A movie I saw recently called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (view for free here, view trailers here) struck a chord and got me thinking more about food recently, and buying and eating more fresh, organic fruits and vegetables than ever. So I’ll post a few posts on food and diet.
The last time I intentionally ate meat was the spring of 1989. Occasionally someone brings me a turkey burger when I order a veggie burger and I accidentally eat some or a bug flies down my throat when I’m running, but I don’t count things that happen without intent.
People who eat meat can get weird about people not eating meat sometimes. I’m sure from their perspective they seem normal and people who don’t eat meat seem weird, but I don’t remember how I looked at people who didn’t eat meat when I ate meat.
People often ask why I don’t eat meat. To me, it’s both a weird question and annoying. Weird because I don’t feel like I have reasons. I just eat what I like and don’t what I don’t. How can I explain that? And doesn’t everyone do the same?
(Unfortunately, I find that many people don’t eat what they like and not what they don’t, which is deep and deeply sad. I hope to come back to that point in this series of posts.)
The question annoys me sometimes because sometimes I’ll get asked several times a day. Over the course of a few decades, getting asked the same question approximately daily can bore you. I also think a lot of people don’t think about asking. They just ask on auto-pilot and don’t care about the answer.
Most annoying is that a lot of people, upon hearing my answer, argue against it. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say they consider trying to change someone an enjoyable, effective pastime, yet there they go, trying to argue what for me seems a matter of taste, not logic, anyway.
They often look for a consistency nobody practices with respect to anything, least of all themselves and their eating habits if only they looked inwardly as skeptically as they do outwardly. They want to point out the bee parts in honey or something like that, yet discount the inconsistencies of their practices.
Over the years, conversations about eating habits have taught me tolerance probably more than any other type of conversation. I recognize through the early 90s my attempts to convince others contributed to more than a few arguments.
By now I don’t try to change other people. I simply state my practices and tell others I don’t care what they do. For most that suffices. Some can’t help themselves and can’t stop themselves from arguing.
Eventually you find others haven’t learned the lesson you have and find they want to change you. Or have you acknowledge they are right and you are wrong or ignorant.
Realizing your social skills have surpassed another’s, at least in being able not to start pointless, unwinnable arguments has its pros and cons. Sometimes you can’t stop someone from arguing with you, no matter how you try to avoid judging or arguing.
A lot of people who eat meat view people who don’t as considering themselves better. Many people consider not eating meat somehow morally superior — I think mainly meat eaters, who seem frustrated about it. They seem to want to take you down a notch, attacking you for things you never communicated or felt.
Personally I don’t see any rightness or wrongness — just matters of taste and consistency with one’s values. Still, some people seem to feel threatened.
Follow-up posts on food and eating:
- More reasonable talk on eating
- More reasonable talk on eating, part 2
- More reasonable talk on eating, part 3
- Why I stopped eating meat, part 1
- Why I stopped eating meat, part 2
- Why I stopped eating meat, part 3
- Why I don’t eat meat, part 1
- Why I don’t eat meat, part 2
- Why I don’t eat meat, non-issues
- Why I don’t eat meat: non-issue1: health
- Why I don’t eat meat: non-issue2: environment
- Why I don’t eat meat: non-issue3: animal rights
- Why I don’t eat meat: non-issue4: animal cruelty
- Why I don’t eat meat: non-issue5: feeling closer to nature
- Why I don’t eat meat: non-issue6: religion
- Why I don’t eat meat: non-issue7: anatomy
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book