When I decided to transition to a vegetarian diet and as I (very) slowly cut out all animal products, there were two things I knew for certain:
1. The transition would be slow
2. It would not be without flack from those around me
And true to my prediction, the transition was slow (taking nearly a year to fully cut out meats and to no longer crave them) and the flack continues to come. Many blogs I read said to be prepared to the typical jokes like the lettuce leaf on the plate at family dinners “there you go Steph…eat up!”, the concerns about my protein intake, my bone health and my overall well-being and yes, true to expectation, there’s even been some shaming from those who claim to love me telling me that if I force my kids to eat this “crunchie-granola” way of mine, they’ll be unhealthy, unhappy and bullied in school.
That last one really stung. Not because of the words so much as the person who spoke them.
I’m not going to sit here and glorify the way I live or the way I eat. I share what I do because that’s the nature of my blog. That’s the nature of my life. If I talk about it, it’s because I’m passionate about it, not because I’m expecting to convert the masses to my train of thought. Everyone else in my family eats meat. That’s fine. They are all adults with brains of their own and I have no right to tell anyone to think and educate for themselves in one breath and then turn around and criticize with my next breath. The lifestyle I lead is what works best for me and my body. My children and husband are no different. I’m very conscious about what I prepare and feed them and if there is ever a concern, then we re-evaluate as co-parents and individuals. If anything, my kids will be exposed to a variety of different foods and when they’re older, they will make these decisions for themselves.
I really don’t know why we go out of our way to criticize those around us for living their lives. We don’t have to agree but we should always be respectful of our differences. I know I’ve failed at this many times and need to remind myself that my way isn’t the only way. Sometimes the best we can do is live our priorities and always be ready, willing and able to offer advice or information when it is asked of us.
What say you? Have you made a lifestyle change in yours and your families lives that you feel you constantly have to defend? How do you approach it without sharpening the claws?***As with anything on this blog, discussion is good, bashing, negativity is bad. We are all entitled to our opinions but please be respectful in sharing them.