In 15 years of being a vegetarian, I've had one big rule. If I want people to respect my choice, I have to respect their choice. So yes, I married a meat-eating man. Yes, I hired a babysitter who hasn't met a piece of bacon she didn't like.
I've been trying not to become one of those vegetarians. You know, the type you avoid at all costs? So it's true, when I saw the survey that claims meat eaters are more judgmental than vegetarians, I felt ever so slightly vindicated. Those of us on the veg side may have work to do to be more accepting, but all you carnivorous types could make it a lot easier if you'd just stop saying ANY of the following to the vegetarian folks in your lives:
1. Have you ever actually TRIED meat? Yes, I know you think that if I would only try it, I would magically be transported to carnivorous bliss. Alas, I haven't "just" tried it. I ate it for 15 years, and yet I still chose to go vegetarian.
2. You're a vegetarian? You have an awful lot of meat on your bones for a vegetarian. Most ones I know are very bony people. So, I'm not just weird, but I'm ... fat?
3. Oh, but this isn't meat, it's seafood. That's nice, but I still don't eat it.
More from The Stir: Are Meat Eaters Really More Judgy Than Vegetarians?
4. Are you really going to eat that [insert name of vegetable here]? Yes, I am! Now, are you really going to masticate that mass of bovine muscle? Let's chow down together!
5. Do you eat chicken? Hmm, let's think about this one, shall we?
6. Anything that involves picking something off a tree and presenting it with the word, "Hungry?" Unless of course you'd like me to grab a random fly out of a spider web and do the same to you?
7. How can you live without bacon? About as well as you live without cauliflower!
8. You know you could die if you don't get enough protein. And on that pleasant note ...
9. Can't you just pick the sausage out of the sausage and peppers? Here's an idea. Think of a food you can't stand. Now let me serve it to you, and YOU try to pick it out of your food and stomach the flavor of it all over the other stuff. Good luck!
Come on vegetarians, throw your two cents in. What are some of the most annoying things you've heard people say?