Appreciate Your Activist

November 1, 2007
By
Appreciate Your Activist
“I’d kill for a double cheeseburger and some fries right now, wouldn’t you?” she asked as we continued our conversation. Everyone in the biology class was engaged in conversations about food. A couple of guys were debating which restaurant served the best ribs and whether they were worth the cash. Another set of people were talking about how some chocolate chip cookies and milk would hit the spot. It was always like this is in seventh period. Everyone was hungry, anticipating the end of the day and the next meal they could feast upon.

That mindset used to include me as well. But it all ended one day. Just like all the conversations in the room ended when I said, “No, I wouldn’t.”
Everyone turned to face me, like I’d uttered the most creative curse word at the highest god. I watched as I caught their eyes trying to locate the evil that had muttered those few words in a few seconds of a heated search party in their brains. Then, in one single second, I held my breath as they all found me. I’d been caught.

This is what it’s like to be a vegetarian. Even if you are the quietest vegetarian in the world, you will be found and persecuted. It does not matter that you do not preach your beliefs and views to the world when they ask you if you eat animal crackers or explain to you that plants are living too. And it most certainly does not matter if you’ve memorized every statistic in the world and have a full-blown bibliography ready to fire on command. It won’t matter that you’ve spent hours researching out exactly why you believe you should be a vegetarian. What matters is that you are.

Every teenage activist who is fighting for something that is still opposed by much of the world has experienced it. It’s the high feeling you get when you know you’ve made your point clear to the world. It’s the sensation that tingles your mind and makes your smile grow by itself. It’s enough to make your day, even your week. It’s wonderful.

But the high of activism is nothing compared to the low, low, feeling you so often receive. It’s the feeling that all you’ve been doing is for nothing. It makes your heart palpitate faster in your chest, makes the acid climb up your throat, and rises the blood in your face up to the top of your skin. But mostly, it just gives you the sudden urge to hit someone over the head with a shovel.
Because after all those hours you spent researching your cause and after all those sacrifices you’ve made for what you’ve believed in (and for me, all those double cheeseburgers and nice juicy steaks I’ve given up), having someone cover their ears and exclaim you’re an imbecile is just infuriating. It makes your blood boil under your skin at such a high temperature that even the sun is jealous of your radiating heat. You could probably give off your own ultraviolet rays if you wanted and burn up all those who dare come in a 40-mile radius of you.
Maybe the next time you see that girl who vandalizes the insides of the desks with her promotional stickers or the next time you encounter that guy whose whole wardrobe consists of cause related t-shirts, you won’t smirk or pick fun. At least, that’s my wish for you. Because you don’t have to agree with someone to appreciate the time they’ve put into something. And because we don’t need to have someone agree with us to feel appreciated.





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RainbowLeprechaun said...
Apr. 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm
I definitely agree with you, i'm not a vegetarian, but that is your own choice and people should at least have a shred of respect for you for sticking to it, people don't realize it but it does take a lot to be a vegetarian. I tried, but could stay away from my favorite meats. They should at least respect your for your opinion, everybody's entitled to it.
 
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