I did, however, want to take the opportunity to explore (what I find, at least) an interesting aspect of working on vegetarian history. Inevitably whenever I talk about my research (both formally and informally) someone asks whether or not I am a vegetarian. It is remarkable just how frequently I have been asked this question and in most instances it is the first question asked. On one hand I imagine that it is just a product of general curiosity, especially since many people seem genuinely intrigued by the notion that there is an American vegetarian history that stretches back to the nineteenth century. And this is surely a good thing.
In my seven years as a vegetarian, I have yet to think anything was a chicken.
On the other hand, I do wonder if it is a question that many other scholars are asked, regarding their personal connection to a given topic. If not, I am curious as to why vegetarianism as a historical subject leads to this particular question? Is there concern that I have a particular bias as a vegetarian? In the reverse, if I was not a vegetarian, would there be worry about my approach to the topic? I also wonder if this is a particular question asked of any historians researching a movement or phenomena rooted within a particular time period that is still salient in current times? For example, I can't imagine someone being asked if they are a phrenologist because of a research interest in the topic? Or is this perhaps something particular to those of us researching food? Lastly, are there implications to be gleaned about vegetarianism and its relationship with culture from this question's omnipresence?
Thoughts from any interested scholars out there? Anyone with similar experiences with their topic?