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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
9. Celebrations Can Be Tricky
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
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
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
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
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
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
You are also tired of being asked if you would eat meat for money or to save your life.
16. Some People Get Offended
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
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.
18. “Why Do You Hate Vegetables?”
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
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
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