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I really enjoyed reading this novel, it had such a wonderful plot line and I think the narration style was incredible and unique. I want to talk about the ways in which becoming a vegetarian/vegan can be incredibly eye-opening, and yet can have such a detrimental impact on the way one views the world post lifestyle change. One of the major themes in this novel, is the way that others view Yeong-hye when she transitions to a vegetarian. There is so much negativity surrounding vegetarianism, and that is very openly and violently put on display here. Multiple characters degrade, and abuse her for her decision, and then by the end are using it as a scapegoat to blame her mental illnesses on. I have been vegan for two years, and I can attest that it is truly traumatizing when someone, especially a family member who you love, does not take your view seriously and tries to force you to eat an animal. The entire reason Yeong-hye became a vegetarian is because she had a traumatic dream about the meat industry and the ways in which animals are treated just so that humans can eat them. People these days have become so disconnected from their food, and mindlessly shove things in their mouths without thinking about where it came from, or what went into making it. When Yeong-hye became enlightened to that, it was incredibly upsetting and had a remarkable impact on her life. We see, through the progression of this novel, and from the eyes of the different narrators the way that interactions between Yeong-hye and the other people in her life changed since she made the great switch. She felt as though she could not eat around other people because it was so upsetting, and she felt incredibly pressured, and then felt as though she was being judged and disrespected for her opinions. I want to touch upon the disrespect that vegetarians and vegans endure from others as well because I feel that it is very important. It is very, deeply, hurtful when others make comments on the foods that I choose to eat when I feel that what I am doing is morally correct for myself. Most vegetarians do not try and force their opinions upon others, so it has always confused me as to why people feel the need to make such vicious and cruel comments in regards to the PLANTS that we feel comfortable eating. Just a bit of a tangent. Moving onto vegetarianism and Yeong-hye’s mental health, her sister at the end seems to think that her vegetarianism is what triggered her mental issues when in my personal opinion I do not think that is the case in the slightest. I think that the ways in which she has been treated post-change in eating habits is what triggered her mental breakdown. When the people you love are that harsh, violent, and judgmental towards you because of decisions you have made that only affect you personally, it is extremely difficult and traumatic. All in all I think that this novel shines a light on a very real, and very relevant issue and I am very grateful that we got to read and discuss it in this class.

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