Reflections of A Former Vegetarian
by Elvia Ramirez


Once upon a time, there was a 14-year-old girl who just wanted to do what was best for her life. After overcoming a potentially life threatening illness for two years, this little girl wanted to make a sacrifice as a constant reminder of what she had persevered. Seems like a perfect story, right? Well wrong.

See, this little girl decided to give up meat, and what seemed like a highly meaningful change of lifestyle panned out to be a constant struggle between her and her parents. After confessing this decision to her parents, not a day went by that she was not ridiculed for her “ridiculous” lifestyle. Her parents could not understand why she would deny certain foods, mainly because they grew up poor and did not have the ability to pick and choose what they wanted to eat. The girl felt at a loss as what to do. Her parents grew up in poverty in a third world country before emigrating to the U.S. and the idea of rejecting food seemed ridiculous and incomprehensible to them. After much contemplation, the girl went against her parents and continued to live out her lifestyle change.

So everything started to change for the better, right? Wrong again.

At every birthday party and family dinner, the girl endured constant mocking and jokes about how ludicrous it was to not eat meat. To this day, comments like, “Oh my God what a freak! Like who doesn’t eat meat?” still haunt her from time to time in her sleep.

What was so wrong with being a vegetarian? All she wanted to do was be healthier and live life on her terms, but the girl eventually realized this was not possible at age 14 under the roof of her parents.

Unlike most stories where the protagonist experiences these traumas and comes to a happy resolution, this story ends in a very un-enchanted kind of way. One day her family members grabbed the little girl from her bedroom, tied her up to a stake and ran around her, throwing pieces of carne asada at her proclaiming “witch! witch!” Sounds bad, right? Well actually it wasn’t that bad. The truth is, the little girl had to eventually give up her lifestyle because it was becoming too difficult for her to live a healthy vegetarian lifestyle without the moral or financial support from her parents.