Showing all posts tagged: alcohol
2 January 2023
Despite Australia’s apparent reputation as a nation of big drinkers, forty-six percent of Australians either abstain completely from alcohol, or only consume one drink a month. If the thirteen percent of people who only partake of a tipple two to three times monthly are added, that’s almost sixty percent of the population who barely drink at all.
Yet people who have chosen to give up alcoholic beverages still find themselves under pressure to drink at social gatherings, particularly at this time of the year. This is something I’ve seen in the now ten years since I cut back on alcohol. Today I might have a drink maybe once every two months. While most people appear to be accepting of this choice, I’ve run into a few who aren’t. One or two even seem to feel threatened when the question comes up, but I’m not sure why this should be.
Australia, for instance, is also a nation of coffee drinkers, of which I am one, but I don’t hear of anyone who doesn’t drink coffee, or only has decaffeinated coffee, being put-down. The same goes for people who, say, don’t own a car, or even drive. I think you can even choose to refuse recreational drugs with total social impunity. Why then are some lifestyle choices greeted with virtual indifference, while other cause derision?
I also know people who embrace veganism are sometimes subjected to the same contempt as non-drinkers. Some people choose to eat a non-animal based diet instead of an animal one. So what? What’s in the Australian psyche that results in people who avoid meat or alcohol being derided? It is because those who we perceive to be outliers appear to pose some sort of threat? It is because meat and alcohol are — or were — so ingrained in our way of life, and no one should therefore upset the apparent status quo?
I might be optimistic, overly optimistic maybe, but I think attitudes are changing, albeit slowly. Is it really so hard to live and let live?
29 December 2021
Right on cue for the festive season, how to say no to the offer of a drink, for those who don’t drink alcohol. It’s unfortunate though people feel they simply can’t say no thanks, and are compelled to make up an excuse: I’m driving, anyone? But why?
Consider that twenty-three percent of Australians over the age of fourteen don’t consume alcohol at all. And not all of these non-drinkers are underage or elderly either. People in their twenties are drinking less than their parents did when they were the same age, for a number of reasons.
Non-drinkers may be in a minority, but they are hardly an insignificant portion of the population. What’s with the pressure then to drink, if you don’t want to?