Most of the time, being a vegetarian is great: there's a definite sense of good that comes from knowing you're helping animals, and vegetarian food is actually really delicious. Once in a while, however, someone will come at you with a comment or question that is absolutely infuriating. If you're friends with a vegetarian, please never say these things to them.
1. “I could never be a vegetarian.”
I honestly do not care. I didn’t ask you if you wanted to become a vegetarian; I don’t need your opinions on my diet.
2. “Where do you get your protein?”
I don’t know – beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, soy, dairy or any of the other countless vegetarian sources of protein? Contrary to popular belief, meat isn’t the only food that contains protein.
3. “Don’t you miss meat?”
No, I don’t. I really don’t. You can stop asking me this every single time I see you.
4. “Are you sure you don’t want any [insert meat here]?”
Yes, I’m sure. There’s a reason why I’m a vegetarian. I have no desire to eat meat and you offering me turkey or burgers or steak isn’t going to change that.
5. “Why are you still eating dairy and eggs?”
This one comes from vegans who don’t believe that we’re doing “enough.” First of all, we’re doing way more for animals than people who eat an average American diet. Second, please stop policing my diet. That’s never an acceptable thing to do.
6. “But animals are going to die anyway!”
While this is technically true, if more people went vegetarian, the number of animals dying would go down dramatically. I’m not trying to change the world, I’m trying to make a small impact.
7. “What am I going to feed you?”
Vegetables. Pasta. Rice and beans. Potatoes. Pizza. I will come to your party and eat exclusively side dishes and I will be totally fine with it. Cooking vegetarian food is not nearly as hard as it looks.
8. “Do you just eat salad?”
...no. Salad isn’t the only food option in existence that doesn’t have meat. Please educate yourself.
9. “Can I eat meat in front of you?”
Yes? I don’t have an airborne meat allergy; I really don’t care if you eat meat in front of me. I don’t believe in policing other people’s diets.
10. “If you were starving to death, would you eat meat?”
Talk to me when I’m actually starving to death, okay? The answer is yes, obviously, but I don’t understand why people continue to ask this question. It’s incredibly rude.
11. “Humans are supposed to eat meat! You’re going against nature!”
Humans have been scientifically proven to be able to survive on a vegetarian diet. Animals don’t exist solely for human consumption and the only thing unnatural about my diet is how much you seem to care about it.
All of my fellow vegetarians understand the struggles that come from meeting people who just don't understand why we eat the way that we do. Hang in there– we're helping the planet!
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