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From: Maria (
Subject: As usual, the truth will set you free. :-)
Date: September 23, 2004 at 6:07 am PST

In Reply to: On being vegetarian posted by Rebecca Vichitnand on September 23, 2004 at 1:16 am:

Is there such a thing as a closet vegetarian? I feel like I have to explain why, or defend the choice. Why is this?

I'm not sure why it is, but I have a feeling a lot of it is about delivery. How you tell people you're vegetarian can make a world of difference in how they react. If it comes with a long lecture about how evil they are for eating meat, they're going to do the human thing and get defensive and angry. In your case, the truth should serve you very well. "I don't eat meat." "Why not?" "It makes me feel sick." Even people who make mistaken assumptions about vegetarians and are rude enough to comment on them are less likely to insist you should eat something that makes you sick.

The problem is, I have a very strong faith in God and Jesus Christ, and I feeling a little nervous of the culture that seems to surround being vegetarian.

No need to feel nervous! There are lots of Christian vegetarians! There are organizations of Christian vegetarians, but lots more individuals who don't belong to a group but are still both Christian and vegetarian. I suspect the automatic assumption that vegetarians are all in the same cultural mode might come from the fact that vegetarianism was popular among hippies. But in 2004, there are conservative veggies, liberal veggies, Christian and Jewish and Atheist and Pagan veggies. There are people who are vegetarian because for environmental reasons, for health reasons, for compassion reasons, or just because they don't like the taste of it. Really, the only thing all vegetarians have in common is that we don't eat meat.

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