I am a vegetarian, but sometimes I secretly crave pepperoni pizza.  Those round eyes of red glare at me every time I am at a pizza place. I’ve never tried it, although, I’ve asked several of my pepperoni eating friends what it tastes like. They can’t provide any real points of comparison since I’ve never tasted meat, but all have replied that it’s a “spicy, good taste. You are really missing out.”

I guess I will have to take their word for it. Vegetarianism isn’t a fad for me. I was never a member of PETA or on a soap-box preaching to others about the virtues of having a meat-free diet. It’s something personal, something that I take as an oath as seriously as the vows of my marriage.

I am not going to cheat, not even for pepperoni pizza. Vegetarianism runs deep in my family. I am a 4th generation vegetarian. My mother always raises this point. She says to her relatives in India, “Even though my daughter was raised in America, she has never tried meat. She is still a good Hindu, even though she is around many temptations of meat.”  I know, go ahead, laugh. Mom talks about my vegetarianism like I won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I know it is not as if lightning will strike if I ate meat. My friends have said, “Go ahead try it, I won’t tell anyone.” Something always stops me from trying it, even though I’ve secretly craved it from time to time. I believe in everyone’s life, there are certain principles we aren’t willing to sacrifice. For me, eating meat would be disappointing my mom.  It would mean giving in. It would mean as a Hindu, I am violating a tenet of my religion, even though I am not terribly religious.

Vegetarianism has become one of those principles in my life. I know that, even though the meat-eating temptation may exist, I will never betray this principle.  For me, as hard as those red eyes look at me, eating it is something I am not willing to risk.

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What are some your principles? What are you unwilling to risk? Share your thoughts.

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