I have been since I was four years old. I have never once gone up to a meat-eater and tried to convince them to give it up, though I will on occasion talk about why I love being a vegetarian. Also, if they ask me first, I will say my honest belief that all life is equal and meat is the same to me as eating a person. But I never walk up to a guy eating a burger and try to shame him.
However, the reverse happens to me quite often. Tons of people will find out I’m a vegetarian and then try to tell me that I’m not eating right (none of their concern), or that I should just quit bitching and eat a burger, or that there are people in Africa who would kill for the meat I’m not ordering or buying from the store, or that I’m an idiot/totally insane/a pathetic loser/what have you. One even told me that if I have kids and raise them as vegetarians, I will be guilty of child abuse, even though, DUH, it’s not if they get the correct vitamins (which is possible on a vegetarian diet). Now, if they just said “I love burgers!” that would be one thing, but they attack me and my beliefs when I don’t do the same to them.
I have observed meat-eaters attacking vegetarians far more than the other way around. It’s really getting old. I’m tired of the fact that I’m stereotyped as a constant holier-than-thou lecturer who should never be allowed to speak out against meat eating ever, but meat eaters can turn around and do the same to me,
How about this. I am a vegetarian. That is none of your business unless I invite you to discuss it or you ask to discuss it and I agree. You are a meat eater and that is none of my business unless you invite me to discuss it or I ask to discuss it and you agree. Food habits are no one’s business but the person doing the eating. (with exceptions like potlucks and scenarios where dietary preferences really are a big deal.)
Stay out of my business, and I stay out of yours. That sounds fair enough to me!