About six years ago, after reading a book called Skinny Bitch, I stopped eating meat and chicken. I didn’t stop eating seafood, so I am technically a pescetarian, but I feel that in these past six years, I have dealt with almost every annoying thing that a vegetarian deals with. Also, people insist on calling me a vegetarian even though I insist that I am not one, so… yeah. I have a pretty good idea of exactly what vegetarians are sick of hearing.
Being a vegetarian (or a pescetarian, in my case) means a lot of things. One of those things? People feel that they get to say whatever the eff they want to you because you don’t eat meat. Why? I don’t know. All I know is that before I cut meat out of my diet, I never had so many strangers interested in what I was and wasn’t eating. For some reason, people are simultaneously fascinated, confused and angered by the fact that there are people in the world who – gasp! – choose not to eat animals.
It’s totally fine to be curious about a person who eats so differently than you. It’s a different lifestyle, it’s natural to have questions. I get it. That being said, it is not totally fine to be rude to people who eat different than you just because you don’t understand. Here are 12 things you shouldn’t say to a vegetarian or pescetarian. No, seriously, stop before I get violent.
“Wait, so how are you a vegan? Don’t you miss cheese?”
Ugh, GOD people, educate yourselves! There is a huge difference between being vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian. Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean I’m vegan. If I were vegan, I would say, “I am vegan.”
“You know you’re not getting enough protein, right?”
I’m sorry, why is the amount of protein I eat any of your business? Do you care about the amount of protein other people consume? Do you even care about how much protein YOU consume? Probably not, so please take what you think is a smart argument away from me. Also, people don’t need nearly as much protein as they think they do – and I get plenty in other ways. Believe it or not, it’s possible.
“Ugh, why would you ever stop eating meat?”
Ugh, why would YOU eat meat? — I have literally never said that statement in a serious way in my life. I don’t judge or make fun of people for eating meat. Why do you feel the need to express your disgust at a choice I made? Oh, right, you’re rude.
“So… what do you eat then?”
What do YOU eat? Oh, right, I don’t care. So why exactly do you care what I eat? Also, do you realize that there is food in this world that is not meat or chicken? SHOCKING, I know.
“I’m going to get you to eat meat one day when you don’t realize it.”
Um… why? You’re an idiot.
“I hate vegetarians. Why do you have to be so picky? And why do you have to push your opinions on other people?”
That’s a sweet thing to say. Also, just because there are some judgey vegetarians out there does not mean we all preach our vegetarian-ness. I only care about what I eat. I have never in my life tried to convince someone else to be a vegetarian. But yet, here you are, accusing me of doing that while simultaneously judging me. One word: hypocritical.
“Do you mind if I eat this dead animal in front of you? Does that gross you out?”
I have literally heard people say that exact sentence – more than once, if you can believe it. I don’t care what you eat in front of me. Asking makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and awkward.
“Animals die all the time, I don’t really care how they’re treated. They taste good, whatever.”
That’s a good way to look at things. You don’t sound ignorant and small-minded at all! Also, being a vegetarian isn’t just about how animals are treated – it’s also about what you’re putting into your body.
“I know you want some of this delicious bacon. Yum, yum, yum.”
Um, no, I don’t. No one is forcing me to forgo bacon. If I wanted to eat it, I would eat it. Your taunting is pointless.
“Oh, I know someone who tried to be a vegetarian. She only lasted a few years. It’s just a phase.”
Right, because all vegetarians are the same, you know?
“Do you eat animal crackers?”
Oh, very clever! I’ve never heard that one before. Seriously, how do you think up your jokes?
For pescetarians: “Fish have lives too, but I guess you don’t care about them.”
Again, you’re so clever! Can I ask you one more time why you care about what I’m eating? I still don’t understand.
Are you a vegetarian, vegan or pescetarian? What is the most annoying thing anyone has ever said to you? Can you relate to this? Tell me in the comments.