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20 Things Only Vegetarians Would Understand

20 Things Only Vegetarians Would Understand

Dietary restrictions are common across almost all cultures and people. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 7.3 million, or 3.2 percent of the population in the United States are vegetarian, while approximately six percent of the population, or 3.6 million people in England are vegetarian. Meanwhile, in India, the country with the highest number of vegetarians in the world, an incredible 40 percent of the population, or 399 million people, are vegetarians.

Whether your decision to be vegetarian is moral, religious, or intellectual, people tend to bring up the same tired points. The following 20 constant occurrences are ones every vegetarian can relate to.

1. People Judge Your Nutrition

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    Everyone you meet suddenly has an opinion about protein and iron. You know they mean well, but you can almost guarantee you know more about sources for these nutrients than they do.

    2. People Justify Their Diet to You

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      Likewise, new friends and acquaintances will feel the need to justify their food choices to you. Without even bringing it up, others feel the need to give you a detailed history of their meat intake. Again, even though you know they mean well, it can be awkward to listen to someone recount their week’s meals.

      3. People Ask You About the Strangest Foods

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        People expect you to be an authority on obscure vegetables, spiritual exercises, and all things natural. This is a problem because, in reality, you’re still trying to find a brand of meatless hamburgers you like!

        4. Others Expect an Explanation

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          Any time you meet somebody new, they’re bound to investigate your reasons for being vegetarian. Sometimes these questions are innocent enough, but every once in a while a close-minded loudmouth is sure to drive you crazy.

          5. Your Beauty Collection is Never Complete

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            No matter how many cruelty-free products you buy, there always seems to be something else you still need a more eco-friendly version of.

            6. Restaurants Are Hit and Miss

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              You try not to make a fuss when your friends are choosing what restaurant to go to, but you regret it when your only meal option all night is bread and salad.

              7. People Try to Catch You Slipping Up

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                Anytime you wear faux fur or leather, everyone you know is quick to accuse you of having a double standard. It can be tiring to explain it’s fake upwards of ten times a day.

                8. People Think They’re Your Doctor

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                  Suddenly your body type is an indicator of however you’re failing as a vegetarian. Even though you barely know someone, they are quick to tell you that if you are on the thin side, you’re under nourished. But if you’re heavier set, you must be eating nothing but cheese and fries.  

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                  9. Celebrations Can Be Tricky

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                    Family gatherings, especially if you have more conservative members of your family, are full of ways to misstep. Even if you try not to bring it up, someone is bound to make a remark about you turning down a dish that someone slaved over.

                    10. Dinner Invitations Can Be Tricky

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                      You hate the feeling of making your diet requirements known in the face of any dinner invitations. No matter how close you are to the person, it’s never fun to be the one causing complications.

                      11. Some Vegetarians Can Be Too Judgemental

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                        Overly pretentious vegetarians are judgmental when you date people who aren’t vegetarian. There’s no easy way to remind people that your significant other’s food is a strange concern if you’re happy.

                        12. People Try to Break You

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                          You still don’t have a response down for when people try to hit on you by telling you that they’ll be the one to make you eat meat again.

                          13. People Think They Know You

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                            Similarly, people who are also vegetarian instantly jump to try and date you, even when you have nothing else in common.

                            14. People Can’t Believe You Don’t Like Bacon

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                              You’ve been asked countless times about how you live without bacon, but people won’t believe that for you, bacon’s just not that great.

                              15. People Want to Trick You

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                                You are also tired of being asked if you would eat meat for money or to save your life.

                                16. Some People Get Offended

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                                  It’s always awkward when you meet someone who gets upset because you are vegetarian. Whether an older family member or complete stranger, it’s never an easy situation to navigate.

                                  17. You’ll Always Be an Animal Freak

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                                    No matter how many times you try and highlight the health benefits to being vegetarian, some people will never think you can be a vegetarian for reasons other than caring about animals. 

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                                    18. “Why Do You Hate Vegetables?”

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                                      Having answered endless questions yourself, you of all people can appreciate that others make too big of a deal when people are vegetarian. That being said, the sarcastic “plants are being killed” conversation is getting old fast.

                                      19. People Make Assumptions

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                                        Unfortunately, even if you are humble and reserved about being a vegetarian, some people will always assume that you are pretentious.

                                        20. Feeling Content is Easier

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                                          Even though it drives you crazy, no matter how much teasing you endure, it’s hard to beat the feeling of living up to your convictions.

                                          Featured photo credit: Rick Ligthelm via flickr.com

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                                          Alicia Prince

                                          A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                          Last Updated on August 13, 2020

                                          12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                          12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                          As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                                          1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                                          I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                                          Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                                          Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                                          2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                                          The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                                          It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                                          Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                                          In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                                          You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                                          This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                                          The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                                          Less Physical, More Psychological

                                          Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                                          This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                                          The First Benefit of Meditation

                                          The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                                          1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                                          2. Relaxation of the body

                                          Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                                          Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                                          That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                                          When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                                          When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                                          Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                                          Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                                          This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                                          Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                                          Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                                          This benefit takes you to the second one.

                                          The Second Benefit of Meditation

                                          While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                                          1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                                          2. Observance
                                          3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                                          4. Patience

                                          Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                                          You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                                          This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                                          1. Energy

                                          Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                                          2. Observance

                                          The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                                          3. Peacefulness

                                          Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                                          4. Patience

                                          The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                                          The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                                          Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                                          Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                                          The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                                          • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                                          • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                                          • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                                          • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                                          • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                                          • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                                          These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                                          Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                                          Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

                                          More on Meditation

                                          Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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