If you are just going veg, then you probably expect to there to be some initial challenges with dining out, meal planning, and figuring out nutrition. What you couldn’t have predicted though was just how many idiotic questions and comments you would have to endure just because you’ve stopped eating meat.
How do you get enough protein?
No one cared about how you got your protein before you went veg. Why do they suddenly care now??? Questions about your nutrition sources might not be so annoying if they were actually valid – like asking how to get iron, B12, or calcium (which actually can be tough, especially if you are vegan). But protein is very easy to get on a plant-based diet. The RDA for protein is 46g for females and 56g for males1. A single cup of beans meets nearly the entire requirement! Then there are all those veggie sources of protein like quinoa, tofu, seitan, peas, etc.
Don’t you miss…?
Actually, since you’ve stopped eating meat, you probably have found a whole wealth of new favorite foods. And so what if you DO miss eating your mom’s beef stroganoff! I hear that Beyond Meat is coming out with a fantastic veggie mock beef.
So what DO you eat?
When people hear “vegetarian”, they instantly picture their current diet, just with all of the meat eliminated. When looked at this way, it is difficult to imagine a vegetarian diet being full of interesting tasty foods. But, seriously, what sort of answer do they expect to that question? Want a run-through of an entire weekly vegetarian meal plan?
Are you sure you don’t want some of this? You’re missing out!
No wonder so many vegetarians just say they have an allergy to meat. Otherwise, they have to deal with inconsiderate people waving meat products in their face and going on spiels about how great it tastes.
I know someone who went vegetarian and got really sick.
Yes, some people do get sick on the vegetarian diet. But there are currently over 7 million vegetarians in the US alone and they certainly aren’t all sick, weak, or suffering from nutrient deficiencies!
Humans are meant to eat meat.
It is particularly frustrating to hear people use human nature a reason to bash your choice to go veg. After all, were humans “meant” to drive cars, have air-conditioners, use soap, etc?
I could never be a vegetarian.
This is an odd reaction that seems isolated to vegetarians and vegans. When you tell someone that you are, for example, a lawyer, they don’t respond by saying “I could never make it through law school!”
Do you eat fish? Fish aren’t animals.
If I remember correctly from my elementary school science class, there are six kingdoms. Fish definitely don’t fall in the plant, fungi, bacteria, protista, or monera kingdoms, so they must be animals! If you are vegan, then expect expect a similar reaction when you tell people you don’t eat honey because “bees aren’t animals”.
But farm animals don’t have it that bad.
An animal rights activist could counter this statement in dozens of ways, but that is beside the point. There are many reasons why people choose to go vegetarian which have nothing to do with animal rights. The big ones are for health and for the environment.
There are certainly a lot more dumb comments which could have made the list. What’s the dumbest thing anyone has ever said to you in response to finding out you are a vegetarian?