If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? We do! So often it seems like omnivores look at vegetarians as though they are of a different breed. Hell, maybe we are; in the rest of the animal kingdom we find that animals who eat solely meat, animals that eat both meat and plant matter, and animals who eat only plant matter are of different species. But humans have always been the exception, haven't they?
Truth is the difference between a vegetarian and a person of the typical diet is really nothing more than food preference. You wouldn't usually gawk and be in awe of the idea that someone doesn't eat potatoes. Not eating meat products makes about the same amount of difference to a vegetarian as not eating potatoes makes to a potato-hater.
Just like anything else in life, you can't generalize. Every person is an individual; not every vegetarian chose the lifestyle because they're against killing animals, or because they want to shed some weight. Some people don't lose a pound. I don't eat meat because I just don't like it. There is no other motivation or thought behind it.
During Thanksgiving dinner, at the age of six, I've been told that I said: "I don't eat no damn dead bird," a mimic of my father's way of wording things, and refused to eat any of the turkey.
If I had a dollar for everytime I have been asked: "How can you get enough protein with that diet?", I'd probably have about 30 bucks. Doesn't sound like much, but it's actually a pretty fair amount for being a relatively uncommon question. The average American usually consumes 10% more protein than the lifestyle requires, so says Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, authors of the diet book Skinny Bitch. In my 5 years of being a vegetarian I have never had a problem with supplementing all of my dietary needs.
After that look leaves the omnivores's face, that look that tells me they are thinking they were just let in on the secret that I am really a life form from another planet masquerading as a normal human, and they come to the inevitable, and quick realization that I am no different than them, they try to convince me that I have just never had good meat before.
It doesn't matter if I tell them with complete honesty that I do not like chicken, I frequently find myself in the situation where they resond with, "Oh, but you've never had my chicken." It doesn't matter. I don't want your chicken.
At A Glance:
~ Vegetarian Food
~ Vegetarian Celebrities
~ Vegetarian Restaurants Near You