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Monday, March 22, 2004

Letters to An Accidental Vegetarian -- Here's a sampling of the feedback I've received since I began posting about my conversion to a meat-free lifestyle...

Colin says:

I e-mailed you when you went veggie, and have been following your progress on your blog. The new links you posted were helpful for me, as those links of course spread out into even more links. Thanks.

I'm a bit surprised at how hard your wife is taking your "conversion" (for lack of a better word, though I do think it's appropiate). Usually it's the other way around. Luckily, my wife and I went vegetarian, then vegan, together.

It's made it a lot easier on both of us. We're both the products of southern families, meat-eaters to the core. I can only guess what my father (now deceased) would have to say about it. Of, course, he might still be alive if not for his horrific diet and those damned cigarettes. I honestly don't know if I even knew any vegetarians before I became one myself. Just a few years ago, I myself used to trot out that imbecilic "meat-eating is natural" argument.

I understand the dilemma of dealing with those who are not sensitive to the issue at all. My in-laws and all but a couple of friends are all so threatened by this lifestyle that the jokes and comments start in almost any time food is discussed. Fortunately, I have at least a vague idea of what I'm talking about, which of course they don't, and I've never been afraid to talk shit. I also don't try to convert those around me. Not because I don't believe in what I'm doing but because I think most people prefer to wallow in their own ignorance and accept everything they've ever been told at face value. Why waste my breath. If I tell people I don't smoke, drink, do drugs, eat meat, etc. all I get are stunned expressions and defenses of these behaviors. Even though they asked me and I don't give a shit what anyone does. The unknown is the enemy, I guess.

So anyway, keep fighting the good fight. In this world all we can do is be responsible for ourselves. I'm not the most optimistic guy in the world, but there is definitely a meat-less buzz in the air. It sounds corny, but we're the wave of the future. Some things just won't go away once they've been brought to the fore. Gay marriage, vegetarianism, James Kolchalka.

Anyway, that's it. If you got this far, thanks for reading. I think I've said more here on this subject than I have to anyone but my wife. But this does excite me. Your blog reaches a lot of people. Maybe seeing someone who's not a health nut, an enviro-fanatic, a leftist-anarchist-communist-whatever doing this will make some people think about this subject. A little thought is all it takes.

Logan writes:

I guess I'll have to look into the "no meat" thing some more. Don't know what others are saying, but I enjoy the pieces on your new lifestyle, very informative, and it's great to see that you don't take it so seriously that you can laugh at yourself about it. I think that helps keep it from being too preachy. Anyway, I for one enjoy it. Thanks again!

From Troy:

I've been reading about your vegetarianism, and while I'm not a strict vegetarian, I have cut out most of the meat in my diet (I was very seriously overweight, and over the last two years, I've lost 150 lbs so far, mostly by eating a lot of beans). As you noted, you have to make sure you still get plenty of protein (hence the beans in my case).

One side effect I found with the lack of protein is that my hair started thinning out (now that I'm cognizant of the protein factor, it's back to its full luxurious glory...cough cough...). Just be careful, man.

Shawn checks in...

I've been a vegetarian for about eight or nine years now. My fiancé has been one for about 7 years. I also turned my father onto vegetarianism about four years ago. He lost about 50 pounds and feels healthier than ever.

The important thing is to do the research yourself and not to listen to the would be experts out there. Your a smart guy, so you can decide for yourself.

My thanks to everyone who has written in with their advice and experience, and I continue to encourage your suggestions and ideas -- just e-mail me any time you feel like it.


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