Closet carnivores shouldn’t fake it

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

As I grew up in the heart of Alberta, no dish whetted my appetite like a plate of ribs at a local restaurant.

However, by the time I was in Grade 4 I was slightly more religious and started pondering whether or not I should refrain from eating red meat for a while.

After weighing all other options, I decided to go one step further and stop eating all forms of meat, but continue eating eggs and dairy products. I saw no reason to consume meat if I could survive by eating vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein substitutes.

While initially it was extremely tempting to go out for a Big Mac or eat a hot dog at a barbecue, eventually vegetarianism became natural.

Eleven years later, I consider myself a full-fledged vegetarian.

Although I’ve chosen to be a vegetarian, I don’t advise others to stop eating meat " ultimately, it’s a personal decision. I’m not bothered at all if the person sitting next to me at dinner chomps away on a large, meaty steak.

Over the past few years, however, I’ve noticed a growing trend which does irk me. I’ve met more and more people who claim to be vegetarians just because it’s “cool.”

Many of these supposed vegetarians refrain from eating meat for a short time, but then start eating meat occasionally for “special” occasions.

Mark my words " if you don’t eat meat Monday through Thursday but “only eat steak at your grandmother’s house on Friday” or if you decide to have salmon while at a fancy restaurant, you’re not a vegetarian. You may seldom eat meat, but you’re not a vegetarian.

Many of these individuals claim they’re vegetarians to publicly display their concern for the treatment of animals, while privately still eating their favourite carnivorous dishes whenever a convenient opportunity arises.

Don’t get me wrong " I’m not condemning people for only occasionally eating meat. My only request is that people are honest about their true dietary habits.

Whether you’re a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore, just be honest about what you prefer to eat.

And to answer a common question, no, I don’t plan on marrying a carrot...

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