Even though in most aspects of life I’m pretty easygoing, when it comes to food, I can be quite difficult. What movie are we going to see? Well, I’ll express my opinion, but if the vote goes against me, I’m not going to kick up a fuss about having to see Scary Movie 16 or serious-movie-about-the-Middle-East-and-Americans 20. What restaurant are we going to eat at? Well, then there’s only so far I can be accommodating.
I’ve met quite a number of liberals who became vegetarian for political reasons (humanitarian or economic) and then gave up after a year, five years, or even ten years. The taste of meat lured them back in… usually, for some strange reason, a hot dog. Well, I’ve been a practicing vegetarian for sixteen years and a wannabe vegetarian for twenty-five years. It has to do with taste, not politics, so I know I’m not going to be changing that any time soon. I’m just picky, and meat isn’t included in the limited repertoire of foods I eat. Without listing every single food I eat or don’t eat, the best way to sum up my diet would be (in order of preference) sugar, fat, dairy, starch, fruits, and cooked vegetables. I don’t like seafood (though if I’m stuck in a seafood restaurant, I’ll eat the shrimp—the least offensive seafood). I don’t like meat. I don’t like spicy food.
But when you don’t know someone well, it takes too much explaining to go into a huge list of all the foods I like or don’t like. The simplest way to sum it up is “I’m vegetarian.” I am vegetarian, but that’s just the beginning of the story. Those who know me best usually chime in to clarify shortly afterwards: “He’s not vegetarian. He’s just picky.”