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Where don't I get my protein?
I haven't eaten meat for over 10 years, which seems to shock, astonish, and anger other people around me. Most of all, though, being an herbivore brings a lot of well-meaning questions and suggestions from others that come off as mildly insensitive at best and totally offensive at worst. Here's a list of things you should avoid saying when talking to those eating a plant-based diet in your life.
I don’t know, why do you like the color blue? It’s just a valid choice. Trust me, the first time you get asked this question, it’s fine. So is the fifth. By the time you get to the 50th time, it’s a little repetitive and feels like you have to defend your choices. Why not ask, “How did you become a vegetarian?” or “How long have you been a vegetarian?” Those questions are much more rare and sound way less accusatory.
2. Is it some kind of religious thing?
Sometimes! But not always! Don’t assume everyone has the same reasons for being vegetarians. Actually, don’t assume! Does it really matter if it’s religious or not?
3. But you’re not one of those weird animal nuts, right? Right? [Awkward laugh.]
I went through a pretty intense animal rights activism phase in my early 20s and some would have definitely called me devoted. But no one likes being called a “nut,” even if they are delicious. Plus, no one asks, “But you’re not one of them animal-murdering nuts, are you?” when you order a steak at dinner, so let’s leave the stereotypes out of it.
4. Humans were meant to eat meat.
Humans were also meant to dance naked in the streets and live outdoors forever and wipe their poop on their hands. Times have changed and what used to be a necessity is no longer. I don’t have to eat meat, you don’t have to eat meat, no one has to eat meat! And yet some people do! I’m not going to lecture you on your choices, so unless you have a scientific paper proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that I must eat a hamburger, I’m gonna do me, you know?
5. Where do you get your protein?
Lots of places! Tofu! Beans! Vegetables! Protein doesn’t just come in meat (although that’s what I used to believe.) I’ve been a vegetarian for over 10 years and I haven’t been struck down with anemia, polio, septicemia, or any of the other diseases I’ve been warned can come from a lack of protein. To be fair, these diagnoses all came from my mother, who is not a scientist.
6. How do you know plants don’t have the same feelings animals do?
One day science might discover that plants scream bloody murder as we gnaw on their fleshy green bodies and millions of children will rejoice when they’re told they don’t have to eat broccoli ever again. While this hasn’t been discovered yet, what has been discovered is that animals do have feelings and have some of the same characteristics we do. They make friends, they have emotions, and most importantly they feel pain. I wouldn’t eat my best friend, so I’m also not going to eat a cow.
7. But meat is delicious.
Yes! It is! I agree. I don’t know what else I’m supposed to say here. Good talk!
8. What if your mother was dying and you had to eat chicken to save her?
First of all, my mother and I have a complicated relationship that wouldn’t lend itself well to this scenario. One day I might eat the chicken, one day I might not, you know? But moving past that, this is just unrealistic. Who’s going to hold me hostage and make me eat a chicken in order to save my mother? (The person asking the question would be the most obvious guess.) And why would you want to do that in the first place? To show me I’m not a good vegetarian? To test my ethics? To demonstrate that in a moment of desperation all men might do something that is out of character for them? Thank you, I already know that! I got a C in philosophy.
9. You’re a vegetarian for the wrong reasons.
Nope. Just like there’s no way to eat a Reese’s, there’s no wrong reason to be a vegetarian. This one is mostly annoying because you get this from other vegetarians as well. There seems to be a hierarchy for which kind of vegetarian is better, but I disagree with that. Being a vegetarian doesn’t automatically make you a better person and whether you quit eating meat because animals are cute or because factory farming is ruining our climate doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you’re making the choice for yourself.
10. You should just try this meat.
No, thank you.
11. Does that mean that you don’t have oral sex? (Hyuk hyuk.)
Nope. Oral sex between two consenting adults is totally OK for vegetarians. People have different opinions about bodily fluids, but if you’re not planning to eat each other dead during the oral sex, I don’t see why this would even be a thing to say. (But it is. People say it all the time.)
12. This meat is already dead.
Yes, I see that now! Your powers of observation are astounding. Have you considered a career in forensic investigation?
Good one! Now everyone can cleverly answer questions! :)
Vegetarianism rocks!! :)
there are lots of myths about vegetarianism.
Yeah, I've been a vegetarian since 2010, and I already can't stand to people asking me why I'm a vegetarian. ¬¬
I really don't have the patience anymore and I have to take a really deep breath not to curse them, or to just turn my back on them.
And the thing about meet tasting good, I have another suggestion for how to answer it: Yeah, I'm sure if I fried your mother it would taste really good, but that's not a good enough reason for killing anyone, right? So why do you think that's a good enough reason for killing a sentient being?
And I've found that any opinion/stand that is against the majority thinking is a threat for ignorant people. They see us like a threat to their lifestyles. I think it is because they fear to be wrong, and then having to change the way they live (that's just my impression...)
First time I read about oral sex related to vegetarism.. People actually ask that?!
Yes, It happens. =(
Awsome !!!!! shared and shared!!!!!!
I made an account for this article. I'm not a vegetarian, I tried to be a vegetarian once, but it didn't work out. You may ask how but I'm not looking for a debate :) I respect and accept (mostly) everyones choices in life. People should be allowed to nourish themselves in the best way they see fit, but... it doesn't mean anyone should spoon-feed anyone else (in essence: "You should eat what I say you should eat!!!"-silly debates). I've never met a rude meat eater in real life (only on the internet) and the same thing goes for a vegetarian. Well that's actually a bit of a lie, I have some friends who are a bit more extreme on the vegetarian side and crusading their point mercilessly.
Maybe I should say that these people I called close and best friends became distanced because of my choice of nourishment for their strong feelings towards meat eaters. I respect it, it is saddening but I respect and understand.
On to the point that I wanted to say:
- 1. Why?
I think this is actually an important question to ask. Why do you choose to eat vegetarian food in front of meat? Or even, why do you choose to eat meat instead of vegetarian food?
This is important because it gives insight into our different lives, and also gives reason to those who might be interested in going vegetarian. I believe many are curious, and want to know how it is done. Of course, many are probably rude and therefore I can understand it if it is annoying when someone asks "Why do you eat vegetarian?" or "Why don't you eat meat?" etc. etc. but I believe it is healthy to answer these questions, and to give others some understanding to other options of nourishment.
Obviously I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I asked my friends out of curiosity "Why?", and not in any way to try and degrade them. Options are nice to have you know? I also think the world would be a much better place if everyone became vegetarian, but it is a complicated matter and you have to start in schools and the school policy for food would have to change as well as re-education of parents. It's a slow process, but eventually everyone will become vegetarian. Not just right now, today. The naive idealist says "But you can change!", yes, but the realist realizes how the world functions and naive ideals are just too cute in our modern world of beauracracy and money hungry greedy businessmen. There's so much that needs to change for it to become a global priority. Many people probably don't eat vegetarian simply on principle of how they have learned the world.
I remember this story about this child who had a lunchbox to school, vegetarian, but her teachers took it away because "You aren't allowed to bring food to school". Funny thing is, the school only had meat dishes during lunch. This is why schools need to be reformed to make meat an optional dish and vegetarian be the prominent and mostly presented dish. Meat is marketed and exposed to us already at a young age as the "alpha" nourishment.
- 5. Where do you get your protein?
This is pretty much the same thing. Curiosity. This question isn't meant in any rude way whatsoever. I asked this once or twice just to get a clear understanding of where the protein came from (scientifically), and maybe a third time when I actually tried to become a vegetarian. I can understand if this is a very annoying question on the internet, because on the internet there might be 500 different people asking this same question without looking it up themselves or seeing the rest of the 499 asking the same question.
Personally, I only asked this question because I wanted to understand.
As for the rest of the questions, I feel ya man and I think it's really sad that there's so many people who troll and intentionally go out of their way to bash at you for choosing to eat whatever you want to eat. Everyone eats after all, we are equal in this. In my book it doesn't matter if you eat cake, cookies, plants, meat, snails, worms or whatever.
I eat and therefore I... I'm literally still alive thanks to eating!! And so are you, and that makes me happy :)
I stopped eating meat when I realised as a child where it came from. I didn't know ethically about anything at the time. All I knew was that I was eating DEAD FLESH.
It was enough then and now to repulse me. Just like some people find eating liver, brains or any organ meat repulsive. Dead flesh concept is enough for me. There are so many choices now compared to when I was growing up, I'm in my 40s now.
I guess I have a very varied diet cause of it and very healthy- I discovered cool fruits like durians(which are gorgeously delicious and high in protein), and many other ethnic things.
For protein it's amazing how many sources there are. Did you know Oats have high protein? But now with QUORN (who do by far the best vegan burger- with lettuce tomato, onion and mayo on it- it takes me back to being 7 and eating a whopper jr. From what I can remember tastes exactly like one!
I make mock chicken salad with quorn tenders and chilli, mock pasta meat sauces etc with the mince. And that's all soy free. In parts of europe and the usa the products vary. They do a bacon that to me tastes just like bacon, so I can have all these flavors without being grossed out about eating rotting dead flesh as well as knowing it's healthier for me. I also love seitan (meat texture high in protien) - esp Ray's Wheat meat (only available on the east coast of the usa) If you are in NYC you can get it at candle cafe, candle west or candle 79 as well as Blossom. Love making lentil loaves and other cool legume stuff. Gosh this is making me hungry! Oh and nothing like organic peanut butter on banana or apples for a high protein snack that is delish! And hummus is a great snack!
Of course in time I learn about factory farming and other things that also made me more passionate about it all but not what started it!
Well there's a much better answer to 12. In that, buying that product just means more have to be bought by the seller, and therefore more have to be killed.
And yes. ha. I can't even believe how often people think it's hilarious to mention oral sex. That's just so stupid.
And at least that one has an easy answer every time. The, 'what you would do to save your life, or another's', just goes on forever; with a range of scenario's.
Also, 'why' is a valid enough question, initially, as that's just asking your general opinion on the matter. Though usually the exact wording is: 'Is it because you don't agree with it, or you just don't like the taste?". It's just when that leads to all of the other questions/arguments that it gets tiresome.
It's so lovely when someone just says "Fair enough then".
Exactly! They are in denial.
Ha! I was the biggest fan of any chicken dish that I can get my hands on. It was not until I witness the slaughter of the chicken in the market and the screams by the chickens fighting for life, and I felt guilty for tearing families apart to satiate my appetite. I dare not even see the head of a steamed fish or eat meat ever since, and it was more than a year ago. Eighteen years and 6 months of stupidity!