Yes, I am a veggie

It’s been ten years since I have turned veggie. Everywhere I go, people ask me:“Are you a veggie?” I say confidently, “Yes, I am a veggie.” It was the year 2012; we had reached Tulashi of Dhanusa. I along with friends happened to reach there late at night. We were nine but the only vegetarian was me. I had nothing to eat but a plate of rice with ghee. Everyone enjoyed the meal, but I became isolated in that situation. It was like being one odd out. This is simply because I do not eat meat nor fish or eggs.

The year was 2008. I had watched a documentary named “Tears of Fear.” The documentary shows a very pathetic collage of the world’s largest animal sacrifices in Gadimai festival, throwing a living goat over the pond and some animal sacrifices. I burst into tears. My heart became heavy. I felt empathy towards harmless and voiceless poor animals like goats and buffaloes. This turned me to a vegetarian.

By profession, I am now a Government employee. I very often attend parties, workshops, training sessions, receptions, get-together, feasts and festivities. I proactively participate in these events but when it comes to time for lunch or dinner or snacks, I face questions after questions- Are you a veggie? When did you turn veggie? Why did you turn veggie? Is your heath alright? Many people have questions on why I became a veggie.

Over the years, I have never felt hurt by friends or colleagues who ask for non-veg meals or peep at the non-veg menu. I go along with them on the same dining table. Often, they look at me and stare at my dish. Some smile without a word and a few wish to turn veggie. Most of them even feel a pity for me. A few people look at my bodily posture, my height and assume my weight. All I could do is smile and sometimes I go home and chuckle and sometimes I question myself, “Why are veggies so strange people in our society?” “Why do I face several questions simply because I choose a healthy food and lifestyle?”

Why does someone become a vegetarian? The answers may  vary from one individual to the other but one thing is  universally true – It’s for good health, a green earth and peace and prosperity. Some may say it is a switch to live longer and healthier. Others may do so to protect and preserve mother earth and her natural resources or some, including myself, would say because of the love for animals and an ethical opposition to eating them.