I was a vegetarian for two years in my early twenties. I thought it would make me healthier. After I had been a vegetarian, I started thinking that it was morally right not to eat animals.
I craved meat virtually the entire two years. I would day dream about eating fast food, which is not something I did or do or want to do, really. Also, I loathe tomatoes, avocados, and am not a big fan of cheese. In the 1980s, this made it hard to find good foods outside of the house. There was literally only one "meal" I could eat on my city campus and that was a grilled cheese sandwich. I started "sneaking" chicken noodle soup, which was the beginning of the end.
It was such a relief to go back to being an omnivore that I nearly cried every time I ate meat for the next few months, just from the joy of it and rightness of it for my body.
Now, I had a friend who was a strict vegetarian for 12 years. She was an animal rights activist. She gave it up during that Atkins fad and became very carnivorous for a while, just eating meat, meat, meat. That was 4 years ago that she gave up being vegetarian. I never expected it, but it certainly made me happy inside because it's so annoying going out with a vegetarian, I think. There are two vegetarians in my babysitting co-op and their eating habits dictate where we can eat and frankly I don't think it's fair and it was one of the reasons I started eating that chicken noodle soup on campus, because I was tired of being the reason we couldn't eat on campus. I mean, my friends are extremely polite and quiet about it, but there's always this feeling that we can't eat here or there because they wouldn't be able to and then there's this feeling that they don't like what you are eating and that they have moral issues with it, really.
My officemate went hunting and it used to bother her old officemate, and I just say, "Hey, thanks for the package of elk; that is going to be yummy." She was so relieved to be able to talk about hunting, which that and fishing is what she does on every vacation. She couldn't talk about it with her old officemate, and it's practically her life. I digress, I guess, but the point is is that it bothered me at holidays and outings with friends that I couldn't eat with them or had to dictate where we ate together because I wasn't eating meat.
As far as outside pressure, everyone except one aunt seemed supportive of it. One aunt thought it was the stupidest thing, and here 20 years later, she'll still say, "Oh, you can't have turkey because you're a vegetarian." It's really funny!
But, you know, I would really have a hard time if my Dd became a vegetarian at the age of 8 like one of best friends did. I want to cook with meat. That is why I don't invite some of my dearest friends to have dinner at my house because I don't want to have to cook that way, yet I'd really love to have them over.