For some reason, we vegetarians catch a lot of flak. Most people we come across just can’t fathom our lifestyle, and they feel the need to pester us about our decisions. Contrary to popular belief, vegetarians aren’t all overly spiritual, tree-hugging hippies who spend our time hanging out in fields and neglecting to shave our legs. We also aren’t crazed animal rights activists who will spend three hours shaming an innocent bystander for eating a hotdog. We’re normal people who made conscious decisions not to eat meat. It’s as simple as that. Despite numerous, legitimate reasons to go vegetarian, we are constantly bombarded by questions and awkward situations pertaining to our atypical eating habits. We encounter some, if not all, of the following situations on a daily basis.
1. “They have French fries. You can eat those, right?” No shit, Sherlock.
2. When you go to a dinner party, the host will always apologize profusely for not making you a specific dish, even when you are clearly not upset about it.
3. The “plants are being killed, too” argument makes you want to punch a wall.
4. You’ve gotten very good at politely refusing a home-cooked meal that isn’t vegetarian.
5. Regardless, the chef still hates you 50 percent of the time.
6. People ask when you stopped eating meat. No matter how long ago it was, they’re still in disbelief.
7. When you go to a restaurant, someone at the table will go through the entire menu and list every single thing you can eat. You’re just like, “Yeah. I know I can eat that. Thanks.”
8. “Wait, so what do you eat?” EVERYTHING YOU EAT, MINUS THE MEAT.
9. “What about bacon?” What about it?
10. “Seriously, how can you not eat bacon?” It’s pretty easy, actually. You just don’t eat it.
11. “If I give you 10 bucks, will you take a bite of this burger?”
12. Every once in a while, you’ll get that girl who will say something like, “I was a vegetarian for a week once.” Good for you, Tiffany. Would you like a high-five?
13. No matter what restaurant you go to, you are an absolute whiz at locating a vegetarian option.
14. Guys will often make inappropriate remarks when they find out: “Ha, so, like, you don’t eat meat?” How very clever of you.
15. Regardless of what everyone thinks, Thanksgiving is still awesome. It’s honestly beautiful how many different ways you can eat potatoes.
16. You absolutely LOVE it when restaurants have an option to replace the meat in any burger with a black bean patty.
17. Every once in a while, you’ll meet someone who is legitimately mad that you don’t eat meat.
18. And you’re just like, “What are you so upset about? More for you.”
19. At some point, a sibling or “friend” has probably tried to trick you into eating meat.
20. If it worked, you puked your brains out and felt queasy for three straight days.
21. “Do you eat animal crackers?”
22. Everyone asks if you eat chicken and/or fish.
23. If you say no, they’ll stare at you in disbelief while you just sit there, patiently waiting for a subject change.
24. People always ask where your protein comes from. You always shrug.
25. Guys always freak out about where to take you on a date, as if vegetarians aren’t allowed in an establishment that serves steak.
26. People will get uncomfortable and ask if you’ll get upset when they eat meat in front of you. Eat your ribs, I don’t care. I just don’t want any.
27. “If you were stranded on a desert island…” YES, okay, YES I would eat meat if I had no choice. Are you happy now?
28. Your enemy is chicken broth.
29. Seriously, why is chicken broth in everything?
30. “You know your shoes are leather…” Yeah, I’m aware. Thanks.
31. People will automatically assume you’re snooty and pretentious when you say you don’t eat meat. It’s inevitable.
32. Your friends think you’re missing out. You know you’re not.
33. It may have taken a while, but you eventually learned to not give a shit what anybody thinks about your weird eating habits.