Don’t Criticize my Food Unless you Want the Truth About Yours

My younger son and I are vegetarians.  Well, for the most part we are with the exception of the occasional really good quality piece of fish.  We have hosted small birthday parties and attended medium and large family gatherings and pretty much every time there is someone who thinks they are somehow being given free license to criticize what we eat.  You know like when you are pregnant and people assume they can touch your belly, like it is public property or something?  Honestly, I am tired of it.  As much as I think about the fact that I am often surrounded by people and family members putting crap in their bodies, I don’t often voice it out loud.  Not because I am nice, or decent, but because it’s just plain rude.  That isn’t to say that I won’t have a conversation about food in general, but sitting across from somebody while they are eating and making comments about their food is something I just don’t do.  Not yet anyway.
One of my favorites was during a birthday party for one of my sons last year.  My brother asked what goes into Nick’s lunchbox.  I figured okay, I’ll play.  I rattled off things like his favorite cheese, maybe some organic yogurt, chopped fresh broccoli, or maybe some grapes.  His first response was with the question, “where’s the meat?”  Let me repeat, Nick is a vegetarian.  (His choice by the way)  I explained that meat is not necessary and certainly not the processed deli meats I know he was referring to.  Then it got really fun because he asked, “have you talked about this with his doctor?” 
Like it’s some sort of disorder or ailment to be a vegetarian?
When I explained to him that I had not and didn’t find it necessary he somehow thought this was a victory for him or sorts.  Like I was keeping it from the doctor in a sneaky way.  For the record, I did not ask what goes into his child’s lunchbox. 
From now on, all bets are off.  I won’t initiate comments regarding what others are eating, but you can bet the next time someone says something, whether they mean it to be in humor or otherwise, I will be responding.  And I will enjoy it.  Probably a lot.


  1. I love that you, the one who's feeding your child awesome, healthy, REAL food, are the one getting scrutinized. GOOD GRIEF. I feel ya, though. My son will not eat sweets. No cookies, candy, nada. (I love that about him!) I get harped on all the time for "not letting him eat anything fun." Maybe not, but MAN are our dental bills low!
    You're doing a good job, mama.

  2. Lindsay Blogs says

    Good for you! If you can back up your food choices, then I have no doubt you'll have a leg up on just about everyone. Too many people (including myself, unfortunately) don't know much about what they're eating and can't back up their choices worth a squat.

  3. You know, I don't force my personal food beliefs on anyone…but, if you want to criticize how and what I eat, all bets are off. So, kuddos to you! Let 'em have it!

  4. Christine says

    Must find you at BlogHer and give you a massive high five.

    And a massive hug.

  5. Lisa Borden says

    great post…i always wonder why people feel justified in making fun of my eating choices (often rudely), but I could never comment on the McDonald's they feed their children weekly, or the Smarties tehy eat daily. Here's a post I wrote about "winning" –>

  6. Cathy Givans says

    we had some really close friends that we would do weekend meals with. After we changed to vegetarian, EVERYTIME we would go over there the husband would give us a whole "meat isn't bad for you" and "why don't you eat meat" ordeal. It got really frustrating. Yet, I never once gave them a hard time about their fast food, junk food or large amounts of bacon. Totally feelin you girl!

  7. I wish my food choices were enough different that people actually noticed. Good for you hon!

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