What Is It Like To Be A Lifelong Herbivore?
Being a vegetarian (or a vegan) is not a new, unique, special concept. Plenty of people throughout history have been 100% vegetarian. It's neither complicated, nor difficult. Here is an incomplete list of people of renown who've been vegetarians throughout history––while lengthy, there are plenty who are missing from this list.
I've been 100% vegetarian, oft-vegan––and now 100% vegan––for a solid lifetime at this point, since the early 90's, despite the fact that no one immediately around me has been. It's not a lifestyle I acquired from anyone, or consistently shared with anyone. It's a good thing I was not concerned with 'fitting in' and didn't give the alienation aspect much thought. I'd always had a live and let live, free-will attitude, so I was never concerned with other people's choices. Nor were they with mine, since I never really talked about it.
Being a veggie was never a 'phase' or a decision I made, and I never felt like it was a big deal. However, if one were to 'calculate' the number of lives spared by my dietary choices, being a vegetarian/vegan in itself can be a rather significant animal rights contribution (approximately 4,700 beings designated as 'farm animals' have been spared in my case.)