I think it’s safe to say, there is still a lot of education that needs to take place around vegetarianism. Perhaps, if more people were exposed to the realities and facts of the vegetarian lifestyle, they would feel a little silly about some of their misconceptions and not look at us like we just fell off the “turnip truck.” Based on some of the comments below, we have a ways to go in closing the gap between understanding that a vegetarian isn’t just someone who doesn’t eat meat and the choice to be a vegetarian isn’t necessarily religious based.
Jeff Ronna (@jeffronna) When I travel to countries where I can't speak the language, I often carry a small piece of paper in my wallet I've had translated that says, "I'm a vegetarian I don't eat beef, pork, chicken or fish. I hope you have something good for me." Once in a small town in France (not a very vegetarian-friendly country), I had a waiter who spoke no English, so I whipped out the paper. He read it, gave me a strange look, and nodded his head to say, "OK." Brought me a tuna fish salad.
Dr. T. K. Stone (www.thefertileground.com) I went to a BBQ and the host knew I was a vegetarian. She tells me that she bought turkey hotdogs for the vegetarians.
Adi Bittan (@ownerlistens) I once had a boyfriend whose mom was very old school and had never met a vegetarian before. She asked me if there was a cure for it or something I could take. She thought it was some kind of allergy or condition. I also really hate the question, “If you were stranded and starving, would you eat meat? ”
Harbir Singh (@barefootdocs) My craziest experience was when I was in Paris. I went to a restaurant where they had chicken and vegetables with rice. I asked if the chicken could be left of the plate and I could just have the rice and vegetables. I explained that I would pay the full price... they refused to serve me! A very strange experience.
Samantha Slaven-Bick (@samanthaslaven) "What's left to eat?"
Judi Zucker (@dblenergytwins) We notice that whenever there's a "potluck," the vegetarian entrees are eaten first; even by the meat eaters.
Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka "Dr. Romance") (@tinatessina) Going to Thailand with a Thai family who really had to be pushed to order tofu for me, because they thought it was low-class food. I lost 12 pounds in 3 weeks because all I had were vegetables.
Lori Osterberg , (www.visionsofsuccess.com) The comment that always gets me when eating with meat eater friends is when they say they'll eat two of something to make up for me not eating meat at all. And as they are eating all that meat, they talk about how sick they've been, the problems they've been having, etc. Yet, they never ask me why I'm not sick. To me, eventually you would start putting two and two together, and question what is truly making you sick.
JME Thomas (@motleyzoorescue) My best friend moved to Spain and was annoyed that (in this very meat eating country), I was not trying the meat. She got pretty silly and told me I was killing plants and how did that feel? I said they didn't have eyes and a face, or scream when they were killed and that was enough. But really, why did she want to argue about it? What did it mean to her if I didn't eat meat? She eventually let it go, and oddly enough even became mostly vegetarian later in life. It was just a funny thing that has stuck out in my mind over the years.
Sona Sanghvi I've had a lot of people insist that I should try meat,; but the craziest was a friend of mine who couldn't stop himself from telling me that everything I was eating had bacon in it! I mean... every time we would get together, he would point at my food and say, “that has bacon in it, you know?” At first I was paranoid, and then I realized he was playing a game. Now I take it in stride with respond with, "Mmm, delicious. I love bacon!" We laugh about it now, even though he used to see the look of shock on my face and immediately apologize.
Tam Frager (@Tam5) I once made a "meatloaf" that I served at a dinner party. More than half the folks were vegetarian, and everyone knew it was going to be a vegetarian meal. After the meal, one of my friends suddenly looked up and said, "Wait. Did you just serve everyone meat?" He hadn't realized that a huge part of meatloaf (like sausage) is texture and spice.
Jenna Rose Robbins (@stjenna) "Why do you care about animals?" Which is usually followed by some diatribe about the superiority of humans over animals, or God's will. (Sorry, I'm an atheist, so that explanation doesn't jive with me.)
Heather M. Ronayne It seems crazy to me how often people try to serve me fish because I do not eat meat!
Shel Horowitz (shelhorowitz) At an Orthodox Jewish wedding celebration in Israel, some of the people attending were shocked that I don't eat meat. They said it was breaking God's commandment not to at least eat meat on the Sabbath. I told them, in my broken Yiddish, that I get sick from meat and they left me alone after that.
Charles Stahler (@VegResourceGrp) The fact that all of our vegetarian experiences don't seem crazy anymore. Driving 200 miles to a vegetarian potluck in Manhattan, and coming back to a car surrounded by people putting on a fire eating demonstration; a vegetarian activist flying a giant carrot in front of the White House; having a vegetarian outreach booth next to a pork booth and their being worried about us; thinking that someday we could obtain vegan donuts and now they exist, etc., etc..
As a vegetarian, what’s the craziest experience or question you’ve been asked? Share it with us…
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