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Why it shouldn’t matter that you’re a vegetarian… And why it does.

July 2014
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I read a couple of posts the other day that placed vegetarians in the victim role when it comes to their acceptance and it drove me up a wall.  Now, possibly I am at fault from time to time for lumping all vegetarians into the same camp but hey, if the s#!t fits, wear it.  What had me fired up was the manner in which it was stated that vegetarians are often verbally derided for their choice in diet and each author gave a semi-credible list of possible reasons.  The problem, in both cases, is that they left out the most glaring reason why vegetarians and vegans are so often given the cold shoulder:  They keep attacking those who eat meat by suggesting an end to its consumption or worse, by attempting to shape legislation that would make its consumption more costly or difficult for the 95% of the population that does eat meat.  In short, I could give a crap if you’re a vegetarian or vegan until you try to piss in my swimming pool.  Then we have a problem.  If you want to be left alone, shut the hell up and eat your beans and sprouts and leave everyone else alone – and if you’re not one of those, pass the word on to those you know who most certainly are of that ilk.

I decided to come up with my own list of the reasons for my lack of acceptance of the vegetarian’s insistence that their idea of a diet is better than a standard omnivore diet when it is most definitely not:

*While you insist that you can get by on a vegetarian, or worse a vegan diet you’re over there sucking down whey protein shakes like they’re going out of style so you can get enough protein because you’ve finally figured out that beans and legumes just ain’t gettin’ it.  Fortunately, as an omnivore I don’t need that processed crap.  Gimme a steak and I’m good.

*Iron:  It isn’t just for pumping.  Even on a fish and chicken diet you don’t get enough iron.  An older buddy of mine’s wife tried him on the precursor to the vegetarian diet, the fish and chicken diet…  Within two years his kidneys were shutting down from a lack of iron.  A few steaks later and he’s healthy as an ox again.  Uh, no thanks.  My diet ensures I don’t have to be a meticulous weenie to follow it.  While this example is purely observational, there are a wealth of studies that show vegetarian diets, without supplements, are lacking in even a minimum of the iron a body needs to function.

*Vegan and vegetarian diets are exceptionally unhealthy in the long-term unless you’re a nutritionist – and even then it’s 50/50 at best.

*No matter how dearly vegetarians cling to the notion that mankind wasn’t meant to eat meat, no matter how harshly one might attempt to defend that position, no matter how conclusive one might believe the “evidence” is, you are and forever will be wrong.  So when you cart out your list of misinformed talking points and people roll their eyes to the sky and say, “hmmm…” or “I never looked at it like that”, they’re not agreeing with you.  What that means is, “Oh dear Lord, not another one…maybe if I just don’t say anything they’ll shut up and go talk to someone else.”

*There is no credible scientific evidence that a vegan or vegetarian diet is better than any other diet.

*And finally, there is no credible scientific evidence that eating a balanced diet that includes meat – even red meatis bad…  On the other hand, there’s plenty of evidence that vegan and vegetarian diets are bad, especially for children and those who don’t meticulously track minerals and vitamins commonly deficient in a vegetarian diet.

What is happening here is one segment of vegetarians are complaining about being attacked by “society” (there “society” goes again) but they’re only being attacked because another segment of their “society” keeps attacking “society” at large.  I know, it’s enough to make your head spin.  Simply put, if you think anyone else on this planet should stop eating meat and do anything to stop them doing so, you’re a self-centered jerk.  Cut it out and we’ll leave you alone too.  Deal?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Pass me the bacon.

 


27 Comments

  1. Someone asked me the other day if I was a vegetarian and I laughed, “Oh god, no.” Like you said, I am not bothered by whether someone is vegetarian or vegan unless they try to force their beliefs on me.

  2. Abirami says:

    Right on!

  3. Paige says:

    Bahahaha! Now this is funny! I’ve been a vegetarian for a while and often get annoyed when people say, “Paige can’t eat that.” Well the truth is that Paige CHOOSES not to eat that. I could if I wanted to! They act like I have some terrible allergy. Here’s to hoping I never become THAT vegetarian!

  4. elisariva says:

    Hillarious!! I have a friend who would say some many of the things you wrote! He once said to me “how do you know someone is vegetarian/vegan? They will tell you! (Often)”

  5. Reblogged this on the5krunner and commented:
    does it really matter? I’ve been veggie for years. Gives people something to talk to me about who can’t either run , swim or cycle too well 🙂

  6. PedalWORKS says:

    This was an interesting post.

    I have been a vegetarian for 40 years. I was raised a carnivore but because of a persistent health problem was advised to change my diet. I have never regretted it and it has not restricted me physically in any way. Over the years, I have enjoyed distance running, swimming and cycling.

    The only real problem I experienced was with carnivores – family and friends who were either worried for my health or threatened by my change in life style. The change cost me a marriage and many friends over the years. There are many close minded people that simply cannot accept vegetarian ways.

    I must say it is better today than it was 40 years ago. Most restaurants these days include vegetation/vegan options so that everyone has something to eat. However, there was a time I could not share a meal out with carnivorous friends.

    I don’t proselytize. If you eat at my house you will be served a vegetation meal and occasionally, fresh salmon when my son goes fishing. And, if we go out, I may suggest a restaurant that I know has options for everyone. Otherwise, I don’t care what anyone eats. It is a personal choice.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Your way is the right way – I wish there were more like you.

      Of course, I suppose I’m actually one of those closed minded folks too, in a way – while I’m okay with anyone eating whatever they like, I wouldn’t last a day on a vegetarian diet.

      It’s all good brother, whatever floats your boat, though I am sorry to hear about your marriage. That’s a tough deal right there.

      • PedalWORKS says:

        I felt the same way.

        I was a competitive hockey player growing up and believed the best pre-game meal was a steak and salad. I quickly learned differently and, if anything, discovered I had more energy, stamina and maintained a better body weight not eating meat. However, there was a considerable learning curve. At the start, I had no idea what to eat or how to prepare it.

        I have a 30 year old son that is an athlete. He played soccer at the collegiate, national and international levels, runs marathons and completes gruelling, long distance and mountainous rides. He is also a personal trainer and, a vegetarian. I am amazed with his strength and power.

        I think if you know how to properly mix foods, there is no need to sacrifice athletic performance.

  7. hi says:

    I don’t eat meat or fish as i don’t like it. Never been a fan of the stuff or most veg and dairy.
    Never had a problem with my health and i don’t pop vit pills.

    What other people choose to eat is there choice as long as they don’t go all PETA and start preaching about it (makes me want to turn green and start smashing)

    Veggies eat dairy and fish so i can’t see how they can complain about people eating meat (doesn’t make sense!?)

    Not all veggies and vegans preach. Lets all come together for a group hug -X-

  8. Paul D says:

    Your posts are always interesting and often thought provoking. I’ve been a veggie since 1983, but started eating fish again when I live in Norway (as that’s all they have to eat there, so I’m now what’s termed a fish and chipocrate). I don’t eat meat/chicken because I don’t like the taste, I don’t like what is done to produce that food (I couldn’t/wouldn’t kill and animal for food and I’d go back to being fully veggie if it wasn’t for my wife wanting fish a couple of times a week), and (here’s the point where I can just see some comments coming) think (yes think, I have no facts, science, or studies to actually say) that it has less impact on the earth.

    But, I do have thoughts as I am a triathlete (of sorts, some long distance) and I do wonder if I would be better on a “balanced” diet, that includes those things I don’t eat now. I’ve never been that tempted though, yes as you probably know triathletes will try just about anything to get faster (and no for me I don’t mean being dirty), but I will never “go back”.

    Yes an interesting post, I’m sure you’re probably right, but I love what I eat now (and like you I love that I can just eat anything I want and not put on any weight) and will stick with that.

  9. Race Leader says:

    being a ‘casual vegetarian’ is what are think you are aiming at. It is a lifestyle choice but if approached naively then your diet will lack something. I approached it ‘properly’ and yet still find I am deficient of ‘protein’ due to the amount of serious exercise I do. so I cheat and have whey protein from time to time. I also find that not eating protein so much does not curb my hunger … so I eat too much and find it hard to lose that extra kg (BMI=low 20s before you ask).

    • bgddyjim says:

      Casual is what I was getting at.

      Don’t take my “whey protein shake” crack too seriously. It was, for those who do give meat eaters a hard time, a very subtle jab at a population who takes the lack of “processed” food meme seriously. A steak would be vastly less “processed” than a whey protein powder. It’s not cheating if it balances your diet. It’s all good brother.

      • Race Leader says:

        don’t worry i’m not a moral vegetarian…although my vege thing is generally anti-processed stuff…though thinking about your (valid) point on whey that must make me slightly hypocritical. oh well!! Still looking forward to my xmas day once a year turkey 🙂

      • bgddyjim says:

        The point about the whey crack is exactly that we’re all a little bit hypocritical when it comes to our beliefs. Compost piles in the back yard were the hip “green” thing a few years back but in landfills the greenhouse gasses released from a compost pile are captured, on a large scale, and burned to create energy which reduces vastly the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere.

        The main gist is “don’t take yourself so seriously because nobody else does”. Good Orderly Direction – do the next right thing at any given moment and let the rest work out in the wash. Have an awesome day man.

  10. sxeveganbiking says:

    Good post. I ate meat for years, went vegetarian briefly then vegan and have been vegan nearly 12 years. When I first went vegan I was one of ‘those’ vegans. But, it’s exhausting being angry and trying to change a society that doesn’t want to change and certainly won’t change. I soon learned to chill out and just accept it. And has been said above, it’s easy nowadays to go out and sit in a restaurant with friends eating many different types of foods catering to many different diets, which is cool. Being vegan is one small facet of me, not my whole identity. I’ve always had a good knowledge of what I need to eat for sport. I’ve found it easy being vegan and cycling for long periods, even more so having now read a couple of good books on the subject of plant based diets and endurance sports.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Right – I read about your past and your change. Too cool (though I can’t imagine how you do it – very impressive). Being mad at that much of the population must have been tough! Exhausting sounds like the perfect word.

  11. Martins says:

    It’s very common for new converts to preach.

    It does not matter whether it’s a new religion or a new diet, or becoming a member of certain other “minorities”.

    Many people do something because it’s trendy, not because it’s their inner conviction. And since they are not even deeply convinced their actions are right, they need to preach to get external assurance. And when they don’t get that assurance, then they enter the victim phase (“the whole world does not understand me and it hates me!”). So of course they are not onto the mission to change the “evil world”.

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