It's amazing to me the things people believe and the ways that they justify the things that they do. That's true for me as well. I've talked myself in and out of things using logic that others would find nonsensical. But we're not talking about me :)
I was in my local paper today in a brief quote about drinking water and weight loss. I happened to run into someone who had read the article and we got to talking about weight loss and how it changes as you get older and how you can see the mistakes you have made and continue to make. I made a comment about something I did when I still ate meat and he said, "You really need that protein." I told him I get the protein I need in other ways and he said, "There's some protein you can't get in other ways." I stopped bothering to defend my protein intake at that point because I knew it was useless. But it made me think. This person is not overly concerned with my health. We're not close friends or anything and while I'm sure he doesn't want anything bad to happen to me, he's not monitoring other aspects of my diet.
I did tell him that the only nutrient that vegans (I am not a vegan) are sometimes lacking in is B12 and that can be remedied with a supplement. He asked if I ate fish....no, fish is meat. He then said we should eat things that God made and that came from the Earth. I'm not religious, but I agree with the concept wholeheartedly. Then he said, "They ate meat in the Bible, Jesus was a fisherman, so it must be OK to eat fish" To which I replied, "When Jesus was alive our waters weren't so polluted that every fish coming out of them tests positive for mercury." He couldn't disagree with that.
These two statements about the protein and Jesus being a fisherman made me wonder if he wasn't questioning his own diet instead of mine. This wasn't the first time I've heard people make justifications for a diet with meat. So I have to wonder if a lot of people actually do feel a little bad about eating meat but enjoy it too much to give it up. To be clear, while I wish everyone would become a vegetarian deep down in my heart, I'm not a hater of people who eat meat. I want people to know where their food comes from and how safe it may or may not be and that includes non-meat items as well. In reality though, meat does taste good and I know most people will not give it up no matter what I tell them or show them. That's fine! I think all Americans could use a reduction in their intake of meat and dairy, but only because we consume far too much of it as a country. I could use a reduction in my chocolate intake though, so I'm not without sin here.
What I really want is for people to stop trying to make me believe I'm not going to be healthy if I don't eat meat when we all know that isn't true. Stop putting your feelings about it on me and if I'm making you feel bad about your food choices then either let me know, or evaluate if it really is something I'm actually doing to you, or just your own inner critic. Our goal should be safe food and good health, however we get there.