I’ve been vegetarian for around half my life now, and it’s a decision I am happy with. I would never go back to eating any kind of meat. However, in all those years one thing has never changed, and that’s some of the irritations caused by outside attitudes. Here are some of the most annoying factors about being vegetarian.
1. A Fishy Tale
This has to be right at the top when it comes to annoying factors about being vegetarian. For some strange reason, certain people fail to grasp the concept of vegetarianism (no meat, fish or poultry), and claim to be veggie even though they eat fish. This is annoying on its own, but even more so when others then assume that all veggies eat fish. NO true vegetarian eats fish.
2. Cheese Please!
Now, I like cheese. In fact I love cheese. But it is incredibly annoying when everything you get offered on a menu is cheese-based. Not all lacto-vegetarians like cheese, some can’t tolerate it, and vegans don’t eat it. Let’s have some alternative dishes to cheese, please.
I really don’t mind people asking why I switched to a vegetarian diet, as long as they are genuinely interested in the answer. Unfortunately, we are sometimes subjected to the more accusational line of questioning. I don’t quiz anyone on why they eat meat, so I expect my choices to be accepted.
This really is rude, but some people think it is funny to make jokes at your expense. Yes, it’s really hilarious having a piece of meat waved in your face, or hear the same tired old jokes about pasty-faced unhealthy lettuce eaters. Give it a rest, please.
5. Lack of Choice
I can appreciate that for friends or family, who may not be used to cooking vegetarian dishes, it can be difficult catering for us. However, there is no such excuse for professional caterers. They should be able to come up with some more interesting offerings than lasagne or cheesy dishes.
I swear some people take it as a personal insult when they meet a vegetarian, as if the vegetarian is making a judgement on the meat-eater’s lifestyle. Some may indeed be that righteous (I’ve heard of people refusing to share a table with someone eating meat), but for most of us it’s a personal choice that we don’t try to impose on anyone.
7. Health Assumptions
Some people like to tell you that being vegetarian is bad for your health. I get told I need to eat a steak to ‘cure’ my anaemia, even though my doctor is quite clear that it is not dietary related. Fact is that any diet can be unhealthy, with or without meat.
8. ‘How Boring!’
Without any basis, people may assume that a vegetarian diet is tedious. It’s definitely time to put to rest that old misconception that vegetarians eat nothing but lentils and nut roast. Check out vegetarian cookbooks and you will find some amazing, tasty dishes. Because the meat has to be replaced with some other form of protein, we are also likely to eat a far more varied diet.
Fellow vegetarians, you must share many of my frustrations. Do tell us your own experiences. Or are you a meat-eater who’s encountered one of the holier-than-thou veggies that give the rest of us a bad name?
Top Photo Credit: wererabbits