“They look pretty at first, but at some point they start looking dusty and nappy.”

“More meat for me! #Meatlover”

“I love animals, but I just need to eat meat! We cannot live without the wonderful proteins from meat..."

Recently, owners of the Dutch company The Green Happiness were openly criticized for their vegan diets. The dietitians are known to recommend the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle to their followers because according to them, it contributes to both the stability of the environment as well as our personal health. In the last couple of weeks they have faced naysayers mocking their perspectives and lifestyle choices and in some aspects, I can relate.

It's my own point of view...

I do not recall myself criticizing vegans or vegetarians when I was a meat-eater, nor did I try to find arguments in order to justify why I chose to eat meat. I personally believe that every human being is entitled a freedom of choice without constantly having to explain their point of view.

Ever since I turned vegetarian, I have felt the need to practically write an essay for everyone I know in order to explain my own point of view on this matter. I have never been criticized as much as I have since changing my lifestyle--and to be honest, I feel like I should not have to justify it. Perhaps I am making some mistakes, although I believe in allowing myself to make mistakes and gain more knowledge through the process. After all, that is the best way for me to learn.

Why I chose this lifestyle

Before turning my lifestyle around I had stomach pain, almost on a daily basis. My digestion was not the best either--sometimes I would go to the toilet three times during a week. I was feeling miserable, easily annoyed and very negative. My energy level was also low, and when I got my period all these inconveniences seemed to worsen. Since then, I decided to take the vegetarian route. All of my body's inconveniences suddenly vanished as I started to go through a spiritual journey as well. I became more conscious of my surroundings and even started practicing acts like recycling and preventing food waste as much as I can. Instead of throwing away ‘old’ fruit, I put them in the freezer. In the morning, I will use them to blend a healthy smoothie for breakfast. My hair became stronger and started growing a lot. As a result, I have less acne, I am shining, and I feel incredibly lucky.

Sometimes it is easier for the naysayers to write something hurtful behind a computer screen in the comment section. However, I want this to serve as a reminder to our community to do the proper research before judging. Each set of eating habits has its pros and cons.

My advice to the naysayers

To my naysayers, I have some questions: what is the problem, exactly? Why are people bothered by my new lifestyle if it does not affect them? I think it is a pity, because there is so much going on in the world that is much more important. The amount of energy being devoted to criticizing a certain lifestyle that does no harm to others and in fact, does some good, could better be invested in helping those facing difficulties. We as human beings are tempted to criticize quickly, but developing the talent to prefer to care rather than disparage will contribute to making society more human.

What are your thoughts on vegetarianism?

Have you considered the lifestyle, or do you still have questions about it? I'd love to know--follow my personal blog and Instagram @WhitneyFromTheBlog.