Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Food For Thought

What is it about other people's dietary choices that evokes so much sanctimonious vitriol?  If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to a party and announce that you're a vegetarian. You don't actually have to become a vegetarian, just tell people you are so you can watch them completely lose their minds. Then, sit back and marvel at how otherwise normal humans can turn into complete turds simply because you don't eat what they do.

Shamelessly stolen off Facebook, and I don't remember who I stole it from.

I'm not a vegetarian, so at least I don't have to listen to people spew their nonsense about that, but I don't eat any grains, refined sugar or most dairy.  It's really not that radical, I eat meat, fruits and veggies just like you "normals", but people still manage to get bent out of shape about it. I've heard pretty much every argument imaginable against my diet, and some that were beyond even my over-active imagination.  

It gets even worse when they learn that my horses don't eat grain, either. I've been called everything from ignorant to cheap, and some have even implied that I'm downright abusive. 

Why the hate? I'm not hurting myself or my horses. I'm not forcing others to eat what I do or feed their horses the way I do. I have my own reasons for the things I do, just like they have they have their own reasons for the things they do. 

I'm not even one of those sanctimonious jerks who talks about their diet/horse feeding to everyone. My diet only comes up when people notice that I don't eat certain things at social gatherings and (rudely) decide to comment on it. My horses' diet only comes up when someone (rudely) tries to force their Super-Duper Awesome Horse Feeding Program on me. Sadly, those scenarios happen all the damn time, because apparently there are a lot of sanctimonious jerks in the world. 

Modern humans have been around for about 195,000 years, and have populated just about every ecological niche available. That means we're able to survive and thrive on damn near any diet. The Innuit and the Bedouins are not eating the Classic American diet that countless jerks have told me I must eat to survive and they seem to be doing just fine, nutritionally speaking. 

Modern horses have been around for approximately 5 million years, eons before humans were giving them Scientifically Formulated, Specially Extruded and Toasted World Class Performance Horse Feed. We humans have also drug our horses to nearly every corner of the world we have inhabited. Guess what? All those horses all over the world are not eating what the Classic American thinks they should eat. And yet, somehow, those seriously deprived horses manage to get up every day and do their jobs. They frequently skunk the Classic American in competition, too. (Just sayin')

I just don't get it. Of all the things in the world to be a twit about, why choose food?  There are so many other things to get bent out of shape about: starving children, war, politics, draw reins, slow wi-fi, cats pooping in your garden.... I just don't understand the food hate.


  1. A twin pet peeve post lol!

    Been (my version) of vegetarian for over thirty years now. These days my choices are based on the ethics of big agri-business more than anything else... I theorize that the entitlement to criticize and judge is rooted in deep seated guilt and defensiveness, so I manage to ignore it for the most part.

    Reckon I've heard most all the (obnoxious) commentary, from both sides no less. Some vegans will look down on you with the best of the red meat lovers, if you have ever dared to consume an animal product. I try not to have to mention food choices if possible when out in public anymore... ;D

    1. Oh, my, yes! I get the purist hate, too! I don't strictly adhere to any one "diet program". I come closest to Paleo, but I don't strictly follow any one regimen and I get so much crap for that! People will actually quiz me on my eating habits, so that they can look for ways to undermine me. As if it matters!

      I never bring my food choices up. I eat before I go places and just eat from the veggie tray when I go out, but some jerk always feels the need to question me.

      I think I'll start deflecting them with random nonsense like, "Oh, is my diet bad? Thank goodness you told me that. I'll switch to the 'All Puppy Diet' next week. I hear it's better because puppies are more tender and digestible."

  2. My husband is vegan due to animal rights beliefs, and gets this a lot. I support his choices and for the most part the only effect is inconvenience... which really, is very minor and something I should not complain about.

    1. I've always wondered how ethical vegans feel about horses and ownership, training, etc. It seems to go against their beliefs, but I don't know enough about ethical veganism. It would be awesome if your husband wanted to talk about that.

      Any diet that goes against the norm is inconvenient, but our horsey lifestyle also goes against the norm and is inconvenient. We make it work, because it's something we believe in.

  3. I am not a vegan by any means, in fact I don't even eat healthy...AT ALL! But I have always admired people who do. I personally am a sugar and starch addict. Especially sugar.

    Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook a link to an article about how bad refined sugar is for you. Many of the symptoms associated with refined sugar toxicity are symptoms I deal with and complain about every single day.

    soooooo with that in mind I am trying desperately to wean myself off of the sugar. It is really really hard. I think the headaches are the worst part of it. Plus the day before I decided to start this little endeavor I purchased 4 different flavors of oreo cookies. How is a gal supposed to succeed under those conditions!?!

    As I get older and my body struggles to metabolize the "crap" I put into it, I find myself wishing I had started eating better at an earlier age. It really is so hard for me. I want to be more like the people who have made those healthy choices and who are able to stick with them.

    1. I wish I could say that I was just super into health and that's why I keep to this diet. But, that is not the case. I have an auto-immune disease and this diet keeps me somewhat normal. Left to myself, I'd be shoveling cheesecake and hoagies in until I burst!

      I feel better when I eat this way. And, as good as all those tasty foods are, the way I feel now isn't worth eating them and then feeling like crap.

  4. Another version of the food hate story is what to feed your baby. One thing that I have decided not to feed my baby is white rice cereal. I have yet to find a good reason to feed it, so I don't. This food is so accepted as a first food for babies that people assume that I started her on cereal. Most people must not read about it first. My mind was changed pretty easily and we went with bananas!

    I would love it if Harley could have a grain-free diet. Actually, he's getting close to that because we increased his hay pellets and decreased his grain again. He loves the pellets and long stem hay, of course.

    1. Oh, don't even get me started on baby feeding issues! There's actually a special word for that: sanctimommies!

      I never fed either one of my kids rice cereal. I went with bananas for their first food, too. My second child actually refused all foods other than breast milk until he was 9 months old. I got so much crap for that! Now, he's a thriving three year old who eats anything you put in front of him. Those 9 months of exclusive breast feeding with no "real" food did not ruin him for life.

      You have to feed a lot of roughage to go grain free. That's the reason most boarding operations don't do it. It's expensive. You have to feed a huge volume over the entire day. For me, as a person who lives on my farm and doesn't need to cut costs on feed because it's only my own horses, it works. I can throw horses feed all day. I can afford to give the horses 30% of their weight in roughage a day. I only have three horses.

      I totally understand why boarding facilities feed grain. I've run boarding facilities and I know what goes into that. I just don't understand why people feel the need to attack me for doing something different.

  5. IDK why people feel the need to butt in and give their opinion where it's not asked for!!!

    More power to you for being healthy!

  6. I've been eating "healthy" for quite a while and simply don't eat certain foods when I'm with my friends. No one has said anything about it yet. Maybe it's just the people I hang out with.

    As for the horses, two of my guys are on hay stretcher pellets and hay and one is on a high end low carbohydrate mixed feed. He's the old guy with Cushings and keeping weight on him is a challenge. The other two could probably "live on air," but the pellets seem to make them think they are dining like gourmets.

    As long as your horses are happy, healthy, and in good flesh, then your feeding program is just perfect as far as I'm concerned. From the pictures I see of them, they seem to be all three. (Well, aside from Jack who is only happy when he's getting into some kind of trouble. *G*)

    1. My friends don't ever comment on my diet, they know what I eat and why, it's the other people I have to deal with for various social reasons who like to act like turds.

      My horses get beet pulp and alfalfa pellets twice a day and think it's the best thing ever. Hopefully, this weather will break soon and I'll be able to give Jack some constructive trouble to get into!

  7. Where I grew up, 90% of the horses didn't get grain, those that did, it was really just a little bump to keep the weight on the seniors and Arabs who burned cals just looking at a saddle. My current horse gets grain because she's growing and needs to fill out. Once she's at target weight we will play with what does she really need. To each their own, we can't play xylophone on your horses ribs, so they're not starving away....

    As to the Vegetarian thing, my husband was the worlds most unhealthy vegetarian, so now he eats meat, but a more balanced diet. It was amazing the stuff people would say to him though.

    1. Did you grow up in the Western U.S.? Because that's where I was born and where my parents are from. That's how I learned that grain wasn't necessary. I was raised with cow horses and endurance horses and serious working horses that didn't eat grain.

      Dietary choices are individual. Any diet can be unhealthy if it isn't right for you.

  8. Tell me about it!!!! People freak at me on the daily for getting upset (to myself, not ranting to people) over fur farms and animal abuse..."get over it" is commonly said. Whatever people - you do your thing, and I will do mine.

  9. I know this wasn't necessarily meant to be funny, but HAHAHAHAHA! People are assholes the world over. It doesn't matter what choice you make in life (car, husband, juice brand, dog, etc.), SOMEONE will hate it!

    I don't do "grain" either if it's worth anything. Also a west coast girl (CA), my boys have alfalfa hay 24/7 (gasp! - it's what's available) and are fed beet pulp top dressed with rice bran pellets (convenient fat source).

    I live on protein (from animals and nuts), veggies, fruit, and tons of yogurt. I say, eat what makes you feel good and feed your horses what keeps them running. :0)

  10. I have no idea why people act like that about food! And barefoot and bitless and just about anything else they don't consider the "norm". People are just dumb I guess. On another note I just found out my twin sister has Celiac disease and I more than likely do as well so I'll be switching over to your type of diet soon... I've been wanting to for a long time because meats, fruits and veggies is just about as healthy of a diet as you can get, but I'm so addicted to sugar and carbs it was always so difficult to stick to the switch... now that I know what all of that crap is doing to me and that there is a chance I could feel better again I'm totally doing it and sticking with it this time... I guess it's like smokers who can't quit smoking until they decide they want to quit smoking. :)


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