Posts Written by Catie

Vegetarianism, Atheism, and Why I’m a Feminist

A few months ago, I wrote something about an unpleasant exchange I had with a stranger on the internet.  What occurred to me in the process of writing it is that vegetarians, like women, are expected to let go of their firmly held beliefs because we are told that someday we’ll change our minds. For example:

“Someday, you will decide to eat meat, and you will realize that being a vegetarian was stupid all along. You’re just being stubborn. Being a vegetarian isn’t changing anything. You’re missing out!” “Oh, you don’t know that you don’t want children! Someday you’ll meet a man who will change your mind about marriage and children–he will want those things, and you will realize that he is right.”

The idea here is that people are vegetarians on a silly whim, not because of firmly held beliefs; that women who say they don’t want children don’t have reasons, that they haven’t thought it through, that someday a man, whose opinion is more valuable than a woman’s, will convince her that she has been wrong all along.

I want to take this a little further.  I’ve been a vegetarian for my entire life.  With the exception of some ill-advised Chicken McNuggets, eaten out of a desire for Happy Meal toys, I have never eaten meat.  I’m also a life-long atheist (I tend to call myself a “secular humanist,” ...