Take Heart!

Christian Vegetarian Association
Update Newsletters
ake Heart!

Take Heart Contents
| Animal Issues | Articles | Athletes | Bible | Children | Devotionals | Environment | Food | Health | Humor | OpinionPoetry | Quotations | Recipes |

Christian Vegetarian Association Presents:
Take Heart!

Comments from our Readers

Last week we ran an article titled What I'm really thinking: the vegan, and we asked our members to share with us about their experience when sharing a meal with non-veg*n people. These are some of the comments (thank you!):

- I became a vegetarian during a sabbatical year in Europe. All my life I had relatively successfully blocked from my mind and heart the reality of what was on my plate. To continue to do this, I had to restrict my meat-eating to animals that I had always eaten, whose flesh I was accustomed to thinking of as only food on the plate. Animals I had not grown up eating - baby cows, horses, shrimp - I could not eat because I had not learned to think of their flesh as merely food. In Europe, as I imagine in many rural areas of North America as well, there is less of a practice of distancing oneself from the living beings which have been translated into food on the plate. Birds are sold in the markets with their heads still attached, so that their species identity can't be disguised. In France, there is a whole section in the grocery store devoted to "cheval". It was in Portugal that the last of my defenses finally came down and in one moment of truth, I tumbled headlong into uncompromising vegetarianism - we found ourselves stopped in traffic directly behind a truck with its back doors open, exposing to our eyes the rows of carcasses hanging there. The following day, a brand new vegetarian, I contentedly ordered a salad and roll in the restaurant, the only thing I could eat there, trying to avert my eyes from a wall-sized mural depicting unapologetically the various stages in the processing of baby pigs - from suckling at their mother's side, through skewering over the fire, to presentation on the plates for our enjoyment.

A few years later I became a vegan, when I forced myself to watch a PETA video and allowed my heart to break. In that moment I realized that there is no part of the processing of animals and their products that is completely free from objectification, abuse, killing. I must not be a part of any of it. So now I am vegan.

What am I thinking when sharing a meal with my non-vegetarian family and friends? This is where I am now desperately trying not to think. Blocking from my mind and heart the reality of what is on their plate. Otherwise how could I bear the grief? How could I eat with these people that I love?

And so the thought I do allow myself is this: how is it possible for them not to see? and this thought also - surely one day soon they will see.”


- As a Quaker, when I am dining with people who are eating meat, I think something like "I believe that at heart, where the Inner Light is, you are a kindly person; you wouldn't deliberately torture or kill helpless animals. You are participating in a practice that is part of our culture, but I believe you are a vegetarian at heart. It's a matter of your practice catching up with who you really are."

The good thing about this kind of thinking--which has taken years for me to reach--is that I can sometimes say it out loud, and the meat-eaters don't feel resentful. They are more likely to say "Yes, you're right," and I can respond with "Follow your heart."

~Gracia Fay

- “How I feel when sharing a meal with non-vegetarian friends: that has always crossed my mind because they usually feel uncomfortable in choosing a restaurant to eat. They always say, you pick since you don't eat meat. I say, I can eat anywhere, there is always something I can find to eat. This usually helps stop the argument that it is difficult to eat out being a vegetarian. Then they order their dish, sometimes also being uncomfortable ordering meat, some friends are a little more cautious - some are just blunt - by saying - I want my meat medium rare, I have to see some blood. Anyway, they are mostly just curious to find out where I get my protein from and they usually say that they just love the taste of meat. That leads me not to judge them, but really see that they are not spiritually complete yet, at least when it comes to honoring God's creations. Sometimes they don't order meat, they order what I eat and find that it is just as satisfying! Has lead some to try being a vegetarian, but just aren't disciplined to do so, wanting to satisfy the flesh more than the spirit.”


- “I get very mad deep inside. They are all so apathetic to animal issues. I met with 6 old friends for lunch and all had lobster rolls or lobsters. All come from strong Italian roots. All except me were born in Italy, Americanized now.

One girl asked why I did not eat meat. I said because they suffer. She said how do you know a veg. doesn't suffer?. I don't know that but I do know an animal does. One girl there said she would not kill a fly, she lets them out of the window when she sees them. She eats all meat and argues with me constantly how I am. Another relative had a party instead of giving gifts this person asked people to bring food for animal shelter. This person had steak and chicken, shrimp, etc. at her catered party. So compassionate? I get very mad inside.”


Your question and comments are welcome

Copyright 2008 © Christian Vegetarian Association. All rights reserved.

| Home Page | Bibliography | Books, T-shirts, Etc. | Community | Contact Us | CVA Board | CVA Videos | Essays and Coloring Book | Honoring God's Creation | How to Help | Links | Membership | Mission | Podcast | Take Heart | Vegetarianism's Benefits |

This site is hosted and maintained by
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.