So i am not really a vegetarian. i mean, what kind of vegetarian willingly eats prosciutto, openly loves lamb, and proclaims after a great inhale, the amazing smell of the butcher/deli when entering? What kind of vegetarian enters a butcher/deli? The kind of vegetarian who works at the fish shop across the parking lot and has to enter the butcher/deli to freezer- vac fillets of fish that she regularly eats (veg-aquarian??); the kind of vegetarian who is not a vegetarian by principle or in association to the stigmatic assumptions surrounding such a lable, but by sheer dislike, or rather, other preference.
If i sound as though i am trying to be diplomatic and as precisely definitive as i would be in some sort of academic debate, it is because i am. i was reprimended, offended, and now am defensive.
lunch time at work:
Chef: whats that?
Me: my lunch.
C:what exactly are you making?
M: scrambled eggs.
C: jesus girl, you gotta eat something, if you are going to be biking and working and all that shit you gotta eat something-- i mean cmon let me cook you up a nice, thick big steak.
M: (GAG) im a vegetarian. (shit, did i just say that, i take it back i take it back...too late)
Chefs instant reaction, and i am talking no pause to think of the assault he was about to perform was to insist that "you people" should not even be allowed in the kitchen. to summarize his rant: i should choose a different career if i wasnt a meat-eater because i could never possibly know or understand the workings of cooking and flavouring animals and would therefore fail miserably at pleasing any "normal" omnivourous customer.
Slightly taken aback, i tried to explain what i meant, what i believe, what i am not about to repeat now, because really, i never needed to say it in the first place. And though now i realize it was him who should have felt as embarrassed as I did, at that moment i felt like i lost what little respect and trust as a talented cook he had for me--and that is as important to me as my moral choices regarding animal consumption. And though he apologized just moments later, and did actually listen to my reasons for eating eggs not steak for lunch, i know that me as a vegetarian is slated iin his mind and it will come up again.
Just another way i have to prove myself, i guess...
ps. i bought lamb at the farmers market in protest. i love lamb. i bought kale and mustard greens too...