Vegetarian’s guide to insecure meat eaters

A minority of meat eaters (carnivores) get insecure when they find out that you are a vegetarian. Specially if you are a non seafood eating vegetarian like Cerno. This can add an unnecessary wrinkle to social interactions. Or worse inject a smelly fart of tension and ill feeling at a party.

Unless you are a militant ideological plant eater (which I’m not) its best not to get argumentative in these situations. Changing the topic helps. There’s always sports or the deplorable situation in Pakistan/Bangladesh/Chad/Sudan to save you.

For the record I don’t know why I’m a plant eater. Its certainly not for religious, political or other pretensions. For the sake of avoiding laborious explanations of inexplicable, I say that I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like animals – particularly in my food. This generally offends no one except that tiny demographic which prefers to express its love for animals by eating them.

Of the rest of the carnivore crowd, there are those who feel guilty about eating other animals . They feel a need to explain themselves or justify their diet. These rang from expressing weakness to the delicious taste of flesh (how CAN you live without that T Bone?) in various preparations. Be sympathetic and change the subject.

Mention that fact that in many societies, access to meat is a sign of wealth. Usually the arrival of a guest means the death of a sheep or goat for the inevitable feast. The code of hospitality among some require the guest to offered the choice bits. Among Syrian Bedouins that’s generally the eyes of the animal. To refuse is a terrible affront to the host.

Then change the subject.

Some have argued that they don’t want to wreck the lively hoods of fisherman and butchers. A thankful few view vegetarianism as as a part of dieting. Since they are not overweight or ill they don’t see the need to go vege.

Then there are those who see vegetarians as deprived people. Subversive renouncers of the good life. Questions will be leveled at you about your “poor” nutrition. You may be viewed as a religious fanatic. A heretic going against the evolutionary grain.

These types are a bunch of bores. Change the subject unless you want to expend energy engaging their beliefs.

At one end of this group are the hard core animal eater who feel a constant need to prove themselves. Particularly their male gender by eating meat and drinking large quantities of alcohol. This group baffles me. I won’t try to explain them since I’m trying to avoid writing about what I don’t know.

At root of all these meat eaters’ insecurity is the silly idea that vegetarianism is some sort of moral superiority thing. It is not.

There IS a cultural identity element to being vegetarian. Big enough for people to write books about. If I had the time I’ll plunk in a few links about the topic. But I’m desperately short on time these days. So I’ll leave it to YOU to do the googling for a change. If you dig up some interesting links please do add them to the comment box below (note that some comments with links might end up in the spam filter till I rescue them).

I view vegetarianism is a conscious choice about what you eat. Nothing more. There are those who associate it with “saving” animals from the butcher’s block. Particularly the “meat is murder” crowd. I find it hard to believe that vegetarianism is a threat to the meat industry anywhere. I’d be glad to hear from a person who has done the research on this type of thing.

I am particularly happy not to have encountered cannibals. Its the only food preference that I oppose unconditionally. Mainly because I don’t want to be eaten (not just because eating human meat is has nasty side effects). If you are a cannibal, I would also like to add the vegetarians taste awful.


Time’s up. So this post has to end in this paragraph. Yes its one of those going-off-the-cliff endings which are abrupt and untidy. But vhut tu du no?


16 thoughts on “Vegetarian’s guide to insecure meat eaters

  1. Oops forgot the links.

    Specially watch the youtube video. I’m trying my best not to sound sarcastic here. So bare with me.

    The video is a speech made by a famous gardener called Michael Pollen. Even though we humans think we are the superior biengs, there are many other forms of “Intelligence” found on Planet Earth. Amazing video. Amazing perspective.


  2. I like this bit ” insecure meat eater”. Being A vegetarian all my life have put up with various teasings and concerns about me being a vege. And you are right its not a moral superiority thing.


  3. My first encounter with a vegetarian was bit unnerving. I was the host at a party and was worried that he would not have enought to eat, but he seemed perfectly happy with the dhal and the salads, potato’s and the rest of the stuff on the table.

    He was a tall, large fellow and was promptly nicknamed ‘Conan the Vegetarian’.

    After that I encountered a few more and now i’m pretty used to them and on occasion turn vegetarian myself – when eating Indian food.


  4. Huh! Don’t I know. I remember how trying to break tradition in a family of carnivores (otherwise the nicest people walking this earth) declaring “I am going to be a vege from now on” caused such a stunned silence suceeded by a huge guffaw!
    It wasn’t bad there after, they understand now. But the first encounter with any ‘meater’ is always a bit akward to say the least.
    And as a reason I confabulate that,
    “I am not a vegetarian because I love animals, I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants” 🙂
    That usually eases it all up.
    Incidentally that quote is someone elses, Don’t really know whose.


  5. Hmmmm… loads of vegetarians on blogosphere eh? Salutations! The only time my habits posed a miniscule threat to the meat industry was at my wedding. I refused to enter holy matrimony over the carcasses of literally hundreds of chickens and fish, and dozens of pigs and goats. 🙂


  6. if you’re fat then people call you fat… if you’re ugly then they call you ugly… if you’re thin they call you thin… but if you’re pretty – they dont call you pretty… they’d find some faulty anomaly and pounce on that… thats our culture… so same with you being vegetarian…
    “oh cerno’s a vegan…”
    “you mean he doesnt eat pig”
    “no just carrot and some other rabbit food”
    “oh poor thing”
    like that…

    and if you were bald people would say
    “oh cerno’s bald”
    “you mean he has no hair on he head”
    “just a few… he shaves it off everyday”
    “oh poor thing”
    like that…

    but they’d never say “cerno blogs”
    and if someone says “oh cerno blogs”
    “he does what? did you know he was bald? and he’s a vegan”

    so there… its got nothing to do with meat eating or eating vegetables… people are insecure about everything… and they’ll pick on an anomaly…


  7. Thank you all for your great comments and the links 😀 Didn’t expect such a great conversation.

    Jack has a good point 😉 about the potential awkwardness caused by vegetarians towards well meaning non vege hosts. Definitely a topic for another post.

    Jack is right in the sense that most veges are quite happy with a smaller selection of dishes – even if they seem fairly simple. But I think its reasonable for vegeies to reassure their host/hostess about the adequacy factor.


  8. Pingback: plant preparations

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