Welcome to what will be a continuous series of “Why I Am Not Judging You Today.” Judgment is an unfortunate action that we’ve all endured, or have endured, over the course of our lives. I know each one of you reading this have had the struggle of judgment being passed onto you, or you judge a person or situation, for your own reasons. If I tell to you, “I never judge anyone or anything!” I will be lying. If I tell you, “When I catch myself judging someone, for one reason or another, I stop myself dead in my tracks and slowly back up,” I will be telling you the wholehearted truth. That is a self-taught practice that I’ve almost mastered over the past few years. Last January (New Year, New Me! Watch out now!) I decided it was time for me to pump the brakes on eating meat; I made the conscious choice to become a pescaterian. Being an American of Italian and Puerto Rican descent meat has been a staple in my life, for my entire life, so this wasn’t exactly mindless or effortless. No meatballs or braciole in the Sunday gravy/sauce (not having that argument today, no, not today)? No more Pernil? No more burgers and dogs at summer barbecues? What am I going to do and how I am going to abstain? What did make my decision a lot easier was the fact that I am an animal lover. When I say animal lover, I am not referring to only cats, dogs, and anything else that is common or domestically acceptable. I love all animals and will do as much as I can to help one in need. My personal decision came after watching the documentaries Food, Inc. and Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. These are two groundbreaking documentaries that go deep inside the raising of farm animals, the slaughter, the lack of respect and compassion in most situations, the environmental factors, and so on. For me, it was a morally provoked decision. Many people have tried to delicately educate me on why meat is necessary in my diet; I appreciate those people, their concern, and their perspective. I do listen to you all. Others have been cruel; that is okay, as well. However, I am not judging you for your decision to eat meat or dairy. I am not judging you because I was once right there with you. I am not judging you because I know it tastes good. I am not judging you because what is important to me might not be important to you and that’s okay. I am not judging you for ordering a steak while we’re out to dinner; I know you think I am, but I am not. I don’t want you to apologize to me for your choices, because I am not judging you. I want you to go ahead and enjoy your meal. My family and friends continuously make special accommodations, for me, for when I visit, and I truly appreciate the generosity even though it’s not necessary. I don’t ever want my personal or moral choices to make anyone uncomfortable because, I promise you, I am okay with yours. If anyone has any questions regarding the meatless lifestyle, drop me a line, and I will answer all questions, to the best of my knowledge… Or we can meet at STK and discuss it over dinner.