Coming out as carnivore 21 July 2015
I feel so ashamed and dirty. But I cannot deny it: I like meat.
I’m 44 years old. I thought I knew myself.
It started when I gave my daughter some tuna. Sometimes she didn’t finish it all, so … well, oh it’s so hard to say … I guess I just ate a little.
It’s not easy when you’ve been a strict vegetarian since the age of 19. That’s 25 years of meat-free living.
At first I thought maybe I could just close the blinds and eat some fish indoors on my own.
But I couldn’t stay in the pantry forever.
Slowly, I came out. And it hasn’t been an easy road.
My family were surprised – a little ashamed even. My father asked me how long I have known I prefer meat over vegetables. He said he felt betrayed.
My mother said it was okay as long as I didn’t eat meat in front of her. I asked if she could handle seeing a photo of me eating some tuna. She said maybe one day in the future.
My friends were little better. One asked why I couldn’t just eat in private all my life. Why did I have to eat in public?
I asked a vegetarian friend to dine out with me. She said it felt too soon.
Another friend asked if this was a permanent thing. Was I planning on converting to eating meat full-time? We don’t talk much anymore.
Last week I went to a steak-house and pigged out. But I could feel people staring at me. Like I didn’t belong. Like I didn’t really ‘pass’ as a real carnivore.
I then went to an organic, vegetarian food co-op. I felt like I’d left something of the real me behind.
So I’m left in this awkward no-man’s land: rejected from both sides.
I feel deep inside I’m both vegetarian and carnivore. Can I straddle both worlds?
Am I loveable, even with some tuna stuck between my teeth?
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