Ribbing vegetarians comes easy to me. I know, that isn't nice, but the wicked me can't control the urge. Like yesterday a student was telling me she was vegetarian. My ribbing got her to retort it was 'out of choice'. That she enjoyed being a herbivore. That the sinful pleasures in being a carnivore wasn't strong enough a temptation. That she wouldn't budge no matter how much her carnivore friends tried.
Fair enough. In fact, I think beneath the ribbing I have this grudging sense of admiration for ones who can keep off, what's staple for the likes me.
But then again, was her choice truly hers?
The 'Theory of Reasoned Action' suggests that, a person's behavioral intention depends on the person's attitude about the behavior and subjective norms (BI = A + SN). If a person intends to do a behavior then it is likely that the person will do it. Furthermore a person's intentions are themselves guided by two things: the person's attitude towards the behavior and the subjective norm. Behavioral intention measures a person's relative strength of intention to perform a behavior. Attitude consists of beliefs about the consequences of performing the behavior multiplied by his or her valuation of these consequences. Subjective norm is seen as a combination of perceived expectations from relevant individuals or groups along with intentions to comply with these expectations. In other words, "the person's perception that most people who are important to him or her think he should or should not perform the behavior in question."
The student in question told me she was a Jain. Now I may not know too much about them, except that they steer clear off stuff that's even remotely carnivorous. Moreover, even as herbivores they have their reservations with certain kinds of food (Wikipedia calls it, the most radical form of religiously-motivated diet regulation in the Indian subcontinent). Therefore guess what happens if you grow up in such a diet regulated environment? Your diet attitudes will for sure be fashioned by your family that acts as a normative reference group. Plus the subjective norms that kick in reinforce what then turns into exhibited behaviour.
One of vegetarianism.
Termed by Herbivores as a choice that's 'deeply personal'.