More than 7 million Americans are vegetarian, so you’re bound to run into one of us at some point. If you’ve had some burning questions for the people who are making this lifestyle choice, read on to see the blunt answers you might not get from your vegetarian friends and family members.
12. “Isn’t it more expensive?”
In general, no. I can often make a meal out of two or three side items from restaurants that cost a few dollars each whereas my friends end up ordering $20-something entrees. If you cook at home it may seem expensive just looking at the total cost for ingredients, but when you break it down by output, you tend to get a lot of servings by making vegetarian meals at home.
11. “Why eat fake meat if you’re vegetarian?”
I’ve heard a lot of people ask why vegetarians eat mock meats, as if we shouldn’t be allowed to have something that looks and tastes similar. A better question to ask is why not? We deserve to have options the same way that meat-eaters do. Those who are vegetarian for ethical reasons just prefer our burgers and other entrees not to involve, you know, slaughter.
10. “If God didn’t want us to eat animals why do they taste so good?”
Humans would probably taste just as good as any meat if you seasoned and cooked one of us the way we do animals, but we aren’t going to go around killing people because we are slaves to our tastebuds. Not to mention, this question requires belief in a lot of things that aren’t actually established, like God existing and the bible being the word of this possibly non-existent person. This often used phrase is a joke for more than one reason.
9. “Where do you get your protein?”
I can get 3 grams of protein just by eating four of the donut holes on my desk. If you look at any label you’ll see there is protein in dang near everything. There are tons of healthy protein-rich foods too, like beans, nuts and broccoli. Frankly though, I pay about as little attention to my protein intake as I did when I ate meat and I am perfectly healthy.
8. “But how could you give up BACON?”
The “bacon” trend is a big eye-roller for those of us who don’t eat meat. Go watch a video of a baby pig. That’s how we give up bacon, by recognizing that a pig is a breathing, thinking, feeling being that is worth more than it’s flesh and a few minutes of satisfaction at breakfast. Many vegetarians give up meat for the sake of the animals because we possess, and exercise, empathy.
7. “Why do you have to tell everyone?”
“Why do you have to tell everyone?”
It comes up. It’s not like vegetarians introduce ourselves and say, “Oh, by the way, I’m vegetarian. Just thought you should know.” When I tell people it is usually because they’ve offered me some food item that I declined, and then ask why I threw their entire pan of meat lasagna against the wall. Joking aside, the truth is that folks usually pry and that’s why it comes out. Most of us don’t actually enjoy the awkward conversation of trying to explain our beliefs without offending someone. It’s alienating and makes a lot of carnivores defensive.
6. “What if you were stranded with just an animal to eat?”
Look, if it were an actual matter of life and death, that’d be taken into account and maybe my survival instincts would kick in. Here is the thing, though; it isn’t a matter of life and death for us. People actively choose to eat animals when there are other options available we can survive and thrive on. Would I blame someone for killing and eating some animal if they were stranded in a desert with nothing else but sand? No, I wouldn’t, but that’s hardly the situation we have going on here today.
5. “Why do vegetarians always act so superior to others?”
It’s not that we think we’re superior to others, but it is frustrating when people don’t see the logical fallacies between how we treat some animals versus others. You always see those points made on social media saying, “Sure, the Chinese have dog meat festivals, but how is that any different than you eating cows, chickens and pigs?” These people have a point. There should be uproar that any animal is killed for it’s flesh, not just specific species. If you would eat cow meat, but not your dog, you’re recognizing there is a problem eating animals but not making the full connection.
4. “Don’t you ever sneak a bite of meat here and there?”
Personally, no. I don’t know why anyone would bother calling themselves a vegetarian if they weren’t going to stick with it. Granted, people do it for different reasons. Someone who eats a vegetarian diet to improve their health, for example, might go back and forth, and not be so concerned about strictly following it as someone who does it for ethical or taste preference reasons.
3. “Did you know Hitler was a vegetarian?”
Did you know Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini and Kim Jong-Il were all meat-eaters? Give me a break.
2. “What makes you think sharing slaughterhouse videos will change anything?”
As someone once said, there is a reason kids have field trips picking apples, not visiting the slaughterhouse. If you choose to support the industry you should face the reality of what it means. There is no protection for the animals while they’re being gutted, yet you want to complain about feeling uncomfortable. Please.
1. “Why do we have canine teeth if not to eat meat?”
Honestly, I’d love to see someone try to catch an animal with your bare hands and try to bite into it. Morally, you probably couldn’t go through with it, and physically you’d have one heck of a time with anything except maybe a fish.