Because I'm unoriginal
To follow up/expand on Red Fraggle's post on vegetarianism, I must admit that I too am one of those vegetarians who gets worked up when non-vegetarians either try to ride on our coattails or denounce our choices. I'm a vegetarian not for health reasons but because I'm an animal lover in the extreme, and as I learned more about the meat industry, I simply could no longer reconcile my love for animals with my eating or wearing them. (OK, I still wear the leather and suede I already own, but I make a concerted effort to avoid buying new articles made of animal skin.) Of course, if I were less lazy I would be an all-out vegan, because the egg and dairy industries are really no better in the way the animals are treated. Sigh...one step at a time.
Either way, it's a personal choice, and one I don't wish to foist upon anyone else. I'm always very touched when friends (and The Dude, who is very good about this) go out of their way to accommodate my meatless diet, since I can pretty much find something to eat wherever -- except maybe a Brazilian churrascaria joint. And when people express regret over eating meat in front of me -- that's sweet! It's really fine...and honestly I wish they wouldn't even point it out, because if I start thinking about it too much then I will get upset -- not at them, but at the industry's mistreatment of the animals. So I guess you could say my approach is a combination of ultimately ineffectual personal quasi-boycotting and burying my head in the sand. But whatever I'm doing, I'm not doing it to send some political message or to get attention. I'm just doing it because to not do it makes me feel sad and disgusted with myself.
I do get so worked up about blanket dismissals of vegetarianism/veganism, however, that when I first read this satirical "article," I thought it was for real. I feel silly about that now, and now when I reread it, I laugh pretty heartily:
VEGANS: Modern Day Witches
...One needn't look any further than Christ's words to see that so-called "vegans" are nothing more than sorcerers and demons, mocking God while spitting on His Son's final supper....
And yes, I do own that messenger bag. Buy yours here!