Kristen Bell: ‘It’s usually the meat eater who wants to guilt-trip the vegetarian’

PAR1116COVER-(1)
Kristen Bell is promoting her new NBC series, The Good Place, which is doing well in the ratings and with critics and will probably stay on the air. (Surprising for an NBC show.) She’s on the cover of the November issue of Parents and she’s a guest editor this issue, which means she answers an advice column. It’s kind of perfect for her because she’s an opinionated person and can come off as Type A. (There’s nothing wrong with that and it takes one to know one.) I actually like her advice, which is practical and balanced. She gives advice to people with messy houseguests, tells a mother to politely tell a dance instructor to stop body shaming her daughter, and gives vegetarians tactics to talk to meat eaters who pester them about raising a child vegetarian. We’ve heard that Kristen is a vegetarian and that Dax eats chicken, which is what he said when he declined Peta’s “sexiest vegetarian alive” title.

My boyfriend and I are vegetarians, and we’re raising our kids as vegetarians too. We have family and friends who have a hard time accepting this and ask us if we feel guilty about not letting our kids eat meat. We don’t! I wish this didn’t have to be a debate at every meal with people we otherwise love. What can I say to (politely) shut down the conversation? —Fatigued by Food Talk
Dear Fatigued, I hear you. I’ve been a vegetarian for 24 years, and I’ve found that it’s usually the meat eater who wants to discuss (and often guilt-trip) the vegetarian—not the other way around. Your friends are probably coming from a place of genuine concern for your children and don’t intend to be critical. But you are the only ones who know if you truly are giving your kids a balanced diet with all the vitamins and minerals they need, and if you’re confident about that then nothing else matters. You used the word debate in your question, so make it clear that there is no debating your choice. Try to calm their concerns by saying, “You know, we pay a lot of attention to diet and we make sure our kids receive all the nutrients their growing bodies need. But in truth, it’s not much fun for us to constantly defend our choices. We believe everyone has the right to raise their kids the way they deem healthiest, and this is what we choose.” Then smile politely to give them a physical cue that this subject is closed and you’re ready to move on to another topic.

[From Parents, print edition, received via Email]

People can be so judgy and pushy with food, it’s annoying. It’s no one’s business what you put in your mouth but your own. Plus it’s healthy for kids to be vegetarian if that’s the diet their family follows. Kristen has said that she’ll let her children make their own choice when it comes time to decide whether to each meat, which sounds like the right approach.

Kristen has an interview in Parents as well, and she focuses on teaching her children to be compassionate, thoughtful people and to give back through charity. She’s discussed this before and you can tell that it’s an issue that is important to her. She says she tries to lead by example by giving back in her community and that she tells her kids “that the world is just our extended family.” That’s really a nice way to put it and reminds me of the guy who is trying to show people that we’re distant cousins with just about everyone. I have a lot of cousins though and it doesn’t always work that way.

KristenBellAdviceColumn_WM

PAR1116GIVNG_KristenBell_wm

photos credit: Ari Michelson for Parents

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

172 Responses to “Kristen Bell: ‘It’s usually the meat eater who wants to guilt-trip the vegetarian’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Trixie says:

    “it’s usually the meat eater who wants to discuss (and often guilt-trip) the vegetarian”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.

    From my experience, it’s the vegetarians who are jerks about food, and get on some moral high horse about other people’s choices.

    I don’t understand why we can’t all just not give a sh-t about vegetarian v meat eater. Who cares?

    • AlleyCat says:

      Right? I’m sure there’s annoying people on both sides of the argument, but meat eaters usually don’t care what others are eating. It’s the vegetarians or vegans that believe that their way is healthiest and best. I’m a meat eater and I’m well aware that certain meats can be unhealthy if eaten often, so why would I preach to others to eat it?

      • poiuy says:

        I have never met a vegan who’d preach to people about health over the table. I have, however, been called crazy and f***ed up for no reason other than not wanting to kill and torment animals for my pleasure while minding my own business at the table.

        Veganism is an ethical standpoint that seeks to exclude causing harm to animals. You can get kinda angry when you hear for the 100th time “Live and let live” from someone who’s biting into somebody’s leg. That’s like saying people who beat their spouses respect that you don’t do it, so you owe it to them to respect their choices. It’s not just a choice when it has its victims.

      • vego says:

        RIGHT,they truly have a valid point though, being eating cruelty free is differently more morally high then people who eat meat.
        Meat eaters don’t want to think or hear about, but having you steak at night has a great impact on the environment and of course the poor cow that died so you could have a steak.

        but personally I get attacked by meat eater all the time, personally I don’t even bit back they don’t want to hear it.

      • vego says:

        interesting that people straight away talk about health, its like you actually forgot that an animal DIED. everyone wants to forgot a that , that piece of meat on your plate is a animal that was born into this world to be nothing but food, and died for someone dinner,
        I respect and love animals that why I eat cruelty free.

      • thaliasghost says:

        Nope, In all cases from things I have not consumed whether it was being vegetarian/vegan, being a non-smoker or not drinking in every single interaction I could ever think of, it was them who became aggressive towards me to the point of holding me down and trying to force alcohol down my throat.

        I have never once uttered a word about anyone’s eating (smoking/drinking) habits, have no qualms about being at the grill during a barbecue, you getting beyond wasted next to me. I did not once mention I was vegetarian or vegan, didn’t make it a talking point, didn’t ask for any extra food – just by not putting meat on my plate (not ordering alcohol/having a smoke) I’ve found myself in shouty matches and people who had never before cared about nutrition and knew little about it were lecturing me on proteine.

        The explanation I have been given is that by me not doing what they do, people feel guilty about what they are doing (even though I could care less about that and don’t judge anyone, it’s just my choice of doing things) and blame me. Again, I can’t count the times I’ve been sucked into ugly debates about vegetarianism that I didn’t want to have and tried to get out of.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        To the vegans/vegetarians who immediately go to DEATH and “You’re eating someone’s leg” I say oh please. That is exactly the kind of talk that meat eaters refer to when they say they feel judged or attacked. The moral superiority is ridiculous. There are ways to talk about it without constantly referring to meat eaters as killers etc. Because I don’t look at your frickin’ phone and go “Oh I guess you support slave labor.” I don’t look at your clothes and go “Oh nice, so you support sweatshops. BE ASHAMED.”

        I love the “cruelty free” crap. Because it only refers to bunnies and cows, not people. You live in the Western world, you don’t live a cruelty free lifestyle. Get real.

        ETA: thaliasghost, you may need a new social circle.

      • Wren says:

        @Littlemissnaughty, exactly! I eat meat and I would never dream of attacking those who do not. Seriously who does that? But omg the lectures I have received over eating *gasp* flesh! The sanctimonious attitude is rampant in that community and it often has little to do with health and everything to do with feeling superior.

        Vegetarians/vegans don’t actually live the cruelty free life when it comes to food anyway. Do you have any idea how many adorable little bunnies and such like are killed in grain harvests? Chewed up by merciless combines and grain augers. Or the bees (not to mention countless other insects) killed by pesticides so your vegetable crop reaches the store shelf beautiful and unchewed? Or what about the wild animals whose habitat was destroyed to make way for the cropland?

        Eating requires a sacrifice by something no matter who or what you are. Something must die so that you may eat, be that plant, animal, or microbial. By all means eat how you please but I’m tired of hearing how cruel it is to kill animals for food. No, it’s cruel to raise them in factory farms. How they live is far more important than why they die. I buy local meat from non-confinement operations whenever possible, buy milk from small dairies, and raise my own chickens. Those chickens have a better life than I do. When they no longer lay me delicious eggs, they will be killed for the stew pot to feed my family. Until that day they will scratch and flap and run around my yard and go about their natural chicken business in peace. A cattlemen I knew once said, “My cows have one bad day and that’s more than can be said for the rest of us”. That was damn delicious beef too.

      • Algernon says:

        @ Littlemissnaughty

        This is how I feel. I’ve met some really nice vegetarians who have had interesting conversations about how they balance their diet with proteins and things we usually get from meat, which has led me to some new foods and restaurants I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. But I won’t apologize for enjoying meat, or dairy/eggs. I do my best to buy my groceries from ethical sources, and I don’t indulge in exotic meats like veal and foie gras, but I like steak and chicken and eggs. Further, I’m borderline anemic and the iron in red meat is very beneficial and I have never been able to get used to the taste of tofu or quinoa so vegetarianism isn’t an option for me.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        And I don’t even eat meat. But mostly because I don’t like it. I know some lovely vegetarians, my bff is one. But I’ve never met a vegan who didn’t want to convert me or at the very least, try to shame me for my food habits. I just point at their phone/clothes/jewelry and ask them which well-paid, happy worker is responsible for making that wonderful product. It shuts them up quicker than anything else.

      • Nicole says:

        @poiuy
        When you talk about ‘taking a bite out of someone’s leg’, that is cannibalism.

      • Shady says:

        Just a comment on Wren’s statement about small animals being killed in the grain harvest.. what do think the intensively farmed animals you are killing and eating were fed during their short life? Grain! One of the shittest things about world wide food shortage and starvation in developing nations is the idiotic situation we are in – there IS enough food for everyone (in the form of plant based protein), we are just feeding the majority of it (grain) to animals, where it is converted into a much smaller amount of protein.

    • D says:

      I’ve never had an issue with vegetarians (I was one for a while). Vegans on the other hand, all vegans I’ve met have been a bit extreme and full of self righteousness about their diet -”You eat meat? Then you deserve to die, evil murderer! You should just kill yourself” (direct quote) , that’s a bad way to start a conversation if you want anyone to listen to you…

      • poiuy says:

        >all vegans I’ve met have been a bit extreme

        Really? Eating bananas is extreme?
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5urQJcbQR3Q

      • D says:

        @poiuy So you don’t think that telling people to kill themselves is extreme?

      • poiuy says:

        I dunno. How about actually killing someone? Isn’t that just a bit more extreme?

      • D says:

        @poiuy But you do at least realize that if you want to talk to people about veganism (convert them I guess..) then starting that conversation with “You deserve to die, you should kill yourself” is not…great, do you really think that anyone will want to hear what you have to say after that? It’s like -’Yes stranger on the street who wants me to die, I will take advice from you. Absolutely!’.

      • Wren says:

        Agreed. The vegetarians I’ve known have been able to go about their business and feed themselves without talking about it too much, but the vegans? Ugh, everything is a lecture about not only why they eat what they eat but why you should too.

      • Lindsay says:

        @poiuy – Yes it is extreme to kill someone. Committing murder is a serious crime. Also, cannibalism is also very unhealthy both in the inherent risks and long term effects. If you befriend a cannibal I would not bother in trying to get them to see the error of their ways but you should contact the appropriate authorities. Otherwise, dial down the rhetoric words mean things.

    • raptor says:

      That’s interesting. I’m a vegetarian who has a lot of vegetarian friends, and we’re all pretty relaxed about what others eat (my husband, for instance, likes any and all meat, and I’ll cook it for him; I just won’t eat it myself). I’ve never given anyone grief about their dietary choices, but I get A LOT of grief from meat-eaters: memes that say “for every animal you don’t eat, I’m going to eat three”; arguments about how my refusal to eat meat isn’t really accomplishing anything; unsolicited comments about my complexion and possible anemia (I’m fine, just part Irish); pressure to just eat meat “this once”…

      Basically, anyone can be an asshole about what other people eat. It’s definitely not exclusive to vegetarians or vegans.

      • Insomniac says:

        Yep. I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t even mention it unless someone notices I’m not eating meat and asks me about it, and while most people are fine with it, I do deal with preachy, pushy meat eaters.

      • Jane.fr says:

        “Basically, anyone can be an asshole about what other people eat. It’s definitely not exclusive to vegetarians or vegans”

        So, so true.

      • bluhare says:

        I agree!! I avoid food discussions like the plague. I don’t want to dictate what other people eat; I’ve made my own choices and they can make theirs. But I HATE the question “so why are you vegetarian?” A good half, if not more, of the time the people asking get defensive and start being deliberately provoking, and I have to walk away before it gets really ugly. I don’t understand it; I don’t judge but I sure get judged!

        I’m married to a meat eating drinker and I don’t drink either. I don’t tell anyone what to do there either, nor will I UNLESS you do something dangerous to yourself or someone else.

      • Lindsay says:

        With the current Sancti-Mommy trend it is even more tempting/socially acceptable to be judgey. Anyone that doesn’t follow your style of parenting is a personal affront.

      • Matomeda says:

        +1 Raptor. EXACTLY me. Husband loves meat, I’ll cook it. i never say a word, just don’t take turkey at thanksgiving, never ask for different or more food, Ivd literally never tried to convert anyone. But I have faced no stop attacks, people making eye contact with mr an aggressively biting into meat and making “Mmm” noises, trying to engage me. It’s so ridiculous. I do not care! So just let me eat what I prefer, and you do you. It’s 100% the way you and Kristen said it.

    • Brittney B. says:

      As a vegan, actually, I totally agree with her. I stopped eating meat when I was 12, and since I was 12 I’ve had people (sometimes strangers at other tables who simply overhear a request) get downright aggressive because of it.

      We get it constantly. Meat waved in our faces, people bragging about hunting on purpose, out-of-nowhere concern for our protein intake… mostly, it’s insecure people who think our *personal choices* are attacks on theirs.

      But yeah, if I say one thing, one time, after *being prompted or asked*, about why I don’t eat animal products? Immediately I’m the one being preachy and pushy and judgey.

      Most people eat meat, so most people might have a preconceived notion about pushy vegans… but even if you’ve had people judge you (and you’re sure it wasn’t them just earnestly trying to spread the same info they once didn’t know either)… then I guarantee their lifelong awful experiences with meat eaters far outshine any uncomfortable moments and conversations you’ve had.

      • erica says:

        Brittney, this was so beautifully said, and has been my experience too. I belong to a few vegan FB groups and so yeah, I’ve been exposed to more than one vegan nazi. But for the most part I’ve seen far more meat eaters ridiculing and attempting to provoke vegans/vegetarians than the other way around.

        There’s also a lot of judgments placed on even the most benign comments that are made by vegans. (including right here in this thread). The assumption that vegans are sanctimonious or feel that they are superior to others is pure projection. Most of us just want to make the best choices for ourselves without hurting (or offending) anyone else.

      • Selena Castle says:

        My experience has been the exact opposite. In my life I have been vegan, vegetarian and fruitarian. I now eat meat. When I did not I did have the occasional person ask about protein etc. But now sitting down to a meal with vegetarian/vegan friends and relatives is a nightmare. Seriously, they bring up the mechanics of slaughter houses in an effort to make you feel sick about eating, they attack my ethics and are generally obnoxious. I have started to bring up the environmental impact of veganism and now they shut up.

        Oh btw, why did I start eating animals again? Because I found veganism/vegetarianism to be such a silly, self righteous standpoint. If you want animals to live in the wild, eat domesticated animals instead of demanding everyone become a vegetarian/vegan, coz if everyone did we could not feed the world without polluting the rivers and seas with fertilizer runoff and destroying every bit of wild preserve in the world.

    • lisa says:

      sorry but the number of meat eaters outnumbers the number of both vegetarians and vegans combined

      i do not put myself into situations where i would be eating with meat eaters and i still get asked ridiculous questions and mocked, even by strangers in stores

      • elle says:

        Strangers pay close enough attention to what you’re buying to be able to mock you? Seriously, I’m a meat eater, and on any given day, my shopping cart could be that of a vegan, a vegetarian or a carnivore, depending on what I need. So if somebody is making assumptions based on what they see in my cart on any given day, they are most likely going to be very wrong.

    • lizzie says:

      i’ve never thrown a hamburger at anyone but i’ve been publicly shamed by a vegan. i went to a dinner party at a person’s house who was vegan (they were a friend of a friend) and i wore leather shoes and at one point during dinner the host came out and held up my shoes in front of everyone and said “this is a vegan house” and laughed but gave me a nasty look and it was extremely embarrassing. i would never ever behave that way towards someone.

      • Wren says:

        How awful. I would never treat someone like that. Did they ask you what fibers your clothing was made out of as well? I’ve encountered that attitude more times than I care to remember and it’s disgusting every time. I don’t impose my beliefs on others and I would never dream of shaming a guest in my house.

      • bluhare says:

        That is just flat out rude. If they have a dress code, they should advise everyone before they attend.

    • Trillion says:

      In my experience I agree with her wholeheartedly with her. I was raised Seventh Day Adventist (religion that does not eat meat) and have been harangued for not eating meat my whole life. I’m no longer SDA but am still vegetarian. To this day, total strangers will approach me at BBQ’s and even restaurants and “joke” with me about how I need some “real food” when they see me not eating what they are. It’s mind boggling. I’ve never once in my life lectured anyone over eating meat, nor have I even witnessed that in the 50 years I’ve been vegetarian. It’s also in advertising. “Real men don’t eat tofu” and that kind of stuff. Truly bizarre.

    • Naya says:

      I am willing to bet that each side has about the same number of assholes. Obnoxious people remain obnoxious whether they eat meat or not.

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      Well as someone who’s been a vegetarian (no meat, seafood, poultry, very little dairy) since I was five years old I can tell your right now I have in fact been pressured and down right bullied, yes bullied- from meat eaters. So while your view may be the opposite, it’s not universal. People seem to get downright offended and angry when they find out youre a vegetarian/vegan. Which makes no sense to me. I get the “oh well where do you get your protein from, oh you realize we have eaten meat since the beginning of time right, oh it’s natural, oh you must be one of those peta people…. And now let me add well nothing is cruelty free…..” I have literally heard it all. What’s funny is I have never lectured others on becoming a vegetarian, because it’s their choice. Yet I don’t get the same respect. If someone asks me why I choose not to eat meat, only then will I give my reasoning, but again don’t push my “agenda” on anyone else. It seems to me that meat eaters seem to have some kind of guilt when they come across vegetarians but again my experience.

      *also because I saw the comment above I will respond to it – so because nothing in life is exactly cruelty free that’s an excuse or justification to just kill whatever we want? Because bunnies get killed making grains or people are in sweat shops? Lmao. No. It’s Doesn’t work that way. While of course you can’t save everyone or everything (which is a shame) it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to lessen where you can. What a horrible defense.

      • mayamae says:

        I have an uncle that preached to me that the bible instructs we must eat meat. Another uncle took his shotgun and explained he was going out to kill Bambi. I’ve had people sneak meat products in food or lied about what’s in food so I would eat it. I have preached to no one. A lot of people think they are good natured in their teasing, but it’s really the arrogance of being the majority, IMO.

        I’m not a vegan, but it’s a one day goal of mine. People don’t realize the discipline that goes into being vegan. And meat eaters often want to argue that it’s all or nothing. They may analyze a vegetarian for any tiny thing to criticize – you killed a fly! I thought you honored all life! It can be ridiculous. For me, it’s about minimizing the negative impact and suffering of other living creatures, as a result of my lifestyle. I’m not sure why that riles so many up.

      • Nicole says:

        Well, someone upthread did compare it to abusing a spouse, so they were being pretty defensive.

    • Doodle says:

      I work with two vegetarians, and they are the worst when it comes to being judgy about meat eaters. I have experienced this many times over the years with vegetarian friends and aquaintences. I don’t care what anyone else eats. Over the years, I have found my body operates best with some animal protein. So I eat how I eat to be healthy, but I do feel uncomfortable when I know my lunch is being inspected and judged for containing meat.

    • Merritt says:

      This. I have a history of iron deficiency anemia. It has been proven that iron from meat absorbs better than iron from veggies . Yet that has not stopped numerous vegetarians from giving me a guilt trip about meat and claiming that supplements with fix everything. No it does not work that way and they need to back off because they are not me and they are not my doctor.

      • ichsi says:

        Same here. I’ve lived with vegetarians and vegans before and OMG the judging when I made some meatballs! I didn’t comment on them blocking the kitchen for three hours so they could make their own milk or prepare lunches and dinners hours in advance; all I wanted in return was them not commenting on me eating something that is good for me. No chance. I do believe that there are crazies on both sides but so far I have never tried to convert a vegan/vegitarian while there have been many attempts on my meat eating. For some people this really becomes a religion and it can get scary.

      • Jess says:

        Merritt, try the liquid iron, or go for infusions through a hematologist. I finally had to get the infusion earlier this year since my body wouldn’t absorb iron in pill or liquid oral form, but I feel 100% better than I have in the last 5 years, like a new person. Im not completely exhausted and worn out, and I don’t look sickly with huge bags under my eyes anymore. Iron makes a huge difference lol

    • Shelleycon says:

      Ditto!!! True to my experience too

    • Terri says:

      Everytime I meet a vegetarian, they have something to say about my food choices. I never comment of peoples food, never. Vegetarians are militant, every time I have met them.

      • bluhare says:

        Too bad you’ve never met me. I could be your first non-militant vegetarian. You might not even know I am; I keep it pretty low key.

      • erica says:

        but really we’re a dime a dozen…. how come I never ever meet any militant angry fanatical vegetarians or vegans in real life (other than those posting anonymously on the internet)? You’re probably met a lot more than you realize, as most of them don’t waver their vegetarianism like a flag or wear it on their chests like a medal.

    • Bread and Circuses says:

      Eh, I have met vegetarians who hassle meat-eaters, but I have met many, many more meat-eaters that hassle vegetarians. (I eat meat, by the way, but I don’t give people grief about their choices.)

      I don’t know whether it’s the natural imbalance of numbers (more meat-eaters than vegetarians), but I’d agree with Kristin; it’s more often the meat-eaters being jerks about a perfectly valid choice.

      And everyone: India has had generations and generations of healthy vegetarians. You can stop asking vegetarians whether it’s safe to raise their kids that way. Of course it is.

    • Carmen says:

      The vegans are the absolute worst. I refuse to be guilt-tripped every time I chow down on a cheeseburger (which is seldom). Actually, I am sick and tired of the food police with their perpetual “eat this, not that”. I am only going to be on this earth once and I will eat what I damn well want.

    • Kath says:

      Sorry, I have been a vegetarian for over 25 years. I NEVER volunteer this information. Most people I work with have no idea. And yet when it is time to have a ‘work lunch’ for someone’s farewell etc., I get hammered with questions, judgments, eye-rolling and insults. I’m bloody fed up with it. The fact that I am a vegie is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS and I am sick and tired of it being OK for relative strangers to publicly criticise my choices.

      This idea that every vegetarian is a judge-y militant is a crock. It is the other way around.

      • essie says:

        “This idea that every vegetarian is a judge-y militant is a crock. It is the other way around.”

        For someone who is pretty upset about being labelled with all other vegetarians as a “judge-y militant”, you sure are quick to do the same thing to the entire group of meat eaters.

  2. Janetdr says:

    I am a vegetarian and there is nothing I dislike more than people wanting me to explain my philosophy over a meal. I am making the best choices that I can manage to be consistent with my beliefs, and I am not sitting in judgment of others. But everyone assumes that I am.

    • k37744 says:

      Agreed! I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years and the push to try to ‘trick’ or ‘debate’ me into eating meat is f’ing exhausting.

      When asked why I’m a vegetarian (because there is a 100% chance that they’ll ask!) I tell them when I was 14 I would’ve gotten up on my soapbox and talked their ear off to explain my chick, but now I just don’t eat meat BECAUSE I DONT.

      Go roll in some bacon and get off my back, sugar lips. *smiles sweetly*

      • k37744 says:

        chick = choice

        Although I AM a chick and I’ve made my choice. ;)

      • Hazel says:

        I’ve been veggie since age 14, too, and I’ve shortened the explanation (because I am ALWAYS asked) to “because I don’t want to eat dead things.” Now, I’m just going to use your “because I don’t.” I don’t owe anyone an explanation.

  3. freebunny says:

    Cause vegetarians and worse vegans, never guilt-trip meat eaters??????
    Sure.

    • Nicole says:

      I have never in my life judged someone on the food they choose to eat, but I can name 3 people right now that blasted me for eating meat. No, wait 4. So I think It may be pretty even for all of us.

      • Bread and Circuses says:

        But just about every time I’ve had a communal meal where a vegetarian was present, even if that person said nothing about their choice, I’ve seen meat-eaters probing them about whether their choice is okay.

        Yes, there are zealot vegetarians who are jerks about it, but all the other vegetarians who aren’t jerks? They seem to get a constant, low-grade harassment.

  4. paolanqar says:

    Uhm. We have very differents ‘friends’ then.
    The few times i had a meal with someone who is vegetarian, or worse, vegan, the WHOLE table conversation revolved around food.
    As if vegans or vegetarians need to explain why they do it as though they need to feel accepted and their reasoning to be welcome and be of example to others.
    Eat what you want but please let me eat what I want.

  5. Original T.C. says:

    Oh boy, food fight in 1, 2, 3….

    My 2cents is that I respect my vegetarian friend’s diet choices but they do not respect mine with their frowns and attempts to “convert me”. My individual body’s holistic and weight happiness is as a carnivore and I do understand for most others it is as a vegetarian. Live and let live :)

    • poiuy says:

      >Live and let live

      Except when it’s an animal, then slit their throat and cut them into pieces?

      • spidey says:

        I wonder how many ethical vegetarians have leather shoes, leather bags and leather coats?

      • paolanqar says:

        And eat marshmallows-

      • raptor says:

        Spidey, depending on the person’s reasons for being vegetarian or vegan, wearing leather isn’t necessarily hypocritical. I have vegan friends who wear leather, and it’s not hypocritical because they’re vegan for health reasons, not because of animal rights issues.

      • poiuy says:

        @spidey

        Plenty of them, because vegetarians are fine with animal abuse in most forms, except for meat. I used to be one and still bought wool, animal-tested cosmetics etc. Dairy is an absolutely vile industry that torments animals even more than the meat one. It runs on rape and forceful impregnation of cows followed by stealing their babies and hooking them up to machines to suck them dry in order to get the milk for cheeeeese, chocolate and milk that would normally go to their babies… over and over again. A dairy cow’s life is a life of never-ending grief and torture.

        Not many vegans though, unless the shoes were bought before they went vegan in which case the damage is done and the animal who was skinned to make them will not rise from the dead if you throw the shoes away. Btw, fake leather is so well made these days that you’ve probably seen people wear it and assumed it was real.

      • Jenn says:

        What about ethical vegetarians and vegans with cell phones and laptops…. Which are directly linked to child labor, rape, etc

        We are all hypocrites :(

      • Nicole says:

        @ Jenn

        Thank YOU!

      • Original T.C. says:

        Thanks @POIUY for proving my point, LOL:)

        I spent the first half of my life on a farm seeing the entire animal life cycle as well as being there when each animal was killed without cruelty. I have no issues with killing animals for food nor will I be shocked or feel guilty by any AMAZING “murder” terms you come up with for carnivores. Bring it on!

        I listened to my friends in the past convincing me vegetarianism is the “natural” and “healthier” choice. After gaining 20 pounds, feeling moody and depressed, and ALWAYS hungry, ALWAYS thinking of food, I finally quit and have never looked back. I treated myself to a huge lemon baked salmon and shrimp fried rice the day I quit. Tasted like heaven :)

        I find that a lot of people with your POV never have actually spent a significant about of time with farm animals nor involved in taking care of their everyday needs. But I’m 100% sure you still live in the original 13 Colonies; not on any land that was gained from slaughtering Native Peoples or wild animals’ and encroaching on their natural habitats.

      • Wren says:

        Yup! You stun them first so they don’t feel anything.

        You know there’s research out there indicating that plants do indeed feel pain. Not in the way animals do of course but that doesn’t necessarily make it any less stressful on the living organism to have bits of itself harvested or to outright die for our consumption. Food for thought.

      • mayamae says:

        Wren and Original T.C., you’re describing family farms that treat their animals humanely because it creates better product. The majority of the meat in the U.S. comes from factory farming, where there is no time or interest in treating animals humanely. All you need to do is spend a few minutes watching what happens in a factory farm to realize what I’m talking about. Stunning can be very ineffective. And even after their throats are slit, they’re often fully conscious as the butchering begins. Eat meat 24/7 if you want, just be aware of where it comes from.

        A good documentary is called Death on a Factory Farm, which is a 2009 doc I first watched on HBO.

      • Wren says:

        I’m highly aware of what goes on in factory farms. I’ve studied and worked on them. That is why I don’t spend my money supporting them. It’s simply an unsustainable model no matter how you look at it. So are vast monoculture crops, for that matter. We eat local, humanely raised meat less frequently (because it costs more) in my house. I raise my own chickens. As much as possible I vote with my dollar and I’m far from alone.

        There are still problems in our slaughterhouses but we’ve come a very long way from what it was. Stunning is incredibly effective if done properly. The problem often isn’t the method but the line speed. People in a rush don’t always do it right. Read about the work Temple Granden has done to decrease animal stress at slaughter time and to evaluate slaughterhouses on how well they conform to objective standards. Large companies like McD’s require all their meat to come from slaughterhouses that meet certain standards, and those standards are very high. Is it perfect? No. Is it improving because, contrary to popular belief, many of us in the industry really do care about animal wellbeing? Yes.

      • erica says:

        How easy it for someone whose own personal choices are not even under attack to become defensive and then seek salvation in whatever argument supports their bias? I’ve seen it on both ends. I will say, I’ve never ever seen a militant vegetarian. Ever. Vegans (of which I am one) — yes, I’ve seen some militant vegans. but so far only online.

        However I think the big issue here is that because of these experiences, we may all be making assumptions about being judged by the “other side” more often than is truly the case. If we’re braced for attack chances are good even the most benign comments are going to seem like an attack.

  6. Norahb says:

    I’ve dated two vegetarians. The first never said anything about any meat dishes I ate and never passed judgement. The second anytime I ate a meat/chicken dish: “oh, how does your cruelty taste?”

    Needless to say I dated Veg #1 a lot longer than Veg #2.

    • spidey says:

      No2 would have lasted one meal at most with me!

    • teehee says:

      Ive dated one vegan, who criticised my holiday meals. He was ditched. I am now with a vegetarian, but who takess me out to eat burgers, pizza, and any amount of steak I desire. He doesnt do it as an ethical choice but as a matter of taste. To him, meat just doesnt taste as good. So he is not on a high horse about it.

      Vegetarians need to realize, they are NOT saving the world, they are NOT saving any animals, they are NOT undoing mankinds evils with their choices. The slaughter goes on. If they dont like it then they should not look at our plates.

      • vego says:

        fact one vegan saved:
        1,100 gallons of water
        one animals life
        30 SQ FT of forested land
        45 pounds of grain
        thats just one vegan person on one day.

      • mayamae says:

        @teehee, it’s about minimizing the suffering. And simple supply and demand dictates that the less meat eaten will cause less meat supplied. There’s also the argument that the food required to feed farm animals could be fed to humans instead, and end world hunger. But you won’t find me telling meat eaters that they’re responsible for people starving to death.

  7. TeamAwesome says:

    On days that I eat I lunch with my coworkers, more often than not something is said about my food. Sometimes it is confusion (spaghetti squash, what’s that?!?) but usually it is something along the lines of a “is that enough protein” with a furrowed brow of concern.

    The amount of judging from me is usually directed at my husband, who would eat only meat and potatoes given the choice, with regards to his cholesterol etc.

    • G says:

      I don’t know. I’m friends with vegetarians and most of them don’t really care, nor do I care.
      I have met a few preachy people, but it’s the minority. Most of the super preachy people were vegans. I just ignored it. Meat eaters can be super pushy about food so it’s par for the course.
      I eat meat but I am trying to cut back my meat consumption for sustainability reasons. I couldn’t go veg because I love meat too much, but having at least a third of meals be meatless certainly doesn’t hurt me.

  8. Jess1632 says:

    Most of my friends and myself included are vegetarian and I find when I eat w friends who eat meat immediately become fulled w envy. Mock meats just don’t taste the same, but eating meat doesnt align w my beliefs so it’s like a rock in a hard place. However when I see those meat eating friends the conversation is not about our dietary preferences…sounds like disappointing dinner convo

  9. ShinyGrenade says:

    I really respect everyone choice of food. I would like the same.
    I spend an atrocious evening with a friend and her husband. The husband was a philosophy teacher, and a vegan. She was not (she is lovely). But the dude spend the evening saying people that eat meat are monsters, that meat was wrong, that I had to give up meat, if not I was an awful person, that he would send me papers and yatiyada. I look at my watch, “Oh, need to go home, puppy needs to go out, bye”.

    Same with knitters. Some vegan knitter says it’s wrong to knit with wool. Sheeps need to be shear. It’s the more natural thing you can have. A fiber like bamboo? Lot of chemical and pollution to turn that into fibers.

    There are some meat-lovers that are arseholes to vegan, but damn, they are arseholes vegans with a holier than you attitude too.

    • poiuy says:

      >Some vegan knitter says it’s wrong to knit with wool. Sheeps need to be shear. It’s the more natural thing you can have.

      Look up mulesing.

      • ShinyGrenade says:

        And that practice is illegal/condemn in a lot of place.
        It’s not done here in Canada. So yeah, I buy canadian wool, from canadian sheeps, made in Canada, in a mill that just celebrate its 105 anniversary.

        Buying local is also a way to help the environment.

      • poiuy says:

        >And that practice is illegal/condemn in a lot of place.

        So is beating farmed animals and yet, as Gary Yourofsky says, every time we go to a farm someone’s beating the animals…. not to mention all the undercover videos. An industry that runs on using animals will never, ever have their best interest in heart because they’re not important, what’s important is the amount of money they can squeeze out of them before they’re used to the point they need to be thrown out. And where do you think a sick (not gonna say old because farmed animals get to grow old) goes? A green pasture to live out the rest of their days? Nope – a slaughterhouse.

      • Wren says:

        Those videos are often taken out of context and heavily edited. Yes, some do show horrific abuse and that is wrong and terrible. Those operations should be exposed. But many times things happen in ag that look pretty bad but are in fact not. Ever dealt with a down cow? They weigh about 1500 lbs. It ain’t pretty getting them up but the alternative is quite literally to let them die a slow death. I’ve seen several supposedly animal cruelty videos where it was obvious that the people were actually trying to save the animal but only the worst looking bits were shown. Anyway, I know I won’t change your mind, but this is just fyi for anyone else reading.

        Factory farming is the devil I agree, but if you ever care to go with an open mind to a farm where the animals are not mere production units you will see a much different scene. Many of us love animals, love our animals, and give them the best lives possible. We sacrifice a lot for their comfort and health. That they are slaughtered as humanely as possible does not negate that.

      • ichsi says:

        @Wren Right?
        I saw one of those videos once and they tried to pass the artificial insemination process off as cruelty. A: Have those people ever seen a bull have a go at a cow? B: My relatives have a milk farm I spent a lot of time at as a child and teenager and I’ve seen this done many times. In 98% the cows didn’t even move. They didn’t mind, just stood there and munched on. So yeah, I do have a huge problem with the meat industry, it’s insane on many levels and there has to be changed something, but I don’t think propaganda videos with wrong info spread on the internet are the way to go.

  10. Ninks says:

    As with most things, it depends on the individual. Some vegetarians are really evangelical about vegetarianism, and some meat eaters are really defensive about being meat eaters. Eat and let eat.

    It really does annoy me when meat eaters criticise vegans/vegetarians for not letting their kids eat meat. Any vegetarian I know has a really healthy diet and are very conscious of the foods they eat because they have to check the labels of everything. They’re also pretty disciplined about it. Suggesting their kids won’t get enough nutrients is just another form of mommy-shaming. I think Italy is planning to pass laws forbidding vegetarian diets for children, but no corresponding law to prevent young children eating fast food/ high sugar diets/overly processed foods. I find that really bizarre actually.

  11. teehee says:

    UHHHMMMMMMMMMMM no– and if we do, its sarcasm / returning the favor ONLY.

    I swear, being a vegetarian messes with your brain, apparently. Can’t tell truth from fiction…… talk nonsense ….

  12. grabbyhands says:

    Unfortunately in my experience it has been the other way around. I’ve lost track of the number of times someone has informed me in a passive aggressive way, why eating meat is wrong. I DO believe that people who feel the need to get in people’s faces about their vegan is/vegetarianism probably aren’t doing it for health or ethical reasons. Some people just like to be self righteous dicks.

    And there are some meat eaters who feel threatened by the very idea that you WOULDN’T eat meat and act like jerks too. There are jerks on both sides of the issue.

    People just need to mind their own frigging business either way.

    • I Choose Me says:

      With you all the way. Both sides have preachy a-holes who need to get bent. Let people make their own choices but what to eat or not eat.

    • Wren says:

      Yup. It blows me away that people apparently have so little to worry about in their own lives that they need to criticize mine. Just eat your damn food and be quiet. Everyone. I have a “weird” not typically western diet, but I don’t bother other people with it unless they expressly ask. I don’t even say things like, “oh I don’t eat that”, I make my food choices silently, and still people feel the need to grill me about it. Donuts in the breakroom was a huge thing at my old job. I don’t eat donuts, and instead of saying so simply didn’t eat the donuts, and the number of times I was frankly peer pressured and jeered about it was ridiculous. I didn’t care if anyone else ate them or not, why was it so important that I ate them or not?

  13. lucy2 says:

    I really like her new show, it’s quirky and creative. I just listened to a long podcast interview with her, she seems like a good soul.

    • Little Darling says:

      @Lucy2 I scrolled past the comments to say the same thing! I saw her show this weekend and I found it to be absolutely delightful and so much funnier than I anticipated. I actually laughed out loud quite a few times!!

  14. VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

    I think people will mostly always have something to say about your or your kid’s diet–if they think it is unhealthy. My mom constantly bitches to my older sister about what she feeds her kids because it is all processed garbage that came out of a box. All of my cousins who have kids–their kids don’t want to eat anything that isn’t macaroni and cheese or Hamburger helper (which is GROSS)……….their diets are terrible.

  15. Neha says:

    If anyone takes a look at what happens to animals in these slaughtererhouses and dairy farms, it is very hard not to feel angry and disappointed in people who don’t feel any guilt when they eat meat and even dairy/eggs. I just think you have to shut off a bit of your humanity to ignore the evil that takes place there. Not to mention, the destruction the meat and dairy industry are doing to our environment and the fact that we could solve world hungry if they didn’t exist.

    • Nicole says:

      An HBO doc a long time ago had a guy go to a farm and a guy raped a chicken with an ink pen, I turned vegan from that, but due to health, I have to be a carnivore.

    • Mae says:

      You can buy from ethical farms these days though. Why should the answer to unethical livestock practices be veganism, when we can use more ethical and sustainable farming practices instead?
      Currently, one of the strategies for eradicating malnourishment in developing countries is by increasing animal product intake; you can’t solve world hunger with veganism when many people don’t survive on a low animal product diet. Kristen, being a rich lady from the Western world, can obviously buy supplements and fortified foods to make up for the foods she’s eliminated.

      I feel like the whole vegetarian vs. meat eating thing is a red herring, anyway. People eat crap-in-a-box instead of whole foods. That’s the real issue. Scientists at a recent microbiome conference presented on the impact of emulsifiers (prevalent in processed foods) causing damage to gut lining, and thus decreasing nutrient absorption. Mental illness has been extensively connected to a poor diet, people are obese and yet malnourished at the same time . . and we are arguing animals vs. no animals in the diet. The mind boggles. See a professional, people. Get your bloodwork done to see whether your diet actually meets your nutrient needs. Change your diet or supplement where you are lacking. Don’t eat junk. Use pubmed and the blogs of nutritional scientists to educate yourself on what a healthy and sustainable diet is in your individual case. Explore your food heritage. And cut out those emulsifiers, seriously.

      • Wren says:

        Yes! Couldn’t agree more. Slaughter will always involve blood and death and some people will never be okay with that. But we have come a long way in humane practices and more regulations are being passed every day to minimize animal stress. We have room for improvement of course, and I want to see that continue.

        I totally agree that the solution is not simply not eating meat. If you choose not to that’s fine, I don’t particularly care, but don’t tell me I shouldn’t. I try to source my animal products carefully because I believe that small scale sustainable agriculture is the solution. Confinement operations are simply unsustainable, both ethically and economically. But so is monoculture cropland that produces the precious vegan foodstuffs. It’s not what we eat, it’s how it was grown that we need to be up in arms about.

      • mayamae says:

        Eating organic meat from an ethical farm is a nice option – for those with the money and the access.

      • Wren says:

        I live in a rural area so I have access to local meat and dairy, a privilege I’ll admit. I also have room to keep chickens, another privilege for which I’m very grateful. We spend more on well sourced meat and eat it less often. Certainly not every day. We also eat a lot of veggie soup, beans, rice, and potatoes because they’re very cheap. I try to cook from scratch as much as possible and use whole food ingredients. I did same when we had a lot less money to spend as well because this is not only something I truly believe in, I feel much better overall eating this way. Poor health costs money too and I’d rather spend it on delicious food.

      • Mae says:

        @mayamae: The point was that the system needs to be changed. If people’s argument for vegetarianism is unethical farms, the answer is changing the farms, not encouraging vegetarianism (which ignores people’s genetics, tastes, individual health needs, etc). Less income inequality and better farming practices on a wider scale are needed.

    • Lindsay says:

      The current cause of world hunger isn’t lack of food and it is even questionable that 50 years from now and the population over nine billion that simply reducing or stopping meat production will solve the crisis. Until income inequality is addressed on a global scale not eating meat isn’t making a big enough impact on cruelty for it to become a moral imperative. You have to turn off a bit of your humanity to ignore that seven year olds are risking their life to mine cobalt for your smart phone or that the people who make them work in factories with conditions that are so bad they have to have suicide nets. You can choose not to eat meat that’s fine but don’t pretend meat eaters are the ones causing global suffering. It’s the way the whole system is set up on exploitation.

      Causes of World Hunger
      1. Poverty/The Cycle of Poverty Due to Malnutrition
      2. Lack of Agriculture Infrastructure in Developing Nations
      3. Climate and Weather
      4. War and Displacement
      5. Unstable Markets
      6. Food Wastage

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/28/vegetarian-food-security-hunger
      https://www.wfp.org/hunger/causes

  16. Kate says:

    I completely agree with her. I’m a vegan. Literally the only time I tell people is when they suggest a restaurant where I know there’ll be absolutely nothing I can eat (thankfully getting more rare these last 5 years) or when they notice I don’t eat meat and demand answers. I never comment on what anyone else is eating. When pushed on why I don’t eat meat I’ll say it’s for ethical reasons, then try very hard to change the subject.

    Still, people get so weird when they find out you don’t eat meat. At best you get stupid questions (yes, vegans don’t even eat chicken. Or pork. Or fish.) and an annoying amount of interest in what you’re eating (it’s salad. Don’t act like you’ve never seen salad before). At worst you end up in a one sided fight with someone where they throw every pro-meat argument they can think of at you while getting more and more worked up, and you nod and keep repeating that you really don’t care what they eat.

    I’ve had people tell me I’ll die on this diet, people tell me I’m using it to hide an eating disorder (I’m overweight, which would probably be enough), people tell me I’m starving my (non-existent) kids, people tell me I won’t be able to do my job because don’t you know energy only comes from meat. If I get a cold it’s because I’m vegan. If I get a headache it’s because I’m vegan. My co-workers are constantly pulling out the ‘how do you know if someone’s a vegan? They’ll tell you’ line with me, but I didn’t tell them. They noticed I didn’t eat meat and relentlessly badgered me for answers. I still have no freakin clue what they eat, because who notices or cares about that?

    Vegan and vegetarian activists are loud, just like people farming or lobbying for animal products are loud.

  17. Micki says:

    My experience is exactly reverse. I had a lot of table talk about not eating meat and all the positive effects…
    We eat meat following a very conservative plan: twice a week 150-200g per person.
    The four of us barely reach the slaughterweight of ONE calf for the WHOLE year.
    And then there are the 3 months fasten around Christmass and Easter.
    So, yes I can live and even sleep well with the cruelty I inflict, thankyouverymuch.
    Enjoy your supplements in peace.

    • Zip says:

      Vegans only need to supplement B12. Have you ever wondered who has been buying all of the multivitamins and mineral supplements? It’s certainly not only vegetarians or vegans. The industry could not survive on those few people, let alone making billions of dollars in profit. Maybe you need to rethink and come up with better insults. This just makes you look bad and lets me add a checkmark to my BS bingo card, thankyouverymuch.

      That being said, as a vegan, I applaud anyone who only eats meat or any other animals products only one or twice a week. It’s clear that not everyone will go vegetarian so a overall reduction of consuming this stuff is the only way…and even that is quite unlikely.

      • Micki says:

        @:Zip:Multivitamins and supplements are being bought by virtually everybody.
        I see 2 reasons: Processed food is with high calory density but( unless enriched additionally ) often is void of the aforementioned.
        Second- it is true that the industry suggest that one simply NEEDS lots of pills.
        Of course they don’t say you don’t utilize these substances so fully as if it was fruit and veg. But I see it as my personal responsibility to check and double check and decide for myself. I’ve never given my children Vit.D. Not even as babies.
        However what I see is my vegetarian and vegan acquaitances taking a lot more than just B12. Because” Your Body is Your Temple” they take the whole array of Dr. Schusler salts, microelements like Zink and Selen and then of course afterwards all pills that enhance your (whatever) performance like L-carnitin for example.

        What vegan really need and what they actually take are two different things.
        I’m sorry if you see my post as offence but I stay to my words and if that checks your BS card- so be it.

      • Mae says:

        The supplementation situation for a vegan can be a bit more complex than that. Vitamin D, vitamin K2, EPA, DHA (omega-3s), zinc, iron, l-carnitine . . all may need to be supplemented. Depends on each individual’s nutrient needs, which they should get assessed with appropriate testing.

        I am an omnivore who has to buy supplements, because I was raised on a low red meat diet which did not meet my needs for iron and zinc. This contributed to problems with my gut lining, which resulted in reduced absorption of nutrients. This could have probably been avoided by having my zinc and iron needs met as a kid, but red meat is bad bad dontchaknow? Except of course, when it provides the levels of iron and zinc that many people need to function. My BS bingo card contains a spot for not acknowledging the effects of nutrigenetics and individual health circumstances.

      • Micki says:

        @Mae: I agree that a supplementation plan can be a lot more comlicated as my example. People that take great care what they eat do take care to take palms full of pills. I don’t know one omnivore that spends half the time looking for possible deficiencies due to his eating habits. I have no problem cooking vegetarian meals for friends. It’s even easier during fasting. My dificulty comes from having to explain why I’m not a vegan when I eat as one (at that time).

        And I agree that there are individual health circumstances and also a suitable diet for every one.
        To insist that only meat or vegan food provides health is the same as saying that only size 5 is a healthy shoe size.

    • qw says:

      If you buy organic and don’t wash your fruit and veggies, you don’t need b12. It’s in the bacteria that lives in the ground and there are people with good b12 levels who have been vegan for years. As for vit. d, good luck getting enough from your diet. Every meat-eater I’ve recommended vit. d tests to turned out to be seriously deficient.

      Good luck with cholesterol and blood pressure pills, by the way. It’s not vegans buying them by the millions each year.

      • Micki says:

        Thanks for the good luck wishes qw. I don’t indeed take any pills. I get checked every 2 years and so far I have never needed blood pressure pills or cholesterol ones or…..(fill the gap).
        The only pills I buy are headache pills. I’ve heard vegans get those too by the way.

      • Mae says:

        No qw, people should get their B12 levels tested and supplement accordingly. No wishful thinking. You can get enough Vitamin D if you eat a lot of cold-water fish, and go out in the sun, as long as you don’t live too far north. Canada goes through a Vitamin D winter.

        Cholesterol and blood pressure issues are part of the metabolic syndrome, which is a complex health issue involving blood sugar regulation problems and poor thyroid signaling. It has a lot to do with overeating refined carbohydrates though, which can happen in both vegans and omnivores. Implying that meat eating causes these issues is just plain uninformed. Many people gone off their meds after adhering to a Paleo diet after all lol.

  18. Zan says:

    I have been a vegetarian my whole adult life, married an omnivore and we’ve had kids. One kid eats meat, the other never has. Now my spouse is vegetarian, too. I don’t force my choices on anyone, but will explain the many reasons why I am happy to be veg if (more like when) I’m asked.
    The judgement, and insulting, of vegetarian parents is real, while usually disguised as concern for the health of our children. But as the years have passed, it bothers me less and less. I know my kids –omnivore and vegetarian alike–are getting a healthy, balanced diet and that is what matters, not what other people may think.

  19. I Choose Me says:

    Not wading into the comment thread as yet. I haven’t even read the article. I just cackled and scrolled down to post. Roh-oh. Commenters are about to go off. Kristen done stepped in it now.

    • Kitten says:

      This thread is a mess.
      I have the outmost respect for vegetarians and vegans, but I do enjoy an organic grass-fed steak from time to time.
      Sue me.

      *shrugs*

    • Little Darling says:

      Yeah me too. I scrolled and scrolled, saw a comment about her tv show, commented how much I loved it too and then quietly retreated with my bone broth in hand because I feel a cold coming on.

  20. Zuzus Girl says:

    I have been a vegetarian 45 years, way before there were any choices at the grocery store. I married a meat eater. Not once have I never said anything to a meat eater about what they are eating. I honestly don’t care, that’s their choice. On the flip side, I have been grilled, cajoled and outright teased and bullied by meat eaters to 45 years, repeatedly asked to defend my choices. I’m 60 years old and on a recent working vacation where we were with the same team every meal, I had one guy who would not let it go that I wans’t eating a ‘normal’ diet. Every single damn meal I had to defend my choice (or in my case tell hime to back the eff off,) and put up with his awful jokes. Jokes I’ve heard a thousand times.

    On the flip side I will say that I do have some recent vegan friends, much younger, who are very militant about attacking meat eaters so the tuth is, it happens in both directions.

    On a side note- love her!

  21. QQ says:

    Fabulous Comment thread! LOOLOLOLOLOLO Great Job not Coming off Unhinged Everyone LOLOLOL!!!!

    • Marty says:

      Seriously. What the hell is happening in this thread?! Does PETA have Google alert or something?

      • Little Darling says:

        My FIRST thought too! I had NO idea we had so many posters who felt so strongly about vegan issues.

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      Bahahaha. This QQ!

    • Wren33 says:

      It kind of reminds me of internet comment threads about having kids/not having kids. Everyone has had someone be an asshole to them about their choice online before, and they come ready to fight, fling insults, and the cycle continues!

      • D says:

        But that’s why the comment section can be interesting , if we all had the same opinion about everything the comments would be pretty boring to read. Have you seen Monty Python’s The Flying Circus – Argument Clinic? (it’s on youtube). Sometimes arguing can be fun :)

    • mayamae says:

      The frightening part is this site is filled with what I consider intelligent, well-read, well-travelled people from all over the world. But this topic devolves into nasty quickly. And it’s amazing how many people have known rabid militant vegans, when I’ve never met one. And I’m a twenty year vegetarian.

  22. Adrien says:

    Years ago, I think our eating choices weren’t an issue. I mean we all know some Buddhists and never really gotten into food fights with them. I blame everything on PETA and their aggressive campaigns.

  23. Tobbs says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go fully vegetarian, I love meat too much for that. However I try to reduce meat in my diet both for health reasons as well as environmental and ethical reasons. I have no judgement for those who do though.

    I have a problem with both the meat eaters and the vegans when they get too extreme. No, you don’t have to eat meat to survive. No, it’s not true that humans digestive system hasn’t evolved since the stone age and therefore we cannot eat anything other than raw food. Yes, it is perfectly possible to make nutritious and tasty vegan food. No, it does not always taste better or the same as meat. No, animals and humans are not the same, allthough all life has value. No, it is not evil to kill another animal for food, that’s the circle of life and one of the most natural things in our ecosystem. Yes, it is cruel to subject animals to inhumane living condtions. Yes, it is wrong to mass manufacture animals for slaughter without giving them quality of life. No, it is not cruel to shear a sheep. Today’s sheep does not shed their wool naturally and it will cause them great discomfort if they are not sheared.

    I’ve even heard of people putting their cats on “vegan” diets, completly ignoring their dietary needs for a high amount of meat. Cats are not omnivores like us, they cannot process greens the same way and get their nutrients from a vegan diet. That is also animal cruelty.

    • Nicole says:

      My favorite is when some comments say when you are ‘biting into someone’s leg’. Look, I love animals and have been heartbroken by farms and slaughterhouses, but an animal is a ‘something’, not a ‘someone’. Even though on that HBO doc where that guy raped a chicken with an ink pen was horrific.

      • mayamae says:

        I’ve never used that expression, but I admit to being turned off by the seafood commercials of crab legs being cracked over and over. I can’t help but realize they were some creatures’ legs. It’s not something I say out loud to people, but it’s a thought I can’t seem to stop.

        And raping chickens is only a part of it. There was a mini-scandal when video was obtained from a Perdue slaughter house. The workers are driven so hard they take their anger and frustration out on the chickens. They frequently stomped them to death, and flung them repeatedly up against the wall. This wasn’t to accomplish the result of death, but to work out their stress.

      • Nicole says:

        Ugh, well Tyson is off my list. There goes Perdue. Thank you for that info. And it was not you who said that comment. You are a tactful and polite poster.

  24. Zip says:

    I agree with Kristen. Being a vegetarian for 17 years, the last 8 of them vegan, it was always the omnivores who started a “discussion”. I never brought it up myself simply because I was sick of their “arguments” and assumptions. It’s funny how someone’s perception of me can go from “you’re looking super healthy” to “you are going to die really soon!!!” within a few seconds.
    However, I agree that there are some really annoying vegans and vegetarians, too. And guess what, they are a minority. They are just loud and get stuck in your head because they feed peoples prejudices. I’m really sick of those people, too.

  25. Lily says:

    Kristen is right. I’m a vegetarian and let me tell you that meat eaters DO care about what I put in my plate or rather about what I don’t put on it. The fact that I refuse to eat animal flesh seems to endlesslly bother them and they are always trying to convince me I’m wrong. It’s really exhausting.

  26. Irene says:

    I have never, ever volunteered the information that I’m a vegetarian to anyone except my parents, and all I ever told them was ‘I don’t eat meat anymore’. NBD. And yet, nearly every time I sit down for a meal with a meat eater, I end up being grilled and ridiculed when they realize I’m not eating meat. I’ve been mocked, insulted, and several times, have had meat waved in my face. I’ve never met a vegetarian or vegan who has done more than say ‘I don’t eat that’, but I’ve dealt with literally dozens of meat eaters who take my vegetarianism as some kind of personal insult and/or challenge. So yeah, Kristen is right.

    • Tobbs says:

      While I believe your experience with abrasive meateaters I find it quite odd that you would says that you never met a vegetarian who says anything more than I don’t eat that when this thread is filled with people equating eating meat with murder. One cannot base the thruth solely on one’s own experience. I find that people can be rude on both sides unfortunatly.

      • mayamae says:

        I think there are only a few people aggressively discussing the evils of eating meat. Whereas there are many meat eaters mocking the veggies. In fact, one prolific poster called us brain damaged or brain dead, not sure which one, but she found herself amusing.

      • Sasha says:

        “I think there are only a few people aggressively discussing the evils of eating meat. ”

        It is probably because omnivores significantly outnumber vegetarians.

  27. Algernon says:

    The only time I’ve ever cared about someone being vegetarian was when my brother brought home a girlfriend without telling us beforehand she was vegetarian. My mom had made a chicken dinner and was mortified when the gf refused to eat. I didn’t care that the gf didn’t want the chicken, but I did care that she was rude to my mom and instead of just sitting down and eating the sides, she sat in the living room and left the rest of us to have one of the most uncomfortable meals I’ve ever had. She was a total pill and terribly rude and hurt my mother’s feelings, even after my mom offered to pick up a salad from a local restaurant known for hearty, family-style salads. My mom was 100% happy to pack up our dinner and save it for another night to accommodate the gf, but she was a total brat. And that is *her* and not all vegetarians, which is why I still don’t like *her* but don’t really care about vegetarians.

  28. Sasha says:

    Is it even possible to be a vegetarian in a cold climate? I can see how it works for Indians – it is warm and they have a lot of vegetables all year round.
    But when it is cold the body needs something dense in calories to sustain itself and it usually means fat and protein, such as animal based or diary based. And it is cold 9 months of the year, which also means there aren’t many fresh fruits or vegetables for the majority of the year.

    I tried being a vegetarian but I was craving protein so bad just after 3 days, and tofu wasn’t doing it for me. I decided that my genetic make up is just not suited for being a vegetarian. I am lucky to have the “dairy processing” gene which Northern Europeans have. Maybe there is a “vegetarian” gene? ))

    • Neha says:

      You’re kidding, right? Of course it is. You can easily get as much protein as a meat-eater (beans, lentils, Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds, tofu, dairy, whole grains, protein powder, meat substitute, quinoa). Although that doesn’t have anything to do with the cold…

      • Colleen says:

        Not to mention, our bodies will create protein with the sufficient enzymes necessary to do so… enzymes that come from… greens and vegetables! Just like the massively strong primates who also subsist on a vegetarian diet. I’m no longer a full time vegetarian, but this was the most exhausting point to contend with curious spectators on a daily basis.

        I agree with most of the posters who say that what an individual eats is their own personal business.

      • Sasha says:

        I am not kidding. It was my personal experience. Tofu and beans weren’t enough for me. I am convinced that through natural selection my body is not as good at nutrients out of vegetables.
        We are major consumers of diary, in all forms, while a lot of people can’t handle diary at all. I grew up drinking a liter of milk every day well into my teens, which was great because in USSR you were lucky to see fruit or anything green 2 months out of a year.

      • Mae says:

        Meat isn’t just a protein source. It has micronutrients not available in plants or found in plants in lower amounts. Plus, the amino acid composition of meat is different than plants. These things affect energy production and feelings of satiety, which is why some people will feel hungry on low/no meat diets.

        @Colleen: Our bodies make proteins out of amino acids, which we get from animal and plant sources. Animal protein is considered more high quality, because it more easily and completely meets our bodies’ needs for certain amino acids. Homo sapiens is omnivorous, doesn’t matter that some other primates are herbivores; many are actually also omnivorous, it’s irrelevant either way.

        Sasha, you experience is validated by the scientific literature. I’m Eastern European and I need my meat and milk or I also do not feel well. We’ve got genetic polymorphisms over here that require good sources of riboflavin, pre-formed retinol, and other micronutrients. Eating some veg and beans just doesn’t meet those needs.

    • Mae says:

      I had a similar experience. I’ve read a few nutrigenetics papers, and it’s along those lines. People who have lived on subsistence vegetarian diets for generations end up selecting for various genes in nutrient absorption and metabolism pathways which increase absorption and improve recycling, thus allowing them to live on diets with lower micronutrient levels. Which is why they do fine without nutrient-dense meat. And also why many non-heritage vegetarians may find themselves needing to supplement at some point.

      Many equatorial populations are actually major fish eaters, but get reported as having low meat intakes because fish sometimes isn’t classified with meats. So the media reports healthy fish eating populations as having low meat intake, and people buy into the plant vs meat thing due to the shoddy nutrition science reporting . . ugh. The retirement of this false dichotomy and the acknowledgment of individual genetic/health needs cannot come soon enough.

  29. Ageonmaui says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian since 2002ish. I dread having to eat with people I don’t know well because sometimes they’ll ask why I don’t order/take some meat. I then tell them that I’m a vegetarian. They will then go through a list of food/animals and ask me if I eat them. When I say no they’ll ask why not. I’ve had a variety of answers before but my new response is “because I’m a grown woman and it’s my choice.” I also add, “If you would like to know why some people are vegetarian/vegan, look it up online.” This has become my response because no one that has ever questioned me about my diet really cared about my health or my point of view, they just wanted to debate the validity of my choice. I often seem like a f***ing b*tch but all I want is to be left alone to eat my meal.

  30. PCruz says:

    Oh man, the vegetarian shitshow that no one really wanted.

    Me: a vegetarian for 20 years, for ethical reasons.

    I’m sure there are 1. Vegetarians/vegans who are self-righteous evangelists 2. Defensive meat eaters who feel they are being judged.

    Now personally I’ve encountered quite a few of #2 in my life and none of #1. Not saying that proves anything, just my personal experience. I believe #1 exist because I’ve heard of them, but I haven’t encountered them. I do often meet meat eaters who need me to justify my choice, but I’ve gotten good at changing the subject. I’m certainly not a #1 type of vegetarian and most meat eaters I know are understanding and accommodating. They often tell me that they’d like to try eating less meat.

    Other points:

    1. Factory farming is vile. If you can afford, you should look into ethically sourced meat. In fact I think this is better than preaching vegetarianism since it is unlikely that everyone will stop eating meat. It is much better to aim for ethically produced meat. I have a lot of respect for people who make the effort. Ditto on environmental impact: we owe it to our earth to reduce environmental damage.

    2. To those people saying what about leather, cellphones, etc. You are correct but this is a flawed argument. All humans are harming the earth in some way, unless you are completely off the grid. Sure it may be hypocritical to go off on ethics when you are also doing unethical acts, but does that mean no one should try to do anything good? You’re using a cellphone which is connected to child slave labour so you shouldn’t care about animal welfare either? I don’t think that is right. It’s only an issue if someone acts like they are living the most perfectly moral life. Hopefully those delusional people are rare.

    3. Relating to point 2. most people have issues close to their heart and other issues they don’t pay much attention to. We have to try harder, all of us. I try to not use cosmetics tested on animals, but I am not as careful as I could be. Someone once asked me about the lipstick I was wearing, after finding out I was vegetarian (I was certainly not preaching it or making any comment whatsoever on meat eating). Well I try to use cruelty free make up but sometimes the information is not clear. I’ll try to do better but of course I’m not living purely or whatever. Does that mean I should not even try? Of course not.
    The only way to avoid this “everyone is screwing up somewhere” thing is to just try as you can and consume less things in general, keep it simple, try not to be wasteful. What more can we really do eh?

    • Bridget says:

      People are trying their best – it’s just that as you said, everyone has different issues that are close to their hearts. If I can point out though, just look at this thread and you’ll see a lot of #1 vegetarians. On either side, no one likes feeling judged, and I think that’s important to remember. I wouldn’t dream of looking at what someone was eating and feeling comfortable pointing out what I thought was ethically right or wrong about it.

    • mayamae says:

      Thoughtful and well put. One of the animal charities I contribute to, I think AAVS, sends out a book every few years that clearly states which companies test on animals, use animal derived elements in their product, and a few other categories. They do the same with major charities, in case you care about that. For instance, Michael J. Fox’s charity tests on animals, but many other Parkinson’s charities do not. So everything is spelled out clearly.

  31. Christine says:

    I am a vegetarian and I have never once tried to shame or guilt a meat eater for their choice. Despite this I am constantly asked questions about my choice. I have had people tell me my dietary choices are unhealthy, weird and unsustainable. I hate debating about it so I usually try to change the topic. Why can’t we all just get alongggggggg.

    • Baltimom says:

      Ditto! I think when you’re a vegetarian, you hear more grief than an omnivore hears from a vegetarian. And some omnivores THINK someone is being high and mighty just by mentioning their dietary choice. Uh, vegetarians like to eat food too. Kind of a requirement for life ya know. I only mention being a vegetarian when there is an office party or when going out to eat. I want to eat more than just a salad or a baked potato.

    • mayamae says:

      Look upthread and read the post about plants having feelings, so vegetarians do just as much harm as meat eaters. That’s a new one to me.

      • Betsy says:

        No, that poster was fairly clear that a plant is not an animal analog, just as an animal is not a human analog, but there is increasing evidence that plants communicate, have “feelings,” commit war and a whole host of other things we didn’t know they were capable of.

  32. Linda says:

    Kristen is annoying and everything that she says is so judgemental in some form. In my area the opposite is true. PETA is always judging people who eat meat. I am a farmer who raises beef. A small family farm. A lot of Canadian beef is raised in this area on family farms. There is a lot of false information out there about how a lot of beef is raised and mostly by people who are stuck in their beliefs and that is their right. I do not judge how people eat and would appreciate if they didn’t judge how I eat and what I do as a farmer.

  33. The Original Mia says:

    What meat eater gives af that a vegan/vegetarian is missing meaty goodness? I really would like to know because I’m more of the “sucks to be you” as I munch on a beef burrito.

    • LolaBones says:

      Not every meat eater is annoying about it but some are quite defensive and jerks about my choice of diet. Fortunately, I havent encountered as many since I started a plant based diet which is quite surprising since Im from a very nosy, go out of their way, place.

  34. Jess says:

    I’ve seen it both ways, maybe in her experience she doesn’t try to guilt people for eating meat but a lot of vegetarians do! My sister is one of those annoying people, she’ll talk about how the cows are slaughtered while my daughter eats a steak, or how the babies don’t have milk from their mothers because we steal it all, which usually ends in my daughter crying her eyes out and me yelling at my sister….and I’m a pescatarian! It’s a personal choice though, Drives me insane, eat your food and stop being an ass.

  35. IndifferentCat says:

    Just remember, if humans didn’t eat meat then we wouldn’t have started to crave stone hand tools. If we didn’t eat meat then we wouldn’t have started to hunt, to learn to work as a team. If we didn’t eat meat then we wouldn’t have started farming and creating a standardised community around agriculture. If we didn’t eat meat, we’d still be living on all fours in the trees. Those facts were the basics in my archaeology degree. We may not ‘need’ meat to survive today, but we certainly needed it to become functional human beings.

    • Hazel says:

      Seems you missed the classes on gathering….

    • Jess says:

      It’s a natural part of life, some creatures eat meat and some don’t, just like humans. Life wouldn’t have evolved if animals didn’t each other, lol.

  36. CM says:

    In all my years of being a vegetarian any time I’d go out to eat with friends (and this happened a lot during my university years) I would always, and I mean always, get comments from their boyfriends and girlfriends, sometimes the moment they realised I was a vegetarian they would force entire conversations on the subject, I just went with it but it was exhausting because at some point the group was always the same, and the same people would do this every single time. I think I’ve heard every single vegetarian joke. This still happens to this day. I’ve come to terms that there will always be someone around making fun of what I eat, which makes me not eat that very much in front of other people. Honestly I just want to eat what I want in peace.

  37. HK9 says:

    One of the things I’ve been working on is to judge others less. (Yes I know I’m on a gossip site but we all need some fun now and again don’t we, and my fellow Celebitches do it like no other.) Let us choose what we need to sustain ourselves and leave the judgement out of it. Assuming things about people because of what they chose to eat is ridiculous.

  38. RL says:

    It is my opinion that veganism is on par with a belief or even a religious belief. As a preteen I was exposed to an entire vegan community when my mom went to school for midwifery. Some of the sweetest people I ever met and who meant well but by just looking at them you could see how unhealthy they were. Their skin tone was sallow and their hair was falling out, always low and energy and easily sick. A good vegan friend of my mothers actually died in childbirth because she hemorrhaged after the baby was born. In some cases eating red meat is paramount to the health of a woman during pregnancy and for a reason. Most people that practice the vegan lifestyle don’t want to hear that eating berries and nuts isn’t enough to sustain good health. As much as the thought of taking supplements and seriously limiting your food choices might seem to be the right and ethical choice, it doesn’t necessarily translate into real life and in my opinion takes a strong belief to even sustain that lifestyle. I understand the reasoning behind it though and even now although I eat meat, I try to make good choices of where I buy and what kind of meat I consume. But the fact is humankind does survive off of animal protein and like it or not we are on top of the food chain. Its a cycle of life that we take care of the earth and the earth takes care of us (by producing what we need to survive etc). I don’t practice veganism because it doesn’t seem like the healthiest choice for me personally but I do eat plenty of vegetables and grains and try to make ethically conscious food choices and that isn’t wrong either. I have been on the recieving end of a vegetarian and/or vegan rant a few times, I can’t say I’ve ever peached at them but I’m sure it goes both ways. I don’t think people realize that there are two fanatical ends of the spectrum and meeting somewhere in the middle can still be healthy for you and the environment.

  39. Lex says:

    Well everyone can rest assured, this happens to loads of us regardless of omni/herbivore status.

    I am coeliac but had a rocky time being diagnosed years back so people don’t really ‘believe’ me… they see it as a ‘trendy’ thing and then assume ‘small amounts are okay’… when no, they’re not.

    That’s an actual medical condition and people are really judgey so you can bet they’ll be worse when it’s a choice.

    Like sure, I’ll eat what you’ve made but I will also wait in your house so I can use your toilet and then not flush it so you can deal with the consequences of not believing me.

  40. suzysunshine says:

    Assholes are assholes if they eat meat or not. What they eat isn’t the problem.