Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Vejjitariyan

When I refused a food item that had meat in it, a Chinese student began to question my eating habits. She asked me if I drank milk. When I said "yes", she gave me a look that suggested I had queer habits. Then she said "do you wear leather belts?". Again that queer look when I said "yes".

Having been through 50 million vegetarian debates before, I knew pretty much what was coming and did not speak a word or throw anything out that would continue the conversation. As expected, she was unable to resist the temptation to argue, so she asked me "leather is from animal". And I asked " so!". To which she said "you are vegetarian but you wear leather". Still toying I said " yes! so". Visibly confused that I wasn't getting the obvious point she said "but you dont like killing animals and you still wear leather. Isn't that a contradiction". Which.. sort of gave me a chance to shut the conversation by saying "I dont mind animals being killed, in fact I would be happy if all animals were killed. Kill them all you want. I just dont want to eat them". She laughed and said "oh! ok... so you dont mind them being killed...then its okay" and walked away. Like I gave birth to those animals and I have to protect them - who cares.

The whole freaking world assumes you are making some kind of a moral statement through the stuff that you do. That you are trying to convey an ideal or a big underlying point - making a statement so to say. Sometimes..no most of the times there is no ideal, moral or underlying point. We just freaking do stuff that we like (I'd like to be 9 years old again shake my hands and say "yen ishtam"). It need not be consistent with any underlying moral or a philosophy. We do arbitrary, unconnected, and self-contradictory things.

I have always met questions like "you do abcd and you do xyz - dont you think it is contradictory" with "no I am consistent with a person who does abcd and xyz - so I am not contradictory". As long as you give a term, a name, a category for people to bucket you they are happy. It can be something as wierd as vegan (what the hell does this mean? I never knew I was a vegan)

16 comments:

Casement said...

(what the hell does this mean? I never knew I was a vegan)

You are not a vegan, if you drink milk:) While vegetarians consume dairy products, vegan is one who does not consume any animal product.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha.. Great !

Hema said...

Hi,

Better still is when someone questions why do u say you wont eat meat when you obviously have cakes etc. that has eggs? Have had this debate a million times now. The thing that irritates the most is why do people see logic when it concerns someone's taste buds. When we are brought up in a certain manner we are just accustomed to not having certain foods and thats all. hmmm......

cerisecarnations said...

tell me abt it...i stay in a chinese land and ppl always r like"oh so u eat only vegetables"..their idea of veg food is boiled vegetables ..thats it.so invited a couple of em to dinner and introduced them to an entire range of indian veg cuisine...also the fact that i dont drink alchohol,smoke or date is also a big issue..ppl dont understand is that i am not making a moral statement.Its the way i choose to live thats all.I told my friend once "just like i respect the fact that you like alchohol and have had 3 ex gfs why cant you respect my choice not to indulge in them"..its a matter of choice thats all.not trying to be moral or preach to anyone.... u knw maybe they all feel guilty that what they are doing is immoral..yea the prblem lies with them..they arent sure of their choices thats all ;-)

Hawkeye said...

casement,

i just realized i am not a vegan. i am not manythings and vegan seems to be one of those.

Hawkeye said...

hema,

it reminds of school where someone asks "nee yenda blue shirt pottirukke" and the other guy replies with a chicken like flapping "aiyaa yen ishti (ishtam)". There is something called preference.

Hawkeye said...

ceriseC,

at least US is pretty exposed to veggie food. think about china. they have no idea what veggie food is.

Anonymous said...

the chicken like flapping thing was also used while chanting
"askalakdi busku"

or is there a subtle difference in the action?

Deepa said...

Maybe I should ask my parents if they lost a son in an exhibition years ago.;-) This is exactly what I tell people when this veg/non-veg conversation starts.

Suresh Ramani said...

as some psychologist said: if hammer is the only tool available then you are likely to look at every problem as a nail.

Anonymous said...

hehe...extension to this debate, that I am sure every vegetarian has also had: The other person *assumes* that you are a veg because of ethical reason, and tries to "Challenge" you by starting: "But what if you are stranded on an island, there are no vegetables, and only meat? will you starve the death?". When I say "I will eat meat", the look on their face is priceless.

Gayathri said...

nice one...

BARATH said...

Ha ha. Good one.

/* you do an 'abcd' and you do xyz */

then you are certainly not a 'vegetarian' ;)

Anonymous said...

ok.. here is something i got from a desi.. " you smoke- you drink but you don't eat non veg?!? (surprise:O)"
which leads me to infer that many indians also see vegetarians as morally superior?

Krish Ashok said...

Very true. Although in India, it tends to work both ways. Veggies, especially from my family use dubious science, vague philosophy and questionable morality/ethical arguments to attempt to prove vegetarianism's superiority :)

Idling in Top Gear said...

Realize that this post was a gazillion years ago and I just had to comment coz I've said the same exact thing about killing animals and not eating em!

And oh, I HATE it when people would ask, "are you ALLOWED to eat xxxxx?"

I'd reply, "I am allowed to eat whatever I want - my own shoe if I so choose - I just don't WANT to."

It's very patronizing when people assume that you're some old-fashioned dude living by some rules that you just can't break the minute they see you doing anything that can be considered traditional. Whatever happened to choice and free will! Are they so arrogant that they think that the only reason one wouldn't partake in the same things they do is because he is bound by someone else's rules?