Being a vegetarian in a meat conscious community is definitely not easy, but
I have managed to life my life this way. I am fourteen years old, and have been
a vegetarian ever since the day I was born.
My early childhood took place in Portland, Oregon, one of the more liberal
cities, in which being a vegetarian wasn’t so abnormal.
A lot of people were vegetarians there and it was the “cool thing to be.” I
then moved to the Hudson Valley, where most of the people I knew were
When my friends’ parents would ask me if I want a turkey sandwich, and I
would answer “I am a vegetarian,” both my friends and their parents would look
at me as if I wasn’t even human.
They would ask me “How do you live? Do you only eat vegetables?”
“There are alternatives out there.” I would answer. Some people are so naive
about vegetarians. I almost want to sit them down and explain the basics.
The older I become, the harder it is not to eat meat. When I go to a
restaurant to eat, often the only choice for vegetarians like myself are salads.
Fortunately, my parents own two vegetarian restaurants in which I can find food
of my choice other than salads.
Both Luna 61, in Red Hook, and Ono in Hudson, are vegetarian restaurants
whose menus fulfill dietary choices similar to mine.
Currently more and more kids in school are becoming vegetarians.
As they get older, they begin to realize how cruel it is to kill animals for
their meat while you can eat “fake” products that are even more healthy and
don’t harm animals.
Unfortunately, there are still those kids who think that they can’t survive
without meat, and will gobble a ham sandwich right in front of your face on
purpose. I don’t let it get to me.
To this day, I have not eaten a piece of meat and have faith that I never
will. Just because the rest of the world eats meat doesn’t mean that I have to.
It has been fourteen years, and I am still standing strong.