The Marginalization of Vegetarianism

So, today, while I was catching up with some of the comics that I read online, I noticed this little gem posted on Abstruse Goose: 

Abstruse Goose Comic 488 [Orignal Alt Text: Hey, I didn't become the awesome specimen of man that I am by eating salads.]


Vegetarian: I haven’t eaten red meat in 1697 days.

Vegetarian: I haven’t eaten poultry in 1588 days and …

Meat-eater: Hey, nobody cares!

Meat-eater: Why do you keep reminding us everyday that you are vegetarian? Nobody cares what you ate last night! Nobody cares that you don’t eat steak, nobody cares that you don’t eat chicken! And nobody cares that you don’t eat fish or…

Vegetarian: Fish? I haven’t eaten fish in 1027 days.

Box 1: On average, meat-eaters live five years longer than vegetarians.

*All three meat-eaters shown to be beating the vegetarian, one is punching, another is kicking, and the third is holding a baseball bat*

Box 2: Scientists baffled.


Did you get that? Did you see the joke there?

Well, you see, the joke is that scientists are baffled as to why “meat-eaters” live five years longer than vegetarians (which is not true, by the way), but the real reason is because vegetarians are insufferable to the point that they get physically assaulted, with deadly weapons, I might add!

HA! Get it!? *crickets chirping*

Oh, this is just a crude rehashing of a common trope? One that claims that all vegetarians come with this internalized need to tell the world that they are vegetarian at every chance they get? No, that couldn’t be it; there is nothing is society that claims that vegetarians are like that! I mean, as a vegetarian, I have never been called such a thing before I said anything further, I have never been attacked because I choose to not eat meat…

Oh, wait, yes I have..

In fact, just about every time that I have mentioned that I am vegetarian I have come up against some kind of resistance. I guess I must have been bragging then, I must have some how claimed to be morally superior to everyone else somehow. But, thinking back to the last incident, I don’t really know how. 

You see, the last time that I was attacked (less viciously than depicted above) I was in an IRC channel talking to a couple friends of mine in a busy room. One of my friends mentioned that he was about to go off to eat dinner, and he offered some to me (you know, in that IRC-esque action script). I declined the offer, mentioned that it sounds nice, but I reminded him that I don’t eat meat.

Well, that was a mistake! All the sudden three or four people that weren’t really chatting about much beforehand started commenting and asking questions. They started off innocently enough; you know, questions about when I decided to go vegetarian and why I chose to do so. But soon, the questions turned to more leading questions like “You know that completely removing meat from your diet can be dangerous, right?” and “You need more protein in your diet. How can you get enough without meat?” Then, from there it turned into a whirlwind of immature banter and trollish comments to try and piss me off. They talked about how meat is the awesome-est and how anyone who doesn’t like meat is stupid or childish or feigning environmental friendliness.

It was really quite annoying.. and, to me, this is that discussion in comic form. This is the backbone of the annoying comments and turned up faces that I need to deal with. This is the trope that makes it so that I don’t want to talk about food with people until I know they are okay with vegetarians.. 

And this is just because I choose to actually eat my greens.. I don’t get it.


One thought on “The Marginalization of Vegetarianism

  1. At least a part of this is jealousy. As an omnivore, there are times (after have a fast-food heart-attack-in-a-bag for example) when I wish that I could go vegetarian. I don’t because it looks hard, and meat is so readily available (and yes, tasty). What I think would be best is changing government subsidies for food. Right now meet (beef and chicken) is cheaper than it should be, and vegetables aren’t. Not to mention how meet doesn’t go bad in my freezer, but I never seem to make salads fast enough. I always end up throwing out rotten produce.
    Another part is of course the disconnect between what omnivores recognize as valid arguments for vegetarianism (health, environment, animal cruelty), and their own actions. The realization that “I’m part of the problem” sends lots of people into denial and basically turns them into “Oh-you-think-you’re-bettah-than-me?” monsters.
    I’ve run into this a few times because I don’t drink. People (drunk people) assume that I have huge self-control. Some say “I wish I could be like you.” When obviously they don’t because they enjoy alcohol. Others try to get me to drink. Those people don’t stay my friends for long. Everyone knows the reasons not to drink, just as the reasons not to eat meat have been made clear to most people. The fact that there are people intolerant of teetotallers and vegetarians is not because their in anything inherently offensive in avoiding alcohol of meat, but rather the opposite. I feel bad for the people who lash out against us for what we don’t do. I don’t (generally) think I’m better than them, but it’s clear that they think I am.
    (It’s also funny to me how people decide to pick on things that we don’t do. As if we didn’t have any real vices. Speaking of which, it’s nearly 10 o’clock, time to get out of bed.)

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