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20 Things Only Vegetarians Would Understand

20 Things Only Vegetarians Would Understand

Dietary restrictions are common across almost all cultures and people. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 7.3 million, or 3.2 percent of the population in the United States are vegetarian, while approximately six percent of the population, or 3.6 million people in England are vegetarian. Meanwhile, in India, the country with the highest number of vegetarians in the world, an incredible 40 percent of the population, or 399 million people, are vegetarians.

Whether your decision to be vegetarian is moral, religious, or intellectual, people tend to bring up the same tired points. The following 20 constant occurrences are ones every vegetarian can relate to.

1. People Judge Your Nutrition

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    Everyone you meet suddenly has an opinion about protein and iron. You know they mean well, but you can almost guarantee you know more about sources for these nutrients than they do.

    2. People Justify Their Diet to You

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      Likewise, new friends and acquaintances will feel the need to justify their food choices to you. Without even bringing it up, others feel the need to give you a detailed history of their meat intake. Again, even though you know they mean well, it can be awkward to listen to someone recount their week’s meals.

      3. People Ask You About the Strangest Foods

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        People expect you to be an authority on obscure vegetables, spiritual exercises, and all things natural. This is a problem because, in reality, you’re still trying to find a brand of meatless hamburgers you like!

        4. Others Expect an Explanation

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          Any time you meet somebody new, they’re bound to investigate your reasons for being vegetarian. Sometimes these questions are innocent enough, but every once in a while a close-minded loudmouth is sure to drive you crazy.

          5. Your Beauty Collection is Never Complete

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            No matter how many cruelty-free products you buy, there always seems to be something else you still need a more eco-friendly version of.

            6. Restaurants Are Hit and Miss

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              You try not to make a fuss when your friends are choosing what restaurant to go to, but you regret it when your only meal option all night is bread and salad.

              7. People Try to Catch You Slipping Up

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                Anytime you wear faux fur or leather, everyone you know is quick to accuse you of having a double standard. It can be tiring to explain it’s fake upwards of ten times a day.

                8. People Think They’re Your Doctor

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                  Suddenly your body type is an indicator of however you’re failing as a vegetarian. Even though you barely know someone, they are quick to tell you that if you are on the thin side, you’re under nourished. But if you’re heavier set, you must be eating nothing but cheese and fries.  

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                  9. Celebrations Can Be Tricky

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                    Family gatherings, especially if you have more conservative members of your family, are full of ways to misstep. Even if you try not to bring it up, someone is bound to make a remark about you turning down a dish that someone slaved over.

                    10. Dinner Invitations Can Be Tricky

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                      You hate the feeling of making your diet requirements known in the face of any dinner invitations. No matter how close you are to the person, it’s never fun to be the one causing complications.

                      11. Some Vegetarians Can Be Too Judgemental

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                        Overly pretentious vegetarians are judgmental when you date people who aren’t vegetarian. There’s no easy way to remind people that your significant other’s food is a strange concern if you’re happy.

                        12. People Try to Break You

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                          You still don’t have a response down for when people try to hit on you by telling you that they’ll be the one to make you eat meat again.

                          13. People Think They Know You

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                            Similarly, people who are also vegetarian instantly jump to try and date you, even when you have nothing else in common.

                            14. People Can’t Believe You Don’t Like Bacon

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                              You’ve been asked countless times about how you live without bacon, but people won’t believe that for you, bacon’s just not that great.

                              15. People Want to Trick You

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                                You are also tired of being asked if you would eat meat for money or to save your life.

                                16. Some People Get Offended

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                                  It’s always awkward when you meet someone who gets upset because you are vegetarian. Whether an older family member or complete stranger, it’s never an easy situation to navigate.

                                  17. You’ll Always Be an Animal Freak

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                                    No matter how many times you try and highlight the health benefits to being vegetarian, some people will never think you can be a vegetarian for reasons other than caring about animals. 

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                                    18. “Why Do You Hate Vegetables?”

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                                      Having answered endless questions yourself, you of all people can appreciate that others make too big of a deal when people are vegetarian. That being said, the sarcastic “plants are being killed” conversation is getting old fast.

                                      19. People Make Assumptions

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                                        Unfortunately, even if you are humble and reserved about being a vegetarian, some people will always assume that you are pretentious.

                                        20. Feeling Content is Easier

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                                          Even though it drives you crazy, no matter how much teasing you endure, it’s hard to beat the feeling of living up to your convictions.

                                          Featured photo credit: Rick Ligthelm via flickr.com

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                                          Alicia Prince

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                                          Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                                          The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                                          The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                                          At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                                          Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                                          One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                                          When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                                          So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                                          Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                                          This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                                          Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                                          When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                                          Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                                          One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                                          Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                                          An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                                          When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                                          Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                                          Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                                          We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                                          By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                                          Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                                          While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                                          I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                                          You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                                          Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                                          When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                                          Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                                          Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                                          Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                                          One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                                          Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                                          Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                                          This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                                          While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                                          Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                                          Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                                          This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                                          For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                                          Con #4: Unique Distractions

                                          Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                                          For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                                          To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                                          We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                                          More About Working From Home

                                          Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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