Monday, April 5, 2010


After how long are you able to say that you're a "vegetarian?" Once you go meatless, how much time keeping your commitment needs to pass before you can adopt a new title?

It's been three or so years since I've partaken of meat of any kind. I suppose you could call me a vegetarian. I suppose. For I think that it's a title to be earned, so to speak, and I'm not quite sure that three years cuts it. One of my counterparts at work has been a vegetarian for 27 years. My whole life. Now that there is legitimacy. Maybe when my tongue has been meat-free for that long I'll feel less like a poser when I call myself a vegetarian.

I don't eat meat.

Well doesn't that mean you're a vegetarian?

Well, technically, yes, it does, but I don't so much feel that I've earned the title.


It drives me out of my mind when someone says that they are a vegetarian and it turns out that they've only been without meat for a month or two. Idiot, you're not a vegetarian; you just haven't had flesh for a couple months. It's like someone picking some flowers from the backyard, shoving them in a vase and saying, I'm a florist! No you aren't.

But when are you?

Instead of saying that they are a vegetarian I think those people should say something like I'm giving vegetarianism a try or I'm trying to go without meat or I'm working on becoming a vegetarian or I'm meatless these days or I'm going veg. The words matter.

Good grief, I write all this and then I realize that I actually don't give a damn. Me and Apathy: very good friends these days. Me and the word "damn": also quite tight.


L said...

Damn. 27 years you say? Yeah that is a lengthy period of time. I often wonder what it must be like to be an individual who has never partaken of the flesh. I've read about 'em but have yet to meet one.

Jessica said...

Yeah for Damn. And Shit. And Hell.

Marie Stott said...

Can that go for the term "photographer" as well? Owning a SLR kit you bought at Costco and knowing how to run actions in Photoshop do not qualify you as a photographer, right?
And your discipline and healthy mind kill me. If only I had half of that.

Ryan said...

damn megan what's with all the postage? i have some serious catching up to do.

you pose a very interesting question. i don't know that i'd necessarily look to time gone by as the one key performance indicator. no doubt it fits for some but i've gotta think that for others a light turns on that changes their entire paradigm, putting them on the fast track to veggiehood label adoption, while another group might try it on for size and quite like how they feel as a result and carry on in the tradition, never truly "converting" to the lifestyle, or only identifying a conversion in retrospect, like the bottom of a recession. i'm all about spectra.

your last para made me laugh :)

Rabid said...

Labels are silly. Although, when it comes to the term "vegetarian" I expect people to mean "haven't eaten meat in a long ass time."

Holy smokes, I do believe I've come up with an essay topic for you. ('Member, we were gonna swap topics?) So here it is:


(I thought about adding a specific to the labeling topic, but didn't want to cage your creative cranium.)

P.S. I so enjoy Ryan's comments. So enjoy them.

whitneyingram said...

I like what Marie said. She is so right.

Unknown said...

Long time lurker her. I'm glad you're back!

I would fall under the category of giving-vegetarianism-a-try. I haven't had meat for about 2 months, other than the other day when I totally forgot and ate some beef jerky.

What that has to do with the conversation, I don't really know.

Carry on.