17 assumptions often made about vegetarians

Image by amyleerobinson

1.       We secretly want meat

It is often difficult for people to believe those who do not eat meat actually feel like a complete person. There must be some part of us that really wants to scarf down a plate of ribs, but our darn principles make us too stubborn to do so. But as anyone who has successfully changed their eating habits in anyway can attest, most people actually stop desiring things they stop eating over time. And that is without considering those who have never consumed meat from birth.

2.       If we taste meat again, we will break

Although not spoken outright, there seems to be this idea that if former meat-eaters were to get a nibble or two again, they would totally cave and renounce their practices. But it is not that serious in the least. We gave up meat, not crack. Then again, who knows what food companies are putting in food nowadays?

3.       We do not get enough protein

If vegetarians could get a dollar for every time someone asks how we get protein…it would give us little extra spending cash. But you get the point. Long before meat became the centerpiece of American meals, humanity managed to survive for millenniums with little to no meat. In fact. meat is still considered a luxury to most people’s diets around the world. While most fruits, vegetables and grains contain incomplete strains of protein, they will combine to make complete strains when eating a variety of foods.

4.       We will be skinny or lose weight

This assumption is apparently built on another preconceived notion or two. The first is that being a vegetarian necessarily means we have good eating habits (which will be addressed shortly). The other is that meat is generally fattening or unhealthy. But whether someone eats meat or not, their health will continue to primarily be determined by the same factors. Those of course being genetics, nutrition and exercise.

5.       We eat nothing but salads or pasta

Unfortunately, there are some who become vegetarians and actually eat this restrictively. The usual result is they soon return to former habits. Believe it or not, meat actually makes up a small portion of available food. Just walk into a grocery store and notice how many aisles of food are not the meat section. Admittedly, going meatless may make going for fast food a bit more troublesome, but even that depends on where you live.

6.       All of us hate meat-eaters

When people hear certain terms or phrases, different things may come to mind depending on their exposure and past experiences. And more often than not the loudest, most controversial wings of groups will tend to garner the most attention. When it comes to folks who do not eat meat, those folks just so happen to be the “meat is murder” crowd.


7.       We became vegetarians because animals should never be killed
There are a variety of reasons as to why people may not eat meat. They may include health concerns, religious tradition, environmental impact or how animals are treated on factory farms. Of course, there are also many who adapt these eating habits because they believe animals should never be killed in order to provide food for humans. As with anything else, vegetarians cannot all be lumped into one group.


8.       We eat things that are boring and bland
The biggest indicator of whether or not a vegetarian will eat bland food, is what they eat in general. If someone likes their food well-seasoned, they will do so regardless of whether or not meat is a part of their diet. Those who throw down in the kitchen will not let a little something like the absence of meat stop them. In case you are not convinced, here is a photo of the first meal I prepared when I went meatless.

9.       We are all liberals
The argument could be made that eating habits are too fickle a reason to determine someone’s political affiliations. Unfortunately political preferences often are fairly fickle. This assumption likely has less to do with diet and is more of a reflection on how we as a society often pigeonhole people as entirely conservative or liberal based on their stance on isolated issues.


10.   We eat healthier
This assumption tends to piggyback off of #5. But the thing is, there is still plenty of junk food out there containing absolutely no meat. Going meatless does not mean someone may not fill up on a steady stream of sugar and carbs like most other Americans.

11.   We support PETA
If there were any figurative thorn in the sides of veggies, it would be the often unwanted association with PETA. Even those who agree animals should never be used for food or clothing, may disagree with some of the group’s infamous tactics towards that end.


12.   We are all snobs about being vegetarians

There are snobs within any group of people sharing similar backgrounds or stances. Being a vegetarian is no exception to that rule. The case and point may be the various levels of distinction people make note of such as pollotarian, pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan and whatever ever other title is used to create some kind of dietary hierarchy. Yet, people who are snobs about their eating habits would probably be snobs about something else if not for this.


13.   We eat imitation meat products

There clearly are meatless eaters who consume the veggie burgers and tofu concoctions out there; or else they would not continue to be on store shelves. But any of us who are converts know in our hearts, that nothing quite replaces the flavor and, especially, texture of meat. Likewise, those of us who are cheap find those fake meats tend to usually be a bit on the expensive side. And lastly, those of us on the health track know the healthiest things to eat tend to not have nutrition labels and unpronounceable ingredients.


14.   We are just going through a phase

When someone becomes a vegetarian later in life rather than from childhood, it usually comes as a surprise to those around them. One question they will get from people over time is “Oh, you’re still doing that vegetarian thing huh?” Given, there are those who may do so because in some areas it is the “it” thing to do or gives them a means to spite their family. But many do so and intend to remain so for life; if possible.

15.   We are picky eaters

As with many items on this list, the way someone is as vegetarian is more dependent upon their personality than what they eat. Someone who is more laid back, may not flip out if a trace amount of meat residue grazes something they touch. On the other hand, the person who would normally be a pain in the rear to the wait staff at restaurants, will be one regardless of what they are consuming.


16.   We will try to convert you

People who place a major emphasis on winning others over to their way of thinking, can admittedly become highly annoying at times. Sometimes they are simply passionate and other times they get a sense of validation from being preachy. But there are many who belong to groups or maintain certain lifestyles and we would never know. For them, it is much more about a personal decision than politics and activism.


17.   It requires a lot of money to be one

If a vegetarian, or any consumer, is all about food labeled organic and other hyped up marketing phrases, their grocery bill will certainly be inflated. However, eating healthier need not always be expensive. Between gardening, farmer’s markets and a half decent knowledge of nutrition, there are several ways to introduce more fruits and vegetables into one’s diet without breaking the bank. Those who truly care about their food budget will always find ways to keep costs down.

By Corey Dorsey

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