Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Close Talkers and Eco Vegetarianism

Did you ever see that episode of Seinfeld about the "close talker"?
While I was at the kids' swim lessons yesterday I saw close talking in action and it was so uncomfortable to watch. The close talker was totally unaware that he was invading someone's space. The conversation wasn't an argument... it was just one guy telling another guy a story about a car radio or something. Anyway, I wasn't listening to the particulars, but the close talker just kept standing right in front of the other guy and moving his face like 6 inches from his listener's face. The listener would then stand off to the side and try to gain some space. But the close talker kept on moving in. I couldn't believe it. How did this guy not realize that his actions were not normal? In fact, as he told the story (6 inches from another person's face) he was yelling. He wasn't yelling at the guy, he was just excited about the story.
Anyway, writing it down doesn't do the incident justice. It was too freakin crazy.

And now, dear reader, I have a question for you.
I've been slowly moving toward eco-vegetarianism (is that a word?). We've cut meat out of most of our meals -- yes, I did throw a bit of prosciutto in the dinner I made for the in-laws last week. If we go out, I know Phil will probably order meat, but for myself, I'm no longer doing it. I'm finding it easy and tasty to cook vegetarian. But my question has to do with if you are visiting someone and they serve a meat dish.
Now, I'm not switching to a no-meat diet because I don't like meat -- on the contrary, I do love a nice pork loin or steak every once-in-a-while and I'll miss that. So, if someone has prepared a steak, not knowing I don't eat it, is it OK to partake in the feast? I mean, the animal has already left its carbon footprint and I'm not encouraging the practice of raising animals for food because I didn't buy the stuff.
What would you do?


Molly said...

One problem you may have with only eating meat on occasion is that you may find it a lot harder to give it up when you go out to a restaurant or when you're at home cooking. It may seem easy at first, but you will crave it. I remember when I first became vegetarian (18, away at college, thought it would be cool) and I hadn't eaten meat in about 3 months. One day I found myself in a Burger King drive-thru ordering a whopper. A few minutes later I was driving around devouring the delicious beast. It was glorious. Anyway, that doesn't really have any relevance to my point - just thought it was a funny story.

It really has to be up to you. I don't not eat meat to please anyone else's morals - it's on my terms. I choose not to eat soup that has chicken stock in it, but a lot of people think that's silly. If you only eat a steak when someone else cooks it then have that be your thing. You don't even have to tell people that you're a vegetarian. You can just choose not to purchase and contribute to (what I see as)the problem. You can also share this information if you want, but be prepared for both meat and non-meat eaters to criticize you. I don't think you can ever win. I don't know how many people have asked me "Well how can you eat plants then? They're a living thing".

It was very easy for me the second time around to say "no thanks" to any of it, but I was pretty much traumatized into it. If you stop eating meat completely, you may start to see it differently and eventually not want to eat it - even if it means insulting someone. On the other hand, if you choose to have it be a splurge once in a while, like eating an entire bag of Doritos, then maybe you'll actually enjoy it more.

--End rant.

Super Mega Dad said...

First off, I used to work retail, and these type of people drove me CRAZY. My all time favorite were the garlic eaters. Man, I can STILL smell it and it was almost 20 years ago!

Second, if you go over friends, wouldn't they already know what your dietary requirements were? We have friends with special dietary needs, and we always accomodate them. Or maybe when you accept an invitation, maybe you could ask if you could bring some of your own stuff since you have a special diet?