It’s been just over four years that I’ve been a vegetarian and it still causes problems for the people close to me.

The worst part is that I am not this way for the same ethical reasons most are. I love meat, and that’s the hardest part.

Rewind to four years ago right before Thanksgiving and take a look at my life. I can’t hold down a job, I move from friend to friend any time anyone becomes annoying and relationships are not working out.

I knew something had to change. I decided that I had to begin to restrict myself, by removing something that I love.

This is when one of the largest problems arose.

It’s difficult to take on such a large life change without the support of anyone. It’s understandable that there would be little help from people who don’t believe in quitting meat.

Where it hurt the most is from people who did have the same strict dietary preferences.

An old vegan friend once asked me right after I started why I had done this. After explaining my problem her response was, “Oh, that’s cool I guess.”

Most people who follow this lifestyle don’t respect my answer and maybe rightfully so.

I don’t believe that I’m doing the animals a favour. On most days I wear leather boots along with my Canada Goose coat and full leather duffel bag.

I admit that when they tell me how bad of a vegetarian I am, I tend to agree.

I don’t understand why it matters to those around me. This is a personal experience for me and why should they be able to voice their opinion?

The other side of the fence can be just as difficult; No one from my friends or family ever wants to go out with me because of the few locations I can eat at.

We often go to restaurants where there are no vegetarian options, on my recommendation. Once we arrive and they realize that the only thing I will be eating is a chef salad, the party will insist on going somewhere else.

I will refuse because I don’t want my family and friends to feel the same harsh feelings as people who don’t know me as well.

There is only one person in my life that I don’t hold back anything with, and that is my girlfriend. I want to go to the vegan/vegetarian restaurants with her because she is the only person understanding enough to go with me.  At the same time, she is the biggest supporter of me going back to eating meat.

Most of the time when people ask why I just tell them there isn’t a reason because it’s not worth dealing with their judgment on something so personal.

It’s unfortunate that in our society I can be negatively judged because of what I’m not eating.