Don't get me wrong, labels are pretty convenient and useful to just identify someone quickly, but is a "vegetarian" who I am? I suppose in part I am, but I don't ever think of myself like that.
I think of myself as someone who lives a relatively healthy life. Period. I don't go out and think, "I'm going to be the very BEST vegetarian I can be!". Others find it more interesting than I do, in fact. It invariably comes up in conversation at barbeques and other food centered events. When I'm asked why I don't eat meat, I'll explain how it's unappetizing to me to eat animals. The questions keep going from there. We eventually get to hunting, or the fact that Jesus maybe ate fish and whether or not my family eats meat.
All this when I really don't think about it much.
Now, couple that with the fact that I don't drink alcohol either. Boy, now that really throws people into a frenzy. They start to think, "What in the world does she eat and drink?".
Well, I suppose my label could be much worse. The problem comes in when people start thinking that I am labeling THEM. Trust me I don't label people as meat-eating alcoholics. I just don't think like that. I don't ask people, "Why do you eat meat and drink alcohol?". I just don't. I totally get why people do and to each his own. Really.