Lessons learned from a vegetarian debate

Andy Jensen

For some reason I am becoming the king of controversy. My first opinion topic was horse slaughter, which generated comments like reproducing rabbits (which, well, I think you get the picture). Then just the other day I was checking out Facebook and I saw a someecard (you know, they have a colored background, a picture, then some really funny, but true, saying). This one had a picture of a boy and his beef animal and read “Dear Vegetarians, my food literally craps on your food.” This was just too funny not to share. I knew that some of my friends would think this was funny as well.

Not more than five minutes later, I get my first comment. I was expecting it to be a fellow meat eater commenting on the truth the picture illustrated, but it was one of the few vegetarians that I’ve become friends with.

With that being said – I don’t care what you eat. You could eat paper for all I care and I’ll still be your friend. What you eat is your own personal choice, but don’t think that I’m a terrible person because I don’t eat what you do.

As the conversation continued, I read comments from both sides of the situation. I was really taking it all in. I love when people show what they are passionate about, but I don’t like when people try to tell me what I should be passionate about, or that I’m wrong for choosing what I eat.

I will admit, I have contemplated becoming a vegetarian. I don’t see anything wrong with this choice. You are, after all, still supporting farmers. I feel that vegetables are an important staple of the diet, even if it’s potatoes. I did the research but I knew it wasn’t for me.

I couldn’t take away from what my family instilled in me when it comes to the importance of supporting our local butcher shop, of knowing where our food comes from, or the dedication, time, and labor that goes into getting the steak or pork chop from field to table.

After I finally chimed in on the situation, moderating the above facts I stated to you, peace finally arrived. I learned a few things about this situation. Here is what I would like you to take away from this.

1) Don’t start a debate if you don’t want to defend what you stand for.

2) Don’t de-friend someone on Facebook just because you don’t see eye-to-eye. That’s just stupid. If we all did that, we wouldn’t have Facebook.

3) Don’t push what you believe in on other people. Instead, try to educate people on why you chose the lifestyle you did.

4) It doesn’t matter what other people think or say, because if you are truly happy with what you’re doing, nothing else matters.

5) I don’t mind vegetarians. We are, after all, human.