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Things Meat-Eaters Say

Posted by at 5:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (25)


Things Meat-Eaters Say By Lisa Towell

©2012 Jupiterimages Corporation

In the years since I became vegan, I’ve heard a lot of interesting comments from meat-eaters. Sometimes they were baffled by my diet choice, sometimes they were hostile, and sometimes they made me laugh with their unintentionally funny remarks. Here are some of my favorites.

‘And for you vegetarians, we have turkey!’

A coworker heard this one at a corporate barbeque he attended on a business trip. The host company wanted the vegetarians to know that they would be taken care of too. I suppose the confusion is understandable, since many people who call themselves “vegetarian” eat birds or fish. But I always have a hard time resisting the impulse to state the obvious: “A turkey is not a vegetable!”

‘I can’t go vegetarian; my body needs the protein.’

Most meat-eaters don’t know that they’ve been sold a bill of goods by the meat industry about protein requirements. We actually need to get only 10 percent of our calories from protein, and it’s available in nearly all plant-based foods. Soy, legumes, and nuts are especially rich protein sources, and even the spinach in your salad offers a whopping 50 percent of its calories from protein.

‘But I’m an athlete; I really need lots of protein.’

Many world-class athletes are vegan, including my personal hero, Scott Jurek. He is a top ultramarathoner who won the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run seven consecutive times—eating nothing but plants. If there’s some protein issue with a balanced vegan diet, I find it hard to believe Scott could have achieved these results.

On a personal note, I just ran 15 miles last weekend—the longest distance I have ever run in my life. I don’t think my vegan diet is holding me back at all.

‘How do you know that you’re a vegetarian? Does the doctor tell you?’

This one was from my 6-year-old nephew. He really wanted to know. I love how he thought that being vegetarian was like having some kind of disease.

‘If it doesn’t have meat, it’s just a snack.’

An acquaintance said this to me after learning I was a vegan. I suppose he was eating animal products at every meal. I hope for his sake that he makes some changes before his first heart attack. Results from a recent study show a dramatic increase in mortality for people who eat more meat.

‘What do you eat, exactly?’

I was explaining what a vegan diet is to a travel agent, and she responded with this question. I think she literally couldn’t picture what I might put on my plate three times a day if I wasn’t eating any animal products. My answer: “Plants.”

The next time I get this question, I’m thinking about proposing a 60-second animals-versus-plants challenge. It works like this: You have 60 seconds to name as many species of edible animals as you can. While you’re doing that, I’ll name as many edible plant species as I can think of. Longest list wins.

Share your favorite meat-eater remarks in the comments.

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    Liz S says...

    March 23rd, 2012, 9:35 pm

    A friend of a friend was downright indignant that I am vegan, something along the lines of calling me insane, and naming the most nasty, cruel foods that he thought I should try to eat. His arguments were based on age old propaganda, and even after I disproved all his arguments, he still tenaciously persisted. Sigh, we live in a modern world with old values. Keep strong, stand against society’s norm, all of you! You all are amazing, and doing a great job.

    Jessica D says...

    March 23rd, 2012, 10:10 pm

    Some of the remarks I get are so funny!
    “How do you even live without real chocolate?”
    “Aren’t cows supposed to be milked?”

    And my personal favourite…
    “You eat fish though, right?”

    Emma Brewis says...

    March 23rd, 2012, 10:20 pm

    My favorite is, “you can just pick it (meat) out, can’t you?”

    Sandra Landaverde says...

    March 23rd, 2012, 10:36 pm

    “So you won’t eat animals but you’ll eat plants..it’s a living thing also, they have feelings also. Plant killer!”. Some people get on my nerves.

    samantha larsen says...

    March 23rd, 2012, 11:21 pm

    1)Your not getting enough protien. …..ummmm I have heard thismany times- well I do an hour of yoga a day & run or hike another hour so I can workout 2 hours a day every day all week so Im getting alot of protein.
    2) God made animals for us to eat……….This one really drive me crazy. God also made the 10 commandments – one of them is Do Not Murder. ummmmmmm I dont think God was only speaking of humans . He meant do not muder anyone- animals included.
    3) Animals arent people and dont feel pain- who cares. ………this line really burns me up. Usually the person that says this one has a low IQ and no compassion nor empathy for anyone other than themselves.
    4) Animals are meant to be eaten……….uhh no animals are meant to live thier lives as we are and be happy & healthy & share the earth with us- not be slaughter for no reason.
    5) Who cares I have bigger things to worry about- pplus I love meat and would never stop eating it. ………..I cant really bother with htese people.
    the list go on & on………..sadly most people disassociate THIER PETS VS FOOD ON TIER PLATES……..they actually deny what thier eating & the truth.
    People that eat meat everyday must be in denial or just dont care about the suffering of other souls.

    kara says...

    March 23rd, 2012, 11:42 pm

    but plants have feelings too…

    Angela says...

    March 24th, 2012, 2:25 am

    “You’re going to turn green.”

    This was one of my mom’s earlier tries to get me to stop being vegetarian. She said she used to think the female buddhist monks looked green in the face.

    What’s wrong with being green? Green is awesome in so many ways.

    Ellie Mccaffrey says...

    March 24th, 2012, 10:52 am

    This brings to mind that people can tell you about the meat their eating but don’t want to hear where and how their meat got there. They don’t understand I don’t want to hear about eating meat!

    Vicki Fecteau says...

    March 24th, 2012, 1:14 pm

    1. How do you stay so slim when all you eat is pasta ?

    2. What do you eat mostly – salads ?

    Matt Kirk says...

    March 24th, 2012, 4:31 pm

    1. Your body needs meat. (I have been vegetarian for 15 years and I’m still alive!)

    2. Humans have eye in the front of their head because they are hunters. (Yeah we look forwards…does that really mean that hunting is our purpose?)

    My favourite; and believe it or not this was ACTUALLY said to me by a (pretty thick) woman outside a pub.

    3. I am a vegetarian too I don’t eat fish, I like sausages though. (LOL WTF??)

    Shirlene Stuckey says...

    March 24th, 2012, 4:51 pm

    “But we HAVE to eat them, or they will overpopulate!” This one makes them feel very intelligent, because they are using a multi-syllable word.

    “Well, you’re killing the plants!” No, we either eat the fruits off the plants – as we were meant to do to scatter the seeds, or we prune the plants as in lettuces, green onions, broccoli, etc.

    And, yes, there is the occasional, “But you eat chicken/fish, don’t you?”

    Gotta love ‘em.

    Miller Girl says...

    March 24th, 2012, 6:33 pm

    It is amazing how concerned meat eaters are about what vegans do not eat when what they should be concerned about is what they are eating.

    veronica says...

    March 25th, 2012, 11:05 am

    I guy told me that: being vegetarian meant only eating plants and that I was contributing to global warming!!! People are just ignorant!

    Amy says...

    March 27th, 2012, 2:14 pm

    “It’s too hard to bake without eggs”, “Is there a substitute for yeast? It’s alive you know”, “I don’t feel full without meat”. Holy crap.

    Lulu says...

    March 29th, 2012, 11:00 am

    “But they’re yummy and there’s so many of them!” (Referring to animals. Omg!)

    Laila Andre says...

    March 30th, 2012, 8:33 am

    “Is that all you eat? – fried tofu, salad and veggies?”, “Mmmmm, and delicious too, and not one thing bled to death.” Then I said to the ‘lady’ eating a large helping of ‘surf and turf’, “…are you enjoying WHO you are eating?” She just looked at me quizzically – it went right over her head.

    Kim Shields says...

    March 31st, 2012, 11:19 am

    The worst comments for me have been that my Pets are food!! I have
    2 Parrots who talk, do tricks and show love. I asked the people “how
    could you eat an animal that Says “I love you”, and “give me sugar”, etc?
    One person said “they don’t know what they’re saying, they’re just repeating. My birds actually do understand a lot of the things I say. When I say “give me sugar” they put their beak to my cheek. When I
    say “go poopy” in the morning they immediately go. The reason I initially joined PETA was after seeing the KFCruelty video. To me birds
    are amazing and smart and the way some people treat them is an
    absolute crime. We are their voice.

    Maria Luisa says...

    April 2nd, 2012, 8:41 pm

    On facebook in this late days I’ve had many quarrels with some ‘friends’ whose amusemt seems to be,mostly,to have fun of vegan/vegetarian…Well ‘plants are alive, you are a killer of plants!’(that’s making me really mad) and then ‘it’s tunna, you can eat it, don’t you?’ ‘chickens are smart? well, i don’t care, It’s the law of nature, I have to eat them’ another : ‘ i love only cats, so i don’t care for pigs. You are an extresmist, you need meat to start to think right again!’ …The laugh of me, i pity them.

    Pixie-jem says...

    April 11th, 2012, 6:10 pm

    OMG, thank god, i found this, its so nice to find people who think the same as me. Meat eaters are hypocrites and the sad thing is they are so mis-informed and don’t see the bigger picture.
    The one that gets me is ‘yes animal cruelty is wrong, they shouldn’t be abused before they are slaughtered, if they are going to be chopped up and eaten we should treat them with respect.’ Right in the statement shows they don’t care, because in order for them to be slaughtered they have to be treated cruely, slaughter is cruel, there is no such thing as a humane killing. I could go on about how hypocritial people are.

    Jenny says...

    April 11th, 2012, 10:20 pm

    Oh I loved this one… When a woman who ate turkey every year at Thanksgiving once asked me what I eat on that day, I told her I made my traditional vegan loaf every year. She called me “weird”.. I said “Lady you eat a fatty stuffing out of the dead carcass of an animal that was once was full of life and you call me weird?!” WTF!

    Jill says...

    April 15th, 2012, 12:36 pm

    When some people find out I’m a veg, they say something along the line of “you’re probably the healthiest one here” or “you’ll live to be old”. Go figure.

    Charlotte says...

    May 15th, 2012, 4:24 pm

    Back at school, we were makingleaflets on things we felt strongly about. I did meat eating and the girl next to me did animal testing. I said something to her about why she was so against animal testing but was fine with eating meat and she said “Oh, I only eat organic meat so it dies of natural causes”. When I tried to tell her how wrong that was and that organic doesnt mean died naturally, she just said “you don’t know that”. YEA I DO! and i know for a fact she didnt eat all organic meat anyway because later that day she bought a bacon sandwich from the school cafeteria who do definitely not serve all organic meat, if any. Just shows how in denial so many people are.

    Matthew says...

    February 1st, 2013, 3:35 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how so many meat eaters that never met and live so far from each other, yet they say the same thing as if they were programed and a mindless drone? I have been asked all of those questions. Even that turkey comment. When I have even been called disgusting for eating tofurkey, and I responded that “you eat sausage stuffing out of a dead bird. How does refraining from that make me sick?” It is society, the masses are dumbfounded and lack the skills to have a conversation with people of higher intelligence or are doing better than they are. They try to justify everything they do and when they see a better quality in another person, they get all defensive and feel the need to attack them. It is just ridiculous and needs to stop and if they are just envious and jealous then they should stop arguing and become vegan!

    shawna says...

    March 11th, 2013, 7:14 pm

    I love reading comments from all u kind loving animal lovers. I am feeling so down and sad about people not giving a crap about animals. This world needs to change:’(

    Manal says...

    September 3rd, 2013, 1:42 pm

    the all time favorites
    ‘ you eat fish though right’?

    ‘ i bet you secretly eat meat but you say you don’t just for attention’

    ‘ but it just has a little bit of meat , you wont taste it’

    omg enough i cant write anymore

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