having my body feel strong, healthy and cleansed. However...
I am currently a sophomore at a liberal art's school in Washington. It's obviously a pretty liberal place, and everyone is trying to do the new "cool" thing. Vegetarianism is on the list. I was under the assumption that there were a lot of dedicated vegetarians, unlike my school which had almost none. I was wrong and right: there were vegetarians, only kind of, not really vegetarians: People quickly switch over, do it for a couple months, acting so absolutely committed, then stop. Or else, they pretend to be vegetarian, claim they are even as they chow down on fish, and then go back to eating eat red meat and it is no surprise. Of course, there are definite committed veg*ns who are my friends, and I love them and they give me support. The others I am about to mention are not my close friends, but they still stick in my brain.
I've had a friend who ate fish/shellfish but claimed to be oh-so-vegetarian, ate chicken and beef here and there, and on her birthday claimed she was turning omni. I told her she always was an omni, so it's no big surprise, and that vegetarianism was a moral/ethical thing for me. She told me she didn't give a crap and was angry at me. The other converted fish-eater -to pure omni, as well as the rabid meat eaters at the table, began cheering her on her conversion. I sat there, eating my bean burrito, and wondered if they all disliked me for my diet, and were dying for the day, for the satisfaction of seeing me stop doing what I believe in.
I went to a barbecue a few weeks later. The girl who was hosting it said she was a vegetarian/vegan for 10 some years, but now she was eating meat cause she was bored of it and now had something to connect with her dad over. Bored?! She grilled these fat slices of elk meat, and it drizzled disgusting globs of fat, and my stomach kept turning. A guy came and everyone is like, "You look like a vegan, are you?" and the guy was like, "I used to be, but give me a burger!" A lot of other people echoed him. The only vegan/vegetarians were me, although the two vegans were a couple, who were known to eat roadkill if they could find it. Not a joke, people do that here.
I just couldn't believe it, it felt like all these people were betraying me, even if I wasn't close to them. They would turn to me and say, "You'll be like me one day," meaning that I would change to be omnis like them, and forget what I believed in. I started to think that maybe they switched because they never believed it in the first place, or never were truly veg in the first place.
The worst part is that they act all relieved and happy, claiming to be rid of the burden that was veg*nism.
It's happened to me probably 10-30 times just in the past year, and I can't handle it anymore. Teachers, students, ex-boyfriends. I don't know how to mentally deal with these people.
I guess it's from my own view, veg*nism had been so positive in my life, I can't understand why anybody would want to change. I never had this problem with other people until I went to college. When I was in high school, I was probably the only vegan, except for a few friends in my senior year, but I was okay with that. No one picked on me, people were respectful, there was none of this "I used to be" crap.
BTW, this has nothing to do with my friends who are omnis and have been omnis throughout their whole lives. I love them, it has nothing to do with their current dietary choices, it's more...the people who change their beliefs like they change their clothes. Something about it sticks in my brain, because I just don't get why. I am scared I'll be like them.
Those who keep dropping veganism/vegetarianism just seem like big fakes to me. I understand experimenting, or trying your hardest to convert. It took me about 4 months before I could completely stop eating meat. I had to cut out each, every month, so my body and mind could adjust. Dairy/eggs went away slowly on their own accord. My body just didn't need them. So I understand that, but...I can't stand hearing about these people that just make us who are really committed look bad. I also can't stand these people that think that I will be like them.
Sorry, I know this is tl;dr.
I just know that there are probably other people who have had similar experiences on this board.
It just seems so hard to find committed people who are true to themselves and their beliefs.