The Vegetarian Ego

So the thing is, I’ve come to realize that becoming a vegetarian immersed me in a sense of superiority over meat-eaters.   I pleasured myself with the knowledge that I was making the healthier and morally higher choice (for animal rights activism). How could my human ego resist that knowledge? Of course, this false sense of superiority didn’t manifest to a disturbing or offensive level. It would just be something that slipped from me from time to time. I didn’t go about twittering about my choice of becoming a vegetarian but whenever I got to mention it, I mentioned it. I hope I didn’t come across as snobby and annoying.

Anyway. The thing is, I was never fully, completely, authentically a vegetarian. I was basically on a meat-free diet, but occasionally I would consume broths made of chicken or beef. No solid meat involved, of course. Just the indirect, second-handed, transferred…meatyness? There are so many types of vegetarian, so I don’t really know if I’m violating the rules or not. I probably am, considering chicken or beef broth involves meat.

At first I became a vegetarian because I saw this horrendous video about factory farming. After becoming emotionally traumatized seeing innocent animals slaughtered for mass-consumption, I could no longer bear their meaningless death. It was practically a massacre, the lives we kill unnecessarily. I was strictly meat free afterwards. My decision was rock solid. I didn’t even touch the broth.

After my inner turmoil receded, I started doing more research on the subject of factory farming. The video turned out to be an one-sided propaganda depicting the absolutely worst of factory conditions. However, that does not mean animals aren’t being slaughtered at a massive scale on a day to day basis for the human appetite, and animal abuse as well as the extreme objectification of lives still happen commonly across the world.

With that knowledge, I stayed meat-free for a few more weeks, until my activist sentiments gradually waned and died down. The emotional water is calm again. I suddenly didn’t feel as strongly as I used to. At times I felt guilty because I felt like I didn’t care enough, but eventually I gave in and became sucked back into the currents of regular life.

Isn’t it interesting how we can care about something with every fibre of our being, and then we forget about it?

So I was done with animal activism, but decided to keep being a vegetarian. Like I said, sometimes I accepted meat broths for the sake of convenience, or just for the sake of. Having a soupy and noodle-ly stomach is really tormenting when you’re not allowed anything involving meat. The soup!! I simply can’t live without the soup.

I guess I’m a hypocrite, then, since I was never truly, 100% vegetarian. Sometimes I even called myself  95% vegetarian, but that was totally cheating, come to think of it. You’re either a vegetarian or you’re not. I mean, there’s no such thing as a 50% vegetarian or 10% vegetarian, is there? That would be ridiculous.

Now, I am faced with a real dilemma. It has come to my attention that I am abandoning some of my favourite foods by declaring myself a vegetarian, and it really bugs me that I can’t have meaty soup!! SOUP! I am enslaved by it. I can’t live without it and I’ve tried resisting it but I am weak. I have totally forgotten about the animal activism. This is not a story triumph story or a propagandic story designed to encourage and promote vegetarian. No, it’s nothing heroic like that.

What it comes down to, for me, is the fact that I WANT TO DRINK DELICIOUS SOUP AGAIN, and this story is mostly a plain “defeat” story of how I decided to make “exceptions” for my vegetarian diet and allow soups be consumed without guilt or restrain and thus abandon the official status of me being a vegetarian. I am still going to avoid actual, solid meat–I wasn’t a heavy meat-eater to begin with and I kind of got used to not chewing on them. But soup. SOUP!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will not live without my favourite soups again. It was the beef chili soup from Tim Hortons that broke me. I thought it was vegetarian but it was filled with beef chunks. I smelled it before my brother offered to “drink it for me”.

Yes, I admit it. I am a total fluke. But I am a soup-lover, so what can you do?