Monday, September 6, 2010

The vegetarian spectrum

DH works with a guy that is married to a vegetarian. When he told me this I was excited because maybe we could make friends and hang out sometime. Then I found out they had kids... scratch that.

But now we have a kid and can hang out with the fertile world. Yay! (Conformity was the whole point of procreating, of course.)

They invited us to their house for a barbecue today. How awesome would it be to go to a barbecue as a vegetarian and know that you will have something to eat because one of the hosts is a vegetarian too?!

But we declined. There are actually a couple of reasons that we declined, but one is that the vegetarian wife is also a nutritionist. (note: This was very far down the list of reasons we declined.)

Vegetarians are a mixed bunch, each of us deciding our dietary guidelines for a number of personal reasons. Since the wife is a nutritionist, I'm ASSuming that she's a veggie for 'health' reasons. That might mean that she thinks it's okay for vegetarian food to share real estate with meat on a grill or platter. If she doesn't share the same paranoia about meat that I do it could be bad for finding something to eat.

I don't like hanging out with other vegetarians because I'm worried I won't be 'vegetarian enough' (or vice versa). I know that sounds silly, but there are so many different takes on vegetarianism that you can't just assume that people that say they are vegetarian are your kind of vegetarian. I bet even vegans have this problem.

And I hate it when I encounter veggies that wear their diet like a halo. I don't think dietary preferences should make you feel superior to someone else. Having stricter preferences than someone else doesn't give you a right rub it in other people's faces, but sometimes it comes off that way unintentionally. My diet beliefs have always been a religion for me, meaning that I take my preferences as seriously as a person takes their religion. So if you offer me something and I turn it down, it's not personal, but I just have to be true to myself. And sometimes this makes me look like an asshole. I don't not believe when in Rome....

Any other vegetarians out there know what I'm talking about?


I was in a new club environmentalism club in college. The sponsor brought a giant pepperoni pizza to the first club meeting and sat it down in front of us. The 6 or so of us all just stared at him. Finally, one guy grabbed a piece and picked off the pepperonis. We were all vegetarians or vegan. Most of us lay somewhere in the ovo-lacto spectrum of the scale. The kid that picked off the pepperoni actually would eat meat if he hunted and killed it himself. I guess we were in a different part of the hippie* spectrum than the sponsor.

*I use the word hippie a lot, but I always mean it in a loving, but tongue in cheek kind of way.


Stephanie said...

I love your commitment to your "religion" of vegetarianism. I wish I was as committed to just putting the right foods in my body that will help me "beat" PCOS. Thanks!

Celia said...

I miss being a vegetarian. Holier than thou vegetarians are the worst. I don't know that I will ever be able to go back to it, I know I have to keep with this at least till we are done trying to have children.

Anonymous said...

I totally know what you are talking about. There are so many different kinds of vegetarians. I'm a vegetarian for humane reasons. DH is a vegetarian for health reasons (though he is as paranoid as I am about hidden meats and chicken stock and meat contamination). Neither of us act superior because of our veggie-ness.
In college, after DH went veggie, a friend's mom tricked him and told him what she made had no meat. Then later after he ate it, she told him oh haha, that had meat in it and you couldn't even tell. He got really pissed and told her that he would be calling their house in the middle of the night when he was up sick with diarrhea from eating her meat contaminated food, and that he would never eat anything she ever made again. I think he finally made her feel bad enough to regret having done it. Many people don't realize that when you stop eating meat, you lose the ability to digest it, and eating even a little can make you very ill. Yet another reason I will never eat anything that MIL makes, as she doesn't stop to think about these things.