Like many families, mine loved eating meat. Whether it was from a restaurant, fast food, or a home cooked meal, meat was a regular food option. I started doing some research and decided to make a huge change in my life. At two-hundred eighty pounds, I decided to become a vegetarian. A lot of my family and friends disagreed with my decision and found it strange. At first when I told my family they laughed at me and told me I was crazy. They said I would be back to eating meat the next day. When my family noticed that I was serious about this change, they started treating me differently and making sarcastic comments.Order now
Even some of my friends would make sarcastic comments and tell me to quit being a vegetarian. Again, I had two choices to make; I could give in to everyone else and go back to eating meat or keep being a vegetarian, because it made me happy and content with my life. First off, my initial choice was to quit being a vegetarian. This is what seemed like everyone wanted. My friends were not very supportive; they said meat was too delicious for a sane person to give up. They would put meat up close my face a tease me telling me to eat it.
One of my friends even questioned my manhood by saying, “You are not a man if you do not eat meat. ” This is a completely biased opinion; they were behaving like ignorant children. Most of the time when they would start with their childish comments, I would just shrug and tell them to shut up and then we would continue talking about something else. They kept at it, and made me feel like Arnold Spirit in The Absolutely True Dairy Of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. In the novel Arnold is having a fight with his best friend Rowdy because Rowdy is mad that Arnold is switching schools.
Arnold says “My heart broke into fourteen pieces, one for each year that Rowdy and I had been best friends”(Alexie 52). In other words, Arnold was taking an emotional toll from his fight with his best friend Rowdy. When my friends would make their jokes and idiotic comments, at first it did not bother me because we all joke around with each other. But these jokes and comments were recurring over and over and over. They started to take a toll on me and I found myself isolating myself from them. I missed them and that’s why I contemplated quitting being a vegetarian and going back to eating meat.
Next, my second choice was to keep being a vegetarian and ignore what people would say. I’ll admit when I first started being a vegetarian, it was tough but after two weeks when I started to receive the benefits of not eating meat everything changed. I felt amazing; I had more energy. I was not tired all the time. Even my grades went up because I was no longer falling asleep in class. Blemishes on my skin were starting to go away. I started losing weight. Also being an animal person I was thrilled no animals were being killed on my behalf.
Altogether collectively, I felt like a new and improved individual. And yet my family and friends were in the sidelines telling me to quit. In “The Good Daughter,” by Caroline Hwang she too is having trouble with pleasing herself or her parents; she says “I know many of my friends who had to choose between pleasing their parents or being true to themselves” (Hwang 14). In other words, she knows people who also had to choose between what their parents wanted and what they wanted. I can strongly relate to this because, I had to either go back to eating meat and sacrifice my happiness or be true to myself.
It was almost like it was taboo to be a vegetarian; when some people would find out they would give me this weird facial expression followed by a childish “Why”? In the end, I stayed true to myself. I was able to cope with everything by finding other people who are vegetarians and hanging out with them while things cooled down. They acted as a positive reinforcement to my new lifestyle. My friends finally came around and accepted the fact that I’m not going back to meat. Now whenever my friends and I go out to eat at a restaurant they always take into consideration whether or not that establishment has a meal option for vegetarians.
As for my family, they also came around and stopped with the sarcastic comments. They even like some of the vegetarian meals I prepare. Now weighing two-hundred thirty pounds; since I started my vegetarian life style I have lost a total of sixty pounds. I am much more active I run and go hiking. I have a great relationship with my family and friends. I feel better than ever and I have found myself to be a lot happier than I used to be. Vegetarianism is a life changing experience that I would recommend to anyone.
Furthermore, this experience has taught me that people should not sacrifice their happiness for what others might say because in the long run you will be a happier individual. Stand up for what is right even if no one is standing. If I had a chance, I would not do things differently because even though I went through what seemed like hell, I came out stronger and standing taller than ever before with a new outlook on life. It has been nine months being a full-fledged vegetarian and I honestly could not ask for more. I am in a great place in my life and I will continue to better myself.