Eating Greens to be Green

Blog Post 1: Victoria Obermeyer

Why is it that people who identify as vegan or vegetarian are so much quicker to explain their diet whereas omnivores don’t really seem to care to share?  Plenty of my friends identify as vegan and vegetarian, but I can’t think of one time I’ve heard someone talk about their omnivorous lifestyle. 

It could be compared to running a marathon.  People are proud that they’ve made an effort whether it’s for their health, the environment, or their love for animals.  It’s also something that takes time and preparation (whether that’s food related prep or physical training).  They can both be considered extreme lifestyles depending on what your perception of health is.  Some people can’t relate to why a person would want to run a marathon and some people can’t relate to why someone would deny themselves the pleasure of chicken nuggets.  In both cases, the average person may not necessarily be willing to commit that much time and effort  into something they may not fully understand.

Although my willpower is not nearly as strong as I’d like it to be, I try to be a vegan as often as I can. I know, even typing that I feel ridiculous.  How can I be kind of vegan? Basically, when I’m not in social situations I don’t eat any meat or dairy.  Don’t get me wrong I do have my own moments of weakness when it comes to Graeters or Skyline, but for the most part, my issue is when I’m with a big group of people.  Like Christmas dinner with my family, or ordering pizza with my friends,  I don’t want to make anyone go out of their way or change their plans, and honestly, my willpower is not strong enough yet. 

“Cowspiracy” (which is on Netflix) is what really motivated me to be an attempted vegan.  One of the people featured in the documentary said something along the lines of: “If you consume animal products you shouldn’t consider yourself an environmentalist”.  After watching the film and researching on my own, I couldn’t help but agree. This was when I made a connection between who I identified as a person and my dietary choices.  Although I still have  ways to go, I still feel that my decision is making a difference in the overall well-being of our planet and therefor is worth my attempted sacrifices.

I never saw the need to lessen my animal product consumption until after I learned about how it effected the planet.  My uncle never started working out until he found out he had high blood pressure.  Everyone’s reason to change is different but generally;  people make health and lifestyle changes when they know its for the better, whether that means better for the planet or better for themselves and the people they care about.


2 thoughts on “Eating Greens to be Green

  1. I found your post to be really intriguing. My first thought was that omnivores do not talk about their diet choices is because it is “normal” or assumed that people don’t have any dietary restrictions when you first meet someone. Also, even if someone says “I’m (gluten free/vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian/etc),” maybe omnivores feel ashamed for their diet choices. Though, like you said, everyone’s diet choices have different reasons, omnivores might think that they aren’t as healthy, environmentally conscious, or care as much about animals to bother restricting their eating. They may feel ashamed, or feel it is not worth sharing because they might get a lecture from people about why they should be restricting their diet.

    I very much understand the issue with not eating meat or dairy. I am an environmentalist too, so I obviously know the problems it causes when it relates to air pollution, transportation, increased pesticide and hormones in the environment, land use, and much, much more. Though I know all of this, I still consume meat probably once a week (I have low willpower, too). Even though every time I order, buy, prepare meat or dairy I think about these things, that doesn’t change my mind about my actions. There is such a disconnect between our emotions and our actions about health and environment that frustrates me even though I am guilty of it myself. I wonder what would happen if there were gory pictures of meat processing on the meat and dairy packing when you bought it, just like pictures of black lung or mouth cancer when buying cigarettes. Though this is very drastic and would never happen, it has to make you wonder. Great post, I’m glad you opened this topic up for discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first thought is that I applaud you. I have thought about and wanted to change my diet with meat for as long as I can remember. My mother, who doesn’t eat red meat, sticks to the three healthiest and most basic meats (fish, chicken, and turkey) for every single meal. This, I believe, is what had originally sparked my interest in a vegan diet, but 20 years old and I have still never changed a thing. It is a tough commitment to make and not many are capable of doing so, you should be proud of the results you have shown, even if they are not yet perfect.
    I’ll leave you with a question that really caught my eye.. do you believe that people have to have a life altering motive to better their habits, such as your uncle or yourself? For instance compared to someone like me, who just would like to do it in order to “better protect the animals,” since I have miserably failed to even actually attempt the challenge. Or do you believe that it can simply be done out of the love some may have to be genuinely “healthy” (no matter their definition?

    -Josie Silvey

    Liked by 1 person

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