Disclaimer! I’m not saying that every single person that isn’t either vegetarian or vegan will say things like this. I’m just writing a quick list of remarks that I’ve personally heard. A lot of people are very open-minded about these different types diets and lifestyles, and some people may be asking questions such as these out of pure curiosity or ignorance. I personally have never minded explaining why I’m vegetarian to others and answering all of their questions.
But I will admit that some of the questions I am asked or the situations I’m put into because of the way I choose to eat can be quite amusing at times. I hope that you can relate to this article in some way (perhaps if you happen to be vegan or vegetarian) and even if you aren’t an herbivore, maybe you can just have a good laugh about some of the things we frequently hear. Enjoy!
One of the very first questions people will ask me once they’ve figured out that I happen to be a vegetarian is “why?”. And I don’t blame anyone for asking questions such as this one! It IS interesting to hear people’s individual beliefs and reasonings for their change in lifestyle. The only issue I’ve ever had with this question is when people don’t respect your answer and your decisions. I don’t mind a good debate here and there, but I have had instances where things get out of hand and the person who originally asked me the question becomes extremely rude. I personally never try to “convert” others to change their lifestyle or pressure them in any way, so all I ask for is a little respect in return. I will respect you and your diet choices, and you can respect mine, deal?
2. “Where do you get your protein though?”
Oh this is the big one! Sometimes, before a person even respectfully asks me about my reasoning for being a vegetarian, they skip right to the big question: where the heck do you get your protein? And again, some people will ask this question just because they really don’t know a lot about these types of diet. But I have definitely met my fair share of jokesters who ask this question just to irritate me. But I really don’t mind shedding some light on a vegetarian or a vegan’s diet. A lot of people don’t really realize the tons of other ways to get protein outside of animal sources.
3. “So you just eat salads all day?”
I swear I’ve been asked this specific question word for word. And again, some people just have no clue what I might actually eat so they feel the need to ask. But there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to talk to people of this kind of stuff. Whenever a person asks me this question I just want to open up every cabinet in my kitchen and every drawer in my fridge and show them all of the delicious things I can eat! And I also think the “salad question” is quite ridiculous because-if we’re being honest here-I don’t even like salads to begin with! But seriously guys, I would be a sad, sad (and hungry!) vegetarian if I only ate salads all day, every day.
4. “Are you sure you don’t want some?”
Picture this: it’s dinnertime and I’m sitting down at the table with the lovely meal I’ve made for myself when all of a sudden I look up and I see someone holding their burger in my face chanting “are you sure you don’t want some?” Now I am not lying about any of this. I have seriously had friends and even some family wave their own food in my face in attempts to “taunt me”. Sorry, but I don’t go around waving my tofu in people’s faces- that’s just weird! It’s incredibly rude and disrespectful to mock a person like this. The minute you decide to shove your pig flesh in my face is when I’ll decide to shove my gruesome details about that piece of pork dangling from your fork in your face. Now, that doesn’t sound very fun, does it? So let’s just enjoy our separate meals in harmony, because I think we’d both be a lot happier.
5. "What if someone gave you a million dollars to eat a piece of meat, would you do it?"
I find questions such as this one to just be completely comical and they truly make me laugh. I don’t really know what else to say about this. Another, very similar question I’ve heard is, “what if you were stranded on a deserted island and the only thing you had to eat was an animal..” Again, no response.
6. “Technically plants are living things and you’re killing a bunch of them.”
Okay, I think this conversation is over. I’m not trying to be mean here people but come on! What do you even say to that?!
7. “But how can you live without bacon?!”
Okay we get it, you’re one of those people that lets people know they love meat. When answering this question, I calmly reply and let them know that I never really liked bacon, or meat in general, to begin with so it isn’t that hard for me. And then they might get mad because I said I never even liked bacon. So there’s really no way to please the person asking the question because they just really like meat.
8. “I can’t afford to be vegetarian/vegan.”
I am very grateful that my parents pay for and provide food for me in the house but even then, I will still argue that having a diet like this isn’t that expensive. I mean, do you know how cheap a bag of rice is? The only time a diet like this can be expensive is when I beg my mom to splurge on that non-dairy ice cream that’s calling me from the freezer aisle. But other than that, a veggie diet is a pretty cost effective way to live!
9. “I just try not to think about where my food comes from.”
I have to admit, that’s kind of illogical. You should care about what type of food goes in your body, and if thinking about where your food is coming from makes you sick then maybe you should think a little harder and stay away from it in the first place. Even if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan at least show a little respect and appreciation for that chicken sandwich in your hands.
10. “But, the food chain is there for a reason.”
I confess! Years ago, before I was vegetarian, I vividly remember using this “fact” in an argument I had with someone who actually was vegetarian. That was way before I had learned about animal cruelty, what was actually healthy for my body, and had ever seriously tossed around the idea of becoming a vegetarian. Now years have passed and I’m a completely different person with different opinions than I was then. All I had to do was keep an open mind and allow other people to inform my ignorant mind. And thankfully, they did.
Whether you’re vegan/vegetarian for health reasons, the environment, for the animals, etc., us veggie munchers all share a common bond. Every time you drop the ‘V bomb’, there will always be without a doubt at least one person that will attack you with the typical and oh so tiring questions. But hey, if suffering through some annoying questions is all I have to do in order to live a healthier lifestyle then it’s all worth it for me!