It had been about 4 months since I stopped eating meat. Surprisingly, there were a lot of judgemental eye-rolls and sarcastic comments thrown my way.
I am not conversant on ultra spiritual lifestyles and planet-saving. I won’t lecture on something I know nothing about. My taste has simply changed.
I was invited to a dinner. I presumed they already knew that I didn’t eat meat, maybe they didn’t. Nevertheless, part of the feast was chicken cooked into the tenderest of delights for 6 hours.
I didn’t know if this was a genuine misunderstanding or a test of my vegetarian activism.
Either way, my host laboured and prepared a meal for hours. How could I dismiss precious and irreplaceable time that a person spent making food for me?
I ate chicken for 26 years, I can do it again. It’s fine. I unconvincingly thought to myself.
So I did.
Dinner was well-cooked, but it didn’t particularly engage my taste buds in an exciting dance of flavour and nutrition. I was very aware of the fact that it was dead flesh.
I hadn’t had meat in months, subsequently, I started feeling queazy almost instantly.
The rest of the night, we chattered and laughed. But all the while, I was distracted, battling waves of nausea. Suppressing bubbles of half-digested food crawling up my throat.
Don’t throw up, don’t throw up. I commanded my body. Just wait until you get home.
The rest of the evening was a tangled struggle of biology and mental will. A shaky wrestle between involuntary repulsions and social urges. The conscious mind rebuking the deep-rooted impulse to please people.
I didn’t preach or scold. I didn’t flinch or wince. I didn’t say no.
I hardly ever say no.
Have you ever had a similar experience? What would you have done if you were in my shoes?