It seemed inconsequential the first time: a local acquaintance confirming, somewhat surprised, that we eat meat. Perhaps there had been a misunderstanding?
It keeps happening, though: many friends, acquaintances, and family somehow seem to assume that we don't eat meat. There's outright questions (and puzzlement when we answer), kind offers of vegetarian meal options when we visit, reassurances that a meeting place has fake meat burgers. It's such a wide circle of people that it can't be them, it must be us.
We do eat meat. It's tasty and a great source of nutrition. The industrial farming system producing it is horrifying and unsustainable so we try to source it from local, regenerative farms when possible. In the long run, we hope to grow most of it ourselves.
There must be some implicit association between what we're doing and diet choices. Some of the acquaintances we made locally seem to be either vegetarian or eat very little meat. Presumably, some of them do so due to environmental concerns. Perhaps our friends are assuming the same and taking the polite nod-and-smile, don't-engage-the-crazy approach?
It doesn't help that it's been difficult to explain what and why we're doing. It's either "taking a break from the corporate world after burning out" or rambling about growing food and permaculture and so on.
There's nothing wrong with being a hippie, but you don't have to be one to grow some of your own food. Meat is good for you, but eating it doesn't have to be bad for the environment. Making uncommon choices in your life doesn't necessarily mean that you're a full blown contrarian about everything.
To borrow the title of an excellent book: we're building a better world in our backyard instead of being angry at bad guys. There's no need to stop eating meat to join us!