I grew up in a house where we were never forced to eat (or not) meat, but my mom never bought a pound of meat, and my dad would take us every Sunday to a meat restaurant. Out of 10 cousins, 4 where vegetarians.
I was never surprised when someone said they didn't eat meat, but it was not that common. Now, due to the worldwide information we have access to, I can see that now it's trendy to be vegetarian/vegan/raw vegan...
I was used to not eating much meat, I don't like to touch it, and I won't even go close to it in the supermarket. But I did enjoy a nice red piece every now and then. When I started doing yoga, and having a healthier lifestyle, people was surprised that I wasn't vegetarian, because they assumed it was a synonym.
I'd like to clarify that in yoga texts is not written that you have to be vegetarian. Rather it's discussed non-violence, truthfulness, and other principles that you can interpret as it suits you best.
When I started being more conscious in my yoga practice, I realized that when I ate meat I would feel heavier and tiered, the day after I wouldn't be as flexible as usual, but that didn't stop me form eating it. I knew that hormones in chicken were causing more and more issues in people, and that there are plenty of documentaries about how bad it is for you to consume them and how cruel the industries are. But I refused to watch them, because about 7 years ago I had a gastric disease that has limited and changed my eating habits, and I didn't want my "can't eat" list to grow longer.
A few weeks ago in my Facebook Newsfeed showed up a short video about a cow that changed my perspective. Now I'm not eating meat or dairy. I eat eggs every now and then, but I try them to be organic and farmyard. I'm not even sure how to call me, I'm sure there's a word. I just know I'm trying to eat in a more conscious way.
I could see differences since day two in my energy, my mood, and my appetite (hungrier of course). I don't think it's right or wrong to have a lifestyle that makes sense to you. The emergence of so many different styles, that's even hard to keep up with so many names suggests that people are starting to own their eating habits. It's not about doing strictly what someone tells you to do, but to find what makes sense, without generating conflict with your beliefs. I have even taken a bite of my boyfriends pizza if I feel like it (he's not really into that tho).
I think that extremes and inflexible doctrines are harmful. Excessive consumption of anything is wrong. "Eating healthy" is hard, but there are more and more options, and it doesn't matter what people say, if it feels good, go for it!
If you're interested in finding alternative options or you've had a hard time finding them, contact me and tell me about your experience, maybe we can help each other.