Monday, February 2, 2015

Please don't be THAT Vegetarian.

Before I get to the rest of the post, I want to make something clear.  I like vegetarianism.  I tend to lean that way myself, but for various reasons, going vegetarian full-time is not currently a good idea for me.  Yes, I've thought seriously about it (and tried it, which did not go well for my health, mental or otherwise).  No, I have not closed my mind to the possibility that I might do so in the future.  Yes, I agree with most of the ideological reasons for becoming a vegetarian.  No, I really, really don't think that all vegetarians are like this.  Most of THOSE Vegetarians I've met are ones who have recently adopted this eating style and I think it's profoundly unfair that the people who exemplify the idea of THAT Vegetarian are able to give other vegetarians, and those of us who are predominantly vegetarian, a bad name.

This post is the product of a fair amount of frustration caused by a few too many recent encounters with people who have been, often in more than one way, THAT Vegetarian.  I repeat: I do NOT think that all vegetarians are like this.

THAT Vegetarian is the one who never misses a chance to educate people about the benefits of vegetarianism, regardless of whether such education is necessary or welcome.

THAT Vegetarian is the one who dismisses as mere excuses the reasons why a vegetarian diet is not always ideal or even suitable for all people.

THAT Vegetarian is the one who ignores the psychology of eating disorders when pointedly saying, in a conversation in which a person has made note of their own eating disorder and stated that putting that kind of limit on their eating habits did indeed make it worse, that there is never any good reason to be willing to consume animal-based foods. 

THAT Vegetarian is the one who believes that omnivorous diets are a sign of a less-evolved and enlightened mind and never lets anybody forget it.

THAT Vegetarian is the one who won't rest until they've converted the entire omnivorous world to their way of eating.  (I've said it before and I'll say it again: you can't annoy people into believing that you're right.)

THAT Vegetarian is the one who claims that going vegetarian is a great way to lose weight and that there's no such thing as a fat vegetarian.  (Hint: this is not true.)

THAT Vegetarian believes that being vegetarian makes them superior to the rest of us, and won't let anyone forget it.

Please don't be THAT Vegetarian.