Veg Myths

I haven't talked about it a lot, but I may have mentioned before that I'm vegetarian. I've loved animals all my life and thought about going vegetarian for a long time before I actually did it. I thought I was too picky and bad at cooking to be able to give up meat. I quit eating meat for a week 3 summers ago, as a sort of "trial" period, to see what it was like...and I never started again. I was prepared to have to find new foods to eat and to deal with the occasional craving, but I had NO idea how many comments the meat-eaters out there would have for me! These are some of the assumptions about vegetarians I've gotten over the years...maybe we can clear some things up?

We are health freaks.
A lot of people assume that we must be vegetarians because of the health benefits. Being vegetarian definitely can mean that we eat more on the healthy side (for example, I will say that for me personally, it has drastically cut down my fast food intake to almost never). However, we could also exclusively eat Cheetos and Oreos and still be veg. Just sayin'.

We rely on super processed fake meats.
Yep, I've gotten comments from the other side as well. Just because we have a fake hot dog at a cookout (where everyone else is eating hot dogs and we just want one too okay?!?!) doesn't mean we eat them for every meal. We don't need a lecture on the sodium content, thanks.

We can't eat certain foods.
For most of us (barring those who live this way due to medical reasons), this is a choice we've made. I know it's semantics, but I can't stand being asked, "Can you eat this?" I am a grown ass woman, I can eat anything I want! I have made a conscious choice not to. 

We eat fish and/or chicken.
Like I said - we can eat whatever we want, but we choose not to eat animals. However, the word vegetarian implies that we don't eat animals - that means all animals. (Unless we do eat fish and in that case, we technically aren't vegetarians but pescetarians...more semantics for ya). Please tell me on what planet are chickens and fish not animals? Note: I have had a veterinarian question the idea that fish are not animals...

We don't use any animal products.
There's a word for people who fall more toward the end of the spectrum that doesn't include animal products or by-products. Those people are called vegans. Generally speaking, those are the folks you're less likely to find carrying the latest leather handbag (but even being vegan doesn't mean they don't or, my favorite word, can't). For your garden variety vegetarian, we may or may not have extended our beliefs on animals to other facets of life, like our clothing and accessories. I personally haven't decided to adamantly support one side of the fence or the other. In the world we live in, I believe it's utterly impossible to be a completely 100% non-participant in animal cruelty. No matter how hard we try, there's a good chance that somewhere, somewhere down the line, we're indirectly participating in some small way. Every day is an exercise in trying to figure out where I'm personally comfortable drawing the line. 

We need you to prepare special food for us.
We know, generous host, you just want to be accommodating. That's awesome, and we are so appreciative. Don't take this the wrong way, but please don't worry about us. We don't want to cause any trouble or have you bend over backward to make sure we don't starve. Chances are we have gotten used to having a limited menu and we have mastered the art of making a meal out of sides when necessary. As long as you aren't serving chicken salad with a pot roast with a side of crab cakes and bacon cheesecake for dessert, we're good. We promise.

We are judging you for eating meat.
I know you think we are, but most of us really aren't. We don't judge you for eating meat any more than we judge you for having brown hair. My husband eats meat (he also happens to have brown hair - both are inconsequential to me). It doesn't bother us to watch you scarf down your filet mignon.

We want to convert you.
Again, there is a good chance that we really don't care what you are or aren't eating. All we really want is the same courtesy. We are not trying to get you to join our side. Of course, we'd love to have you, but we're not out to preach to you.

I hope you made it through that without saying to yourself, "Wow, she is a judgmental biatch!" While I definitely can't speak for all vegetarians, I truly hope you learned something from that. Meat-eaters seem to feel like the sole fact that we don't eat meat somehow threatens or judges their choices. It doesn't. Trust me, I've met plenty of vegetarians who TOTALLY meet all the stereotypes...they're not my favorite people either. We're not all bad, I promise!

9 comments :

  1. Man, hot dogs are a big reason why I can never be vegetarian. I love them SO MUCH. :) (And yes, I'm fully aware of how disgusting they are. Long hair, don't care.)

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  2. This was very enlightening! I won't lie, I am totally the party host who worries sometimes about having options for ALL my guests, as a couple of our friends are vegans. BUT, for the most part, our parties always include fruit/veggie types of trays, chips and guacamole, etc.

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  3. love this! so true. i dont really like meat, and i flirt with the idea of becoming vegetarian. not sure what is stopping me.
    also, i just wanted to say hey, i just got done reading the post over at two thirds hazel and i opened up every single commenter that was likeminded, lol.

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  4. this is really great! I know I couldn't do it, personally, but I really respect and like to hear the reasons why some people do make this choice. thanks for sharing :)

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  5. yay, I love this! But to be honest ... I've totally judging ;)

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  6. Caleb and I have a few vegetarian friends and his parents have recently gone veg as well! I'm totally "that host" trying to accommodate to their needs but what you're said makes so much sense! I love that you said you're a grown woman and CAN EAT whatever you choose ;) go you!

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  7. Good for you!!! I like the idea of being a Veg but I dream about meat sometimes, haha. I am so dumb!!! More power to you :) But yes, fish & chickens are definitely animals in my opinion =)

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  8. Ahh I wish I had enough self control to be a vegetarian.. I admire that!
    -Marley
    http://www.afandlove.blogspot.com/

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  9. I don't think you're judgmental at all! I just think you're crazy ;)

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