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“Vegetarians are assholes”

This was a comment on my friend’s Facebook wall.

Ah, yes. It’s barbecue season. Also known as picking-on-vegetarians season.

I don’t think I’m an asshole but I’ve felt that some meat-eaters expect me to attack them and throw red paint all over their meal.

Some vegetarians allegedly have a parade for themselves every time they order a salad, but all I’ve even seen is well-intentioned folks eating what makes them comfortable. All the vegetarians I know tend to keep their eyes on their own plates.

Yet, I have been relentlessly accosted about my choices at barbecues (among other places) while I quietly tend my own veggie burger. It’s usually some combination of the following:

  • “You killed that vegetable, too, you know.”
  • “Everything dies.”
  • “We are biologically created to eat meat.”
  • “Don’t you feed your dog meat?”
  • “You are unhealthy because you can’t get enough protein.”
  • “In the rest of the world, the only people who are not eating meat are the ones who are impoverished. They wish they could eat meat.”
  • “Just have a little bite.”

They seem mad at me for not eating meat. I’m just lost on this one; I’m not mad that they don’t eat tofu. I would understand the hostility if I were forcing them to watch Earthlings while they’re eating a T-bone or something, but again — that’s never happened.

I’ve been vegetarian for practically my whole life…there are rumors that I liked baloney when I was two, but that’s all hearsay. Since I was 3 years old, no meat has knowingly passed my lips. (There was this one time when the server put down a small bowl of what looked like olive tapenade. After my first bite, I realized it was pâté. That resulted in gagging and spitting into a linen napkin, downing my entire glass of wine in one gulp and never going back to that place.)

Food choices are highly personal. What can be more personal that what you chose to put inside of your body? I don’t feel comfortable with the notion that an animal died for my meal, when I am perfectly happy with the non-sentient food choices available. It’s that simple.

What you do, is up to you.

But if you are one of those vegetarians who delights in detailing the final moments of the burger’s life to the person eating it; please stop. Leading by (quiet) example is always more effective, and you are making the rest of us look like assholes.

Bon appétit!

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