How An Ex Turned Me Vegetarian

image from aussiegall

I can’t believe it. I’ve been had.

He softly wrapped his arms around me and leaned in to whisper sweet nothings into my ear.

“Do you like tofu?” my vegan then-boyfriend cooed.

I shuddered at the thought of eating something with the texture of a cloud and the flavor of a dirty sock.

“Soon enough, baby, soon enough.”

I thought nothing of it, but he had unknowingly planted the seed of a vegetable-based lifestyle in my mind.

Fast forward a few weeks to the break-up dinner, where I’m shoveling blocks of Thai-flavored tofu down my throat in an attempt to salvage the relationship.

He wasn’t having any of it.

I was devastated, but after he left, I vowed to give up meat to win him back. I had no idea I had just become the victim of vegan-sexuality.

Vegan-sexuals reject meat-eaters as partners, but they turn meat-eaters into vegans through the most effective recruiting tool known to college-age students: sex, and the newest STD, a sexually transmitted declaration.

Good to know that vegans can spread their awareness, among other things, to the general meat-eating public.

“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals strongly advocates interdietary relationships,” says Ryan Huling, PETA’s college campaign coordinator. “We believe that if at all possible and appropriate, every vegan should sleep with a meat-eater so as to let the carnivores experience the difference, the energy and stamina of a vegan lover.”

Because of the break-up, I hadn’t been fully converted to veganism, but I did take the huge slice of meat out of my life.

But there I was among all the right vegetarians for all the wrong reasons. I didn’t care if thousands of cattle were being needlessly killed. My heart had been pumped full of hormones, grown quickly at an unnatural rate and then slaughtered.

This made vegetarianism a horrible battle that I knew would last until the cows came home.

By Day 41, the dreams returned. I was nestled all snug in my bed while visions of Brella’s crunchy chicken cheddar wraps (no lettuce or tomato) danced in my head.

“You’re dreaming about meat?” a friend asked. “You’re the worst vegetarian ever.”

It was becoming increasingly harder to stick to my guns, (which I don’t use to kill animals), but now I’m at Day 73, and the meat desires have mostly subsided, partially because of Feb. 18’s largest beef recall in the history of the United States.

Thank you, undercover videos of lax USDA inspectors!

We live in a society that questions the degree of things: Barack Obama is black enough, and Hillary Clinton is woman enough, but is being a vegetarian “vegan” enough?

“Anyone who is taking a step to reduce their meat consumption is headed in the right direction,” Huling says. “Some people may not feel comfortable going vegan overnight, which is why we encourage people to start with solid steps, whether that means eating one vegetarian meal a week or even once a month.”

I haven’t yet stretched my vegan-sexual wings to convert others, but opening minds to the concept is half the battle.

Judy Carman, co-organizer of VegLawrence, a local vegan potluck held monthly, says it’s best to approach people in a gentle, compassionate way.

“Most of us were meat-eaters until we learned something,” she says. “You should get to know people the best you can.”

I’ve been had. I felt like a piece of low-grade tofu that had been chewed up and spit out, but in the end, I accepted that piece of tofu as an integral part of my life.

I won’t argue that vegetarians taste better, but since I was impregnated with the notion of vegan-sexuality, I’ve progressed from a vegetarian full of spite and revenge to a vegetarian full of peace, love and pesticide-free vegetables.

All is fair in love and dealing with vegan whores.

originally published in Jayplay magazine on March 13, 2008 (PDF). Click here for its original online home.

— This piece was one of two opinion pieces selected from the University of Kansas to compete for a Hearst Award in Fall 2008. It earned points in the editorial competition and helped KU earn first place overall.


One response to “How An Ex Turned Me Vegetarian

  1. What a great post! It totally made me smile…and though it wasn’t an ex who turned me, I can totally appreciate what you went through 🙂

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