7 Ways to Annoy a Vegetarian

7 Ways to Annoy a Vegetarian

As a note, I don’t speak for all vegetarians. But sometimes there are things that come up that just kind of surprise me. If you’re a vegetarian, maybe these things surprise you too? Here are 7 ways to annoy a vegetarian. Specifically, me.

Be too accommodating

Nothing upsets me more when someone goes out of their way to accommodate my diet when I didn’t ask them to. The guilt! I don’t want to live with the guilt! Yes, this sounds bratty and it is. But I made a choice and that choice doesn’t have to impact you. In fact, I feel really bad when it does. So just pick the restaurant, serve chicken wings (and I’ll pray you have chips and guac too), and just know that I won’t starve. And if I do, it was my choice.

If you do go out of your way to accomodate my diet, thank you. I promise I’m not a total brat and I’ll love you for it.

Ask me if I’m getting enough protein

I might not be but you know what? Too much is bad for you too. In fact, most American’s eat too much protein. Like, way too much. Try telling that to the Paleo people.

Fail to understand the concept

You know the line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the aunt says “That’s okay, I make lamb”? Let’s just say I’ve had remarkably similar situations in my personal life. Chicken is not vegetarian. Chicken broth is still made from chicken i.e. also not vegetarian.

Treat me as though being a vegetarian is my defining feature

I often wonder if other vegetarians experience this. I interact with several people at work who basically know one thing about me, and that is that I am a vegetarian. This was usually revealed to them in some mundane way (it’s not something I brag about or anything) and now it’s all they talk about when they see me. Comments like “I had a hamburger for lunch today” with a look on their face expecting me to be mad or “how are those vegetables doing for ya?”. Um, good. I hope you enjoyed your burger.

I’m so many things before I am a vegetarian. It’s not my defining characteristic.

Ask what my partner thinks of my vegetarianism and then share how much it would annoy you

Does your fiancé eat meat? Yes.

Do you cook meat? Eh, not really.

Oh gosh that would be terrible.

Yes, it’s totally terrible to live with me. Thanks.

Be astounded when I have opinions about meat dishes

Most vegetarians were not vegetarians from birth. I haven’t been a meat eater for 4 years. That doesn’t mean I don’t remember what it tastes like. It doesn’t mean I don’t love the smell of chicken wings. It doesn’t mean I can’t send you a damn good ground beef casserole recipe.

Suggest we’ll get food “on the way”

Becoming a vegetarian is one of the fastest ways to eliminate fast foods from your diet. At McDonalds it’s pretty much just fries and pies for me. While that’s fun on occasion, long road trips usually mean that quality food options are limited. Try finding good vegetarian food anywhere on the New Jersey turnpike. It’s impossible. I have been known to pout while eating just french fries and pondering my life choices.

My two favorite fast food options are Subway (mmmm Veggie Delight) and Taco Bell (they’ll replace any meat with refriend beans). Problem is, both of those options are a bit harder to come by. So I contradict myself a bit regarding #1. On long road trips, maybe consider my options a little. Or give me 5 extra minutes to pack myself a snack.

If you are a vegetarian, what annoys you? If you aren’t a vegetarian, what annoys you about vegetarians? I often worry how my personal choices affect those in my life so I wonder, how does having a vegetarian in your life affect you?

If you liked this post, you might enjoy 5 Foods I Eat When I Really Miss Meat or 6 Reasons I’m Still a Vegetarian.

  • I remember finding it really interesting that a guy I knew didn’t want to pursue things further with a girl he met because she was a vegetarian. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. He told me he’s a foodie and when he’s in relationships he wants to be able to share that experience and try different restaurants and foods; and if his lady couldn’t join him everywhere and eat everything he wouldn’t be happy. Personally I don’t really get it but he felt pretty strongly about it. I look for a lot of things in a S.O but I gotta say; meat-eating isn’t one of them!

    • I could kind of understand that if someone was a huge foodie. That said, being vegetarian has not stopped me at eating at any restaurant, ever. So I think maybe he was thinking that it’s harder to accomodate a vegetarian than it actually is. Bummer for him though. What if he missed out on a great girl?

  • Hahahahahahahaha, this was hysterical. I’m not a vegetarian, and I can’t think of any of my close friends that are. But my best friend has a severe dairy allergy, which is very tricky to maneuver when you travel full-time and eat on the go like she does, so I’ve learned a lot that way. She definitely identifies with the guilt thing too! She of course appreciates when people she knows and is close with plan for that when cooking, but when people make it a big deal it can get embarrassing, especially in her case since she’s dealing with an allergy that makes her sick as a dog. People can just be really ignorant, so I feel for you there!

    • Exactly. When people make a big deal of it, it makes me feel bad/embarrassed. Although I don’t have any allergies so I can imagine it’s even worse. Plus, when I accidentally eat something that has meat in it (which has happened on rare occasion), nothing bad happens. It would be incredibly difficult to have a severe allergy like that.

  • I’m a vegetarian, and totally identify with the guilt thing! My boyfriend eats meat, and although he’s happy to cook quorn food when we’re together, I do always feel a bit guilty for him. It also makes going out for dinner, as I don’t like mushrooms, so my options really are limited. But it actually makes me appreciate him more, for being able to be so happy to do that, where others wouldn’t be. And we still love exploring new restaraunts together. I may be a vegetarian, but I’m still a foodie! I also hate it when vegetarians don’t seem to understand how it seems hypocritical to not eat meat for moral reasons, yet where leather shoes?! Huh?! Loved reading this though, and totally agree with the subway suggestion – it’s so great!

    • It would definitely be a little harder to be vegetarian and not like mushrooms. I feel like that’s the go-to vegetable that people reaplace meat with in dishes.

      I also totally agree with you about appreciating your boyfriend more. When N doesn’t complain about me not eating meat and just eats whatever I make for dinner, I’m so grateful that I have such a supportive partner.

  • Rachel

    I think this could apply to any way of eating that is not considered “conventional”, or the “norm”! I eat a mostly paleo diet, but I certainly eat more than just protein! Just because I cut out excess sugar, grains, and dairy, doesn’t mean my only other option is meat – just like I am sure you make tons of delicious, healthy, vegetarian meals, and don’t just munch on raw vegetables all day! And I totally agree with your comments about the guilt you feel when other people try to accommodate your dietary needs – I can relate to that a lot!

    • I undertand that Paleo is not just meat but it certainly is a higher protein diet than the norm. I can completely see the positives in cutting out sugar though. Sugar is something I try to be mindful of, for sure. It’s amazing to me that on the days I track my food intake (on myfitnesspal), I can go over on my suggested sugar for the day just by eating fruit and putting real sugar in my coffee.

  • I’m not vegetarian but I am generally gluten-free. I totally feel you on several of those, especially the whole “Do you cook gluten free for your spouse?” Well, since I am eating the meal also, yes, yes I do, but I don’t understand why they seem to think that means I’m forcing my poor poor husband to eat salads every night. Also on the whole overly accommodating thing, people buy me stuff that says “gluten-free!” on the label all the time, but it has turned into such a ridiculous marketing gimmick for all sorts of nasty unhealthy prepackaged foods these days that it’s usually overpriced nasty shit I don’t normally eat (hello cookie flavored cardboard!). It’s hilarious what a big deal people tend to make about others’ diets.

    • I’ve noticed that about gluten free and have had gluten free friends complain about how processed most of the gluten free packaged food is. It’s funny, I completely forgot to mention to our caterer that I was a vegetarian. It’s not something I bring up and since I’m one of the only vegetarians at our wedding, it didn’t seem important.

  • I love this! I get the protein question a lot! I’m vegan which tends to confuse people more than anything, they always ask me what I eat. And I know what you mean about feeling guilty when people are TOO accommodating. I don’t want or need that kind of attention, plus I wouldn’t be going out to dinner or coming to a party without having some sort of plan in my head! The question, “hmm can YOU eat there?” Drives me nuts!! It is nice to chat about it though with someone who understands! 🙂

    • I agree with you about the plan. I just want people to make reservations or cook dinner or whatever without considering what I’m doing. I’ll figure it out. Usually I google the menu of restaurants ahead of time and pick what I’ll probably order.

  • Brittany

    These are all so ON POINT.

    I don’t eat meat or dairy and people are always trying to label me “so you’re vegan?” No, I’m not vegan, I just don’t eat meat or dairy. (I eat fish and eggs.) “So you’re pescetarian…..?” Why do I need a label?

    My coworkers also constantly talk about how good meat is and how much I’m missing out and I should just try a bite. No, I am perfectly happy with my quinoa and chickpeas. In fact, its the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten, thankyouverymuch. I don’t eat your food, and you don’t eat mine. But I’m not telling you what to eat. So don’t tell me.

    • I completely understand. I do think that it’s easier for other people to put a label on it, simply because they are terms (and thus, dietary restrictions) that they are familiar with. I’m technically a pescetarian but no one ever knows what that means, so I just use the more widely understood term.

  • I am not a vegetarian…I love bacon way too much but, I know several vegetarians and a few vegans. Most of my friends that are vegetarian/vegan have good reasons for doing it but, in the past I knew fad veggie people. They only did it because they thought it would be cool. I once knew a girl who lived on french fries and enzyme pills. That can’t be healthy. My friends that are true vegetarians are always prepared for parties and dinners and bring their own food. They don’t expect others to accommodate them. When we go out with my vegan friend it can be a little more challenging to find a place everyone likes but, we always manage it. I don’t define my friends on what they eat or don’t eat.

    • French fries and enzyme pills? GROSS. I don’t even know what an enzyme pill would do or why someone would take them. I’m sure being vegan is a lot more challenging but most of the time, I find that being vegetarian is easy. My reason for being vegetarian is really because of animals, and is certainly not because of any coolness factor.

  • The Protein question drives me nuts. I learned a long time ago that when you eat a balanced diet including our fruits and vegetables, you will be OK. Plant based diets are full of everything yo need and I’m going to die because I don’t eat steak. I have many family members who just don’t seem to understand.

    • I track my food on most weekdays and I’m always within the recommended amount of protein. I do eat a lot of chickpeas and black beans but honestly, I don’t go out of my way to make sure I’m getting enough protein. It just happens.

  • Janelle

    It’s nice to know this because I know people who are vegetarian.

    I just think the first one is bratty, though. Do you know how inconvenient it is for us to accommodate you? I know a lot of us feel annoyed when we have to go out and can’t choose a bunch of restaurants just because we have the one vegetarian in the group. We may annoy you, but you annoy us even more. The least you could do is not be an ingrate about it.

    • Hi Janelle. My point for the first one is that I don’t want people to accomodate me. I feel bad when my friends go out of their way to accomdate my diet, though I am grateful when they do. I have never been the vegetarian in a group of friends who dictates where we can and cannot go to dinner, simply because of my dietary needs. That is what I was trying to express. If all my friends want to go to a steakhouse, totally fine. I’ll make it work. I get that it was bratty, but it was also written in a kind of silly way. I’m sorry that did not come across properly.

  • Moe

    I’m not a vegetarian and I have so much respect to those who are; I think it would be so hard for me to give up meat. However, when I go out to eat with someone who is a vegetarian, I generally let them choose the place in case the place I choose doesn’t have any vegetarian options. That way I won’t feel bad in case when there isn’t any option for vegetarians and I know that the restaurant they’ll pick will have those options.

    • We’ve been eating out a lot since we moved to the city and I’ve never had an issue at any restaurant. Most places have at least one option on the menu and somehow, it’s always been great. It’s kind of you to let your friends pick the restaurant though, but if we were going to dinner together, you could totally pick the place. I’d make it work 🙂

  • I’ve been told that McD’s frying oil includes beef broth – meaning not even the fries are vegetarian. But, like you said, it’s great to eliminate fast food.

    My biggest pet peeve is actually the lack of vegetables. Most places these days have at least one dish to “accommodate” vegetarians, but it’s usually just carbs and cheese – pasta, cheese pizza, etc. Since I chose to be vegetarian to eat healthy, it’s frustrating. Can the vegetarian dish actually contain vegetables, please?

    • Well Bekah, you just rocked my world. I googled it and sure enough, there is an article on McDonald’s website stating that their fries are not vegetarian. Mind = blown. It’s actually embarrassing how many times I’ve discovered things like this since giving up meat. Thank goodness that it’s by choice and not a food allergy or something, because I’d be dead. My reason for being a vegetarian is really just because of animals so I don’t beat myself up too much when this happens, since my intentions were good. But wow. No more McDonalds for me. Thank you!

  • Allison

    I am a new vegetarian (and a new commenter, Hi!) and a lot of people have asked me, “why?” When I answer honestly (health, love for animals, the environment), people seem to think I am saying I am better than them, which I do not think at all! It is just the best choice for me! My husband said that those answers can seem kind of pretentious, so that I should just answer vaguely. But then why did they ask? How do other vegetarians answer this question?

    • Welcome to vegetarianism, Allison! My specific story about why I became a vegetarian is so ridiculous, it’s hard to sound pretentious (I saw a squirrel get hit by a car and it really upset me. See, ridiculous). That said, I don’t know what people expect to hear when they ask. I think just being vague is the way to go.

  • Lauren

    I was a vegetarian for about six years before I got pregnant. I introduced a little bit of meat into my diet and have kept it in. One excellent fast food option (if you gotta eat fast food) is Burger King. They offer a delicious veggie burger combo!

    • I had no idea that any fast food places had veggie burgers! Thanks so much for that tip! And actually, I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I might crave meat when I’m pregnant (someday). If it happens, it happens.

      • Lauren

        http://www.bk.com/menu/salads_n_veggies

        It’s listed first on this site. Looks like they use Morningstar veggie patties. Sometimes I crave a burger and the homemade black bean patty I make doesn’t cut it. The BK one has all the burger fixings like pickles and ketchup. I think I may need to eat one now, haha!

  • I think it is amazing that some vegetarians don’t go bat crazy and attack people with the chicken…………just saying

    • I do eat fish. I’m actually a pescatarian, technically, although I don’t eat fish very often (I can’t even remember the last time). Some people would have a hard time giving up meat, and I get that. I just never really loved it in the first place.

  • ah yes to all of these! it always boggles my mind that it becomes a huge debate where people tell me about how they could neverrrr give up meat and i’m all “cool. then don’t do.” another fave is people asking me “but don’t you just want to eat a steak sometimes?” let’s all keep our nose in our own food business ha.

    • Ironically, steak is the one thing that could never ever tempt me. I didn’t like it even when I ate meat. But I totally have had people do that to me too and it’s like, why do you care?

  • Tori M

    THIS!!! ALL OF THIS!!! I am a vegetarian (of 4 years also) and I don’t understand what I put in MY mouth, affects YOU at all!?!? Why can the comments be so rude. I don’t walk around and say “You know how many steroid injections you just ate with that burger?” or “Can I please tell you how the chicken only lived 45 days, not even being able to move more than 4 inches in each direction, had it’s beak chopped off, and was made to eat chicken…ITS OWN KIND!?” So don’t tell me that your food eats my food and shove a sausage skewer in my face.

    But I’m not bitter…. 😉

    Love being a vegetarian, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back!

    • And I officially hate myself.

    • I actually watched Food, Inc. before becoming a vegetarian. Although that wasn’t the tipping point for me, I do think of it often and it addresses a lot of the animal issues.

  • It annoys me I’m NOT a vegetarian.

    I see sweet pigs and cows all over Nebraska and swear I’m not going to eat them. But then I do. And I feel like a horrible person.

    I have zero self control.

    • And when you went on your Nacho Bar Crawl I was like OH MY GOSH why am I a vegetarian again? My reason for not eating meat is totally because of the animals but I get that a lot of people can separate the animal from what they eat. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You do you.

  • Rebecca

    Not that it really matters, but I feel like I’ve seen you post about eating fish? Aren’t you technically a pescatarian?

    • You’re right, Rebecca. I actually mention it in a couple of the other comments and have talked about it on the blog before. I eat fish on rare occasion. I have discovered though that most people have no idea what the word pescaterian means so I use vegetarian in its place (so as not to confuse people) and clarify when necessary.

  • Ah!!! Yes, Yes, Yes, & Yes!
    I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 years now, and it’s incredible how much every.single.one. of these hit home.

    I would add to the list, “Please do not apologize for eating meat in front of me.”

    A co-worker just learned I was a vegetarian, and since then every time she heats up her leftovers she apologizes profusely for eating meat in front of me…. Dude, chill. I can still see it and smell it… (and even touch it, gasp!) I just don’t want to eat it.

  • I’m not a vegetarian I just try to eat healthy and I love a good salad from McD’s. Most fast food places have them now and that’s my go to. The only thing that gets you is the sodium (but that gets you anytime you don’t cook at home for the most part).

  • My friends feel the same way, especially when people ask about them getting enough protein!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Jen

    I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 (I’m now 40) and I married a chef. Everyone asks if it bothers me (It doesn’t), I’ve had people try to sneak meat into something I’m eating (to see if I’d notice) but what really bothers me is assuming because I’m a vegetarian I’m super healthy. If I get a veggie burger in a restaurant, I really don’t want a whole wheat roll, sprouts and a side of tofu! I still like fries and grease; just hold the cow!

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