Most vegetarians and vegans have to put up with a lot of questions about their diets from curious omnivores. Some of these questions are the result of legitimate (if perhaps ignorant) curiosity, such as "Do you need to take supplements?" or "Do vegetarians eat eggs?" Most vegetarians and vegans are happy to answer these types of questions, at least the first few hundred times.
Quite a few other questions and comments are so dumb they're just plain obnoxious, though. This type is most popular with internet trolls and other omnivores who think they're funny, and there's no legitimate curiosity about them. Here are some of the dumbest:
Do you eat animal crackers?
Har har har, vegetarians are so dumb they can't tell the difference between dead animal flesh and a bunch of ground grains, refined sugars, and chemical additives molded to look like animals humans don't even typically eat! Har har har! I'm slapping my thighs over here!
In fact, I'm pleased to report that Nabisco's Barnum Animal Crackers are not only vegetarian, they're vegan, too! Some other brands do contain dairy or whey, however, so check the ingredient list.
On Being Prey
I didn't climb to the top of the food chain to eat plants.
Vegetarians and vegans are often accused of being city slickers, but I think this comment reveals who the real city slicker is. Only somebody who has never had to make peace with the possibility of becoming something else's dinner could make a statement like this. As a frequent hiker in grizzly country, I'd be an idiot not to take sensible precautions when I hit the trail, but I can do everything right and still become prey.
Grizzlies are just one of the small but legendary group of species that occasionally remind us that humans are NOT, in fact, the top of the food chain. We like to pretend that we are - in part by killing off the real tops of the food chain wherever we take up residence - but they're still waiting out there in the wilder corners of our world, haunting our collective nightmares. It takes a city slicker to forget it.
If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
The Good Lord made humans out of meat, too. Does that mean He wants us to be cannibals?
Seriously, people, if you're going to drag religion in to muddy up the issue, there are plenty of legitimate ways to do it. This is not one of them.
If we stopped eating meat, the world would be overrun by animals!
Believe it or not, this one may be even dumber than the last one, completely ignoring the reality that livestock species only exist in the numbers that they do because humans breed them for meat and other animal products.
Wild animals, meanwhile, keep their own populations under control just fine... as long as humans stay out of it. Ironically, ecologists have learned in recent years that grizzlies and other top predators are killing us even in their absence, through auto collisions with deer, hantavirus spread by mice, and other symptoms of prey populations run amok.
But you eat fish, right?
Um, no. Vegetarians do not eat dead animals, therefore vegetarians do not eat fish. Same with chicken.
In fairness, some of this is semantic confusion. For whatever reason, the word "meat" in English is usually taken to mean red meat, while fish and chicken are labeled "seafood" and "poultry" respectively. As a result, when vegetarians say they don't eat meat, a surprising number of people assume that means only red meat, as if fish and birds are some sort of plant.
Adding to the confusion, some pescetarians (people who eat fish but not red meat or poultry) and pollotarians (people who eat poultry but not red meat) call themselves vegetarians or semi-vegetarians, either because it's simpler or because they don't know the correct terms themselves.
Variety is the Spice of Life
So what DO you eat, salads?
Some omnivores appear to suffer under the ridiculous misconception that vegetables are the only foods vegetarians eat. In fact, some go even further, with an apparent belief that lettuce is the only food vegetarians eat. Others will generously offer to give you their lawn clippings.
In fact, many vegetarians eat a significantly more varied diet than typical omnivores consuming the Standard American Diet. The initials spell SAD for a reason!
Almost all vegetarians probably eat a more varied diet than the sort of omnivore who asks "But what do you eat?" when you say you're vegetarian, as if the idea of a single meal without meat is some sort of incomprehensible alien concept.
The snarky reply is "Everything but dead animal corpses." If the question appears to be genuine, you can be more polite and say "Everything but meat," maybe adding a list of a few of the delicious vegetarian meals you've eaten recently.
This one is just plain obnoxious but there's a related question that occasionally is serious - "Why is it okay to eat plants but not animals?" - so I'll put some effort into countering it anyway.
There are several related points you can touch on here.
The most basic is that plants have no central nervous system and cannot feel pain. Animals can, and despite efforts to minimize the suffering of slaughter, the truth is that these measures often aren't enforced, and even when they are, they don't always work.
It's also worth noting that very few plants are actually killed by being eaten. (Carrots are one of them - at least our dumb omnivore got that much right.) The majority of plant foods that people eat are forms of fruit, nut or seed. Harvesting these types of plant food neither kills nor harms the plant in the slightest.
If the goal is to minimize suffering (in the sense that a plant experiences suffering, anyway, which has little similarity to the ways in which humans and animals experience suffering), you can point out that eating animals causes twice the "suffering" that eating plants does, because plants are eaten by animals and then animals are eaten by people. Vegetarianism and veganism isn't about being perfect, it's about doing less harm. This is also a good answer for people who bring up the issue of insects and other animals killed during harvesting of plant crops - there is no perfectly cruelty-free diet, but the lower you eat on the food chain, the less total harm you're racking up.
I'm a member of PETA -People Eating Tasty Animals.
Obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious. Ignoring them is the best solution.
Defensive Omniovore Bingo
Meztli from United Kingdom on May 18, 2015:
If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?"
where I hear that one, I know there's no point in talking with this person about it anymore.
Nick Deal from Earth on September 15, 2014:
I bet you get new ones every day that you could add to this list.
Fay Favored from USA on September 15, 2014:
I haven't been asked all these questions but indeed some of them. What really gets me is that so many people think salad is all we eat. When we are invited to a gathering my husband shares that I'm a vegetarian and most say, "She can eat salad." We usually bring side dishes!
Buce on April 08, 2013:
You'd be surprised how many vegetarians eat fish, actually. I as a vegetarian myself think it is hypocritical, but whatever, to each his own.
dudeser on January 24, 2013:
Some of these are very dumb. I have veg friend and just tease him while he teases me for other things. His diet is very well cus is about the pickest veggy person ever.
Linda on October 16, 2012:
Its funny how the exact point you are making in this article, ppl are still posting and saying the same ridiculous things and in the attack mode. smh
supermom_in_ny from NY on July 18, 2012:
I am not a vegetarian, but my teenage daughter has been a vegan for years. I hate when people ask stupid questions or ridicule her lifestyle choice. Bad decision on their part, since I am a confrontational type. If you make a stupid comment, you shouldn't be shocked if you get an antagonistic answer. I always feel sorry for the idiot that opens their mouth around me to trash talk about autism or veganism. I'm pretty sure that after they come across me, they think twice before EVER doing it again. LOL! ;)
Voted up, awesome and shared!
Claudia Mitchell on July 01, 2012:
I eat meat, but would never think about asking my vegetarian friends these questions. There were some really funny points.
billd01603 from Worcester on June 21, 2012:
This was a funny Hub
Orinoco on June 21, 2012:
I've always wondered why people get so defensive. I'm an 'omnivore', but never once have these questions ever crossed my mind. People can be so weird sometimes. Haha :)
Henning on June 05, 2012:
I understand you're annoyed by stupid questions. But, I have heard some pretty daft reasoning from vegetarians to, like "it's unnatural for humans to eat meat." I totally relate to the ethical and eviormental issuses often described, but the fundament of our civillisation is still buildt upon being hunter/gatherers and dressing our naked skin in other animals fur... don't know if this is an unrelated "cavemen comment" :) Weird thing then that we haven't moved on to the point where we cut down on our increasing exploitment of natural resourses, now that we actually have all the means to change our ways.
katie on May 31, 2012:
People just like to criticises if you're not like them. I'm not a full vegetarian because of my family (my sacrifice for them) but I always order vegetarian meals when at restaurants and get asked why I didn't just get a salad. Personally I don't like meat; never have. The looks I get when I tell people I don't like steak and don't eat any form of pork... funny thing is I'm healthier and more energetic then them!!
Btryon86 on May 08, 2012:
I absolutely love this article. I can't tell you how many of those bingo spaces I could fill in from all the ridiculous things people have asked me about being a vegetarian, lol.
TheLifeExperiment from Seattle, WA on May 02, 2012:
mark- lol what? That makes no sense at all
mark on May 01, 2012:
just cause vegans are completely stupid irational and all these points make sense doesn't mean youhave to rub it in their faces. Heck if people want to eat dog shit let them eat dog shit.
TheLifeExperiment from Seattle, WA on April 17, 2012:
Oy, thank you. So many people have asked me all these questions and I just look at them like, "are you mentally retarded?". Meat isn't the biggest part of human's diet (or at least it shouldn't be), so why is it such a big deal to stop eating it? People don't get all these stupid questions if they go on a no-carb diet, and carbs make up most of our diets. People who don't like or understand vegetarians are a mystery to me...Good hub :)
celt130 on April 16, 2012:
"The process of harvesting itself had little? effect on the mice,but the removal of the cover afforded by the crop greatly increased predation pressure on the mice.After harvest,mice either emigrated from? the arable ecosystem or reduced activity.Nevertheless,over half(17 of 32)of the mice radio-collared before harvest where taking by predators in the first week following harvest.Together with emigration,this produced an 80% decrease in the population"
"Tew, T.E. and D.W. Macdonald. 1993. The effects of harvest on arable wood mice. Biological Conservation 65:279-283. "
-"Davis, S.L. 2000. What is the Morally Relevant Difference between the Mouse and the? Pig? Pp. 107-109 in the Proceedings of EurSafe 2000; 2nd Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics"
-"OSU scientist questions the moral? basis of a vegan diet (3/5/02)"
Pamela Lee from Washington State on April 11, 2012:
This is a funny and very original Hub. I am a pescetarian, and love the subjects that You touched in this writing. Thank You for the great Hug to read!
RockMomster on April 08, 2012:
Not a vegetarian here, and I say when it comes to our menu choices that BOTH sides could show some tolerance. I'm pretty sure I haven't said the things from your BIngo card, but seriously, the animal crackers question is obvious sarcasm! Get a sense of humor, stop taking your diet so seriously, and lighten up! Yes, it's an old, stale joke but it's not a criticism. Know that both sides can play this Bingo game, because there are some pretty holier-than-thou vegetarians looking down their noses at omnivores. If you attract too many obnoxious comments, you might want to ask a meat eating friend to pull out their Obnoxious Vegetarian
Remarks Bingo card for a quick self-assessment.
amarah on April 06, 2012:
I got a good one vegitarians say i dont eat fish egg or meat yet i see them eating haribos GELETINE I SAY THAT COMES FROM ANIMALS the respons get oooooo
vegetarianceleste from San Fransisco on April 05, 2012:
A very witty article, I was giggling throughout! I guess most of us vegetarians have heard these kinds of comments before - it can be so darned frustrating!
Thanks for making it funny!
kerryg (author) from USA on March 02, 2012:
Vegetarians have different reasons for going vegetarian. A person who goes vegetarian for health reasons wouldn't necessarily care about wearing leather or wool, whereas a person who goes vegetarian because she opposes killing animals might be okay with wool but not leather, and a person opposed to animal exploitation of any kind generally wouldn't wear either.
Additionally, modern industrial agriculture is indeed horrible for the planet, whether it's producing steaks or rice. However, by eating lower on the food chain, you can reduce the environmental damage you do. Eating a steak from a corn-fed steer compounds the environmental damage by combining the problems of animal and plant agriculture, whereas if you just eat the corn directly you're not only eliminating the damage caused by raising the steer, you also require much less corn.
Of course, the best option from an environmental perspective is not eating food produced by industrial agriculture at all, but if you must, it's better to eat vegetarian.
Jen on March 02, 2012:
Very amusing article, but I do have a few questions..
People who say they are vegetarian, yet go around wearing shoes/ handbags/ clothing ect made of wool, leather or any other product which comes from an animal annoy me. Either do it properly or not at all. They shouldn't be consuming anything which comes from milk or eggs either. Hypocrites.
In addition, vegetarians I've met have this 'holier than thou', preachy attitude which quite annoys me. 'Ooohh, I'm a vegetarian.' Yeah, so what? You think your doing the planet good, I suppose? Despite the fact the rice fields which produce your rice kick out tonnes of methane a day, contributing to global warming?
AKKessinger from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota on February 14, 2012:
Nice Hub, a funny interesting read. Great information. I'm a very new vegan and I'm still learning about everything.
farmer on January 18, 2012:
How do you call a vegan who run a farm and sell 150-200 cattles to slaughterhouse per year and refuse eat eggs from my backyard chickens. His explanation - i am not going to kill chickens - every eggs representing new life. Bullock up to 200 cattles lifes vs 4-8 roosters on my farm (on average one or two of my hens sit on eggs per year = 18-24 from 800 eggs)
SanXuary on January 12, 2012:
I am Vegan but have never called myself one. The reason why is because I am Vegan for health reasons only. I do the research and there is no doubt that it is the healthiest thing you could ever do for yourself. It will almost guarantee that you maintain the proper weight and if you our over weight you will lose most of it. There is no doubts that the over consumption of animal based products in our food supply is the largest reason for are current health crisis in America. Read the ingredients on almost any food item and it has eggs, milk or animal in it. Most people think that they only had one steak or hamburger today but they actually had between ten or twenty. There are current studies that prove that a vegan diet has cured cancer and reversed and healed coronary heart disease. I often watch TV and realize that the joke is on non-vegans. Eat this big burger and we will donate x amount to fight cancer the whole time they are sending you to your death. All the medications that average over 40 side effects to solve problems that our the side effects of worst problems. For example erectile dysfunction is a symptom of coronary heart disease. Mean while late night TV is running adds to find out if you are a victim for some medication you took. Their are people who went from death to better then average health by going vegan. They went from countless medications to none and lost weight and never did a diet. Just as scary our the countless additives and sweeteners made from chemicals that the human body can not process but people consume everyday to claim that they are dieting. The best medicine is nutrition and eating the right things and I do not do this for the furry animals.
omnivorous on January 02, 2012:
actually humans are indeed on the top of the food chain.
your opinion is obvious biased.
animal slaughter is not the same as animal cruelty. There are many ways not to contribute to animal cruelty and you should also post about it since you bash those who accept themselves.
I actually find this article insulting...as if vegans were superior to omnivorous...
jalo on January 01, 2012:
Buddy on December 20, 2011:
This is just what I needed. Thanks! The BINGO is all too familiar.
What kills me is my friends who question my vegan lifestyle yet go to bars every night.
Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on December 19, 2011:
Did anyone cite this one yet?
"I'm a vegetarian too - I just eat chicken and fish!"
Also, when people at work want you to go to lunch or some food event, they'll say
"Well, they have salads."
creativebutterfly from Florida USA on December 19, 2011:
Loved it, great Hub, as a vegetarian I can understand all of it.
vegteen on December 15, 2011:
Think being veg as an adult is hard? Try being one in high school. You get the peers who think vegetarianism makes you a freak and veganism is a disease PLUS the condescending adults who pat you on the head and tell you that you're too young to understand nutrition and to go get some protein.
Great hub, by the way. Love the bingo.
vanessam on November 28, 2011:
@Arthur Windermere: The reason they are one the defensive, most probably, is that a large number of vegetarians/vegans approach omnivores with accusations. I am almost vegan myself, but I try to avoid criticizing omnivores for their choices. Rather, I try to educate them and let them take out of it what they will.
@Amalee: Agreed entirely. It's so ridiculous...not that beef jerky would sustain you for long enough to get away, anyway, so it's rather pointless.
Thanks for this Hub. Voted up and awesome.
veggie tarian on November 23, 2011:
This is awesome! I am going to print it out and leave it in my meat-loving friends locker! She has used almost every one!
Schatje on November 04, 2011:
This article leads me to think that vegetarians and vegans surround themselves with morons. Hmm...
Works for me!
PiaC from Oakland, CA on October 26, 2011:
I personally am quite confused when folks who eat fish and chicken claim to be vegetarian, but a lot of fish eating folk do label themselves that way. In India, even eggs are considered non-vegetarian, which I understand, as they certainly are not a vegetable!
Ken on October 23, 2011:
Fair enough but left out one of the main reasons people say some of those things is to get even with vegetarians. Not all But the majoraty of Vegetarians and vegans I have met have been the preachiest most condescending people I have ever had to deal with. You do not eat meat fine but do not come to my table sit down and preach about how can I eat a carcass. Dont I know how meat gets to the table and the rest of it. I would rather have the evangelicals come knocking . At least I can just shut the door on them.
Jules on October 17, 2011:
You eat what you like - I like meat so will continue to eat it - no amount of witty banter (cos thats all this is) will change my taste buds!
My grandad was a beef farmer - cows for beef and milk - and he and my gran lived to be in their 90's eating meat daily, they were fit and happy. Would you have wanted to put them out of business and make them have to sell their farm? I think the minority of veggies in the uk should quietly get on with eating plants and let us eat meat - there is no need to go on about it constantly! Its almost as bad as jehova's wintesses coming rounbd with their unwanted opinions!
Megan on October 09, 2011:
my all time favorite that i get almost on a daily basis: "it's already dead you're just wasting it by not eating it"
Katarina on September 26, 2011:
What an interesting, unique article! I loved reading this, and I could definitely discuss stuff like this for hours.(:
1. I keep trying to go vegan and failing. Now that I know that there are dairy-free animal crackers to eat, I'll just eat them when i need that chocolate(: (Though there's always dark chocolate too! I'm so mature->;)) By the way, I don't mind this one as much, I think it's a little funny. Shame on me :7
2. I love how others think that us being vegetarians or vegans are making THEM look bad or inferior. Stay on top of your food chain, sure. Leave us alone.
3. I was hanging out with a girl once, and she said she thought God put animals on Earth for us to eat. But if that's so, why would He be so cruel as to give animals feelings and relationships, lives and freedom? I wont critisize your religion, as i was introduced to Bhuddism when I was 8 (im almost 13 now), but please don't proselytize or say ridiculous things.
4.Yes, completely true. If we're not eating farm animals, nature takes care of the other animals people eat, such as deer and rabbits.
MissChellePanda from Connecticut on August 22, 2011:
This made my night. :3
AlexaDarling from Memphis on August 06, 2011:
Thanks so much for posting this! I love it. I'm so sick of all these ridiculous questions! I've been listening to them for the past eight years, and I wish people knew how silly they sound when they ask them.
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 03, 2011:
Terrific hub, and I've heard all the lame questions and remarks over the years.
I clicked on a link to another of your hubs and made all my comments there. Guess I was confused, but I'm an old lady....:)
Majadez on May 30, 2011:
Awesome hub! Some of these are very true of what people say to mock vegetarians. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has been approached with these childish/ignorant remarks. Thanks for sharing.
amalee from Birmingham, AL on May 02, 2011:
I absolutely hate the "if you were stranded on a desert island and there was nothing but beef jerky to eat" scenario! This is an awesome hub.
Beverly Stevens from College Station on March 02, 2011:
Loved your hub! I have been vegetarian for 25 years and have heard every thing you posted except for one of the bingo squares. You forgot, "What do you eat?" It used to be, as soon as you said you don't eat meat, the question would follow. My son got his so often he got irritated and asked me in frustration one day, "Do they think we don't eat?" For the meat-eater comment that they don't care what we eat--so not true.
When I was dating, it was impossible to order a meatless meal, off the menu on a first date, and not have the date ask, "Are you vegetarian?" It always happened.
Thanks for sharing. Great hub!
Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on February 14, 2011:
I am a meat eater but I was laughing so hard reading this hub, thank you. I've had a few beers tonight, question: do you drink beer? ;-)
I agree all these sorts of comments are ridiculous, but I have to question the fact that you feel you are making a difference by reducing the amount of damage you are creating (scaling back from meat to plants that do not suffer the same way that animals do - assuming plants feel pain), doesn't that presuppose that humans, or any animal for that matter, should not even exist?
I realize that from the tone of your article, you probably would have to place this next to all the other dumb comments, but I think it is fair to evaluate something by its ultimate value as opposed to, "degrees of truth," as I put it.
As far as religion, there is nothing wrong in my book (the Bible), with vegetarianism as a lifestyle choice. Even as a meat eater, I find your choice noble. I love animals (living), but I accept that for me, eating meat is a part of what I am. I may someday join your ranks if I feel that I won't turn sickly, pale and white as Sufidreamer mentioned above :-D
Honestly, I don't know how someone who doesn't know you can be so crass as to share those jokes and half sincere questions with you. I get the feeling you are annoyed at the sarcasm from ignorant meat eaters rather than truth seeking questions.
Great hub, thanks for enlightening me.
StarCreate from Spain on February 11, 2011:
Love it, the bingo is especially hilarious - tempted to print that out and stick it on the kitchen wall actually!
One of the most irritating dumb comments I find is 'so, are you ALLOWED to eat xxx?' Like I am some kind of medical freak or obscure cultist... Honey, I am a grown-up, I am *allowed* to eat anything I damn please, and I choose *not* to eat certain kinds of foods that used to be animals that died in pain. What's not to get about that..?
chechetka from London, UK on January 03, 2011:
Thanks for this hub, it's great! I have only been a vegetarian for 3 months but I am really getting fed up with justifying my choice. Have you noticed it's always us who have to defend, I'm never attacking or trying to convince anyone that my diet is the right one.
VeganLove on December 27, 2010:
I've been getting these questions and comments for years. I think one one the dumbest ones was that the plants are living creatures and I am killing them. I had to stop myself from slapping the person so I just said really I didn't know that and walked away. I also hate the question what do you eat salads, it kills me how intelligent omnivores are. It makes you think if they eliminated all that crap meat from their diet how intelligent they would be.
Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on December 23, 2010:
Really good Hub, Kerry - I can't believe I missed this one! I have been veggie for over 20 years, and have heard most of those at some point.
My favourite is the 'Vegetarians are Weak' argument - my response (tongue firmly in cheek), is to invite them outside for a bout of fisticuffs. Nobody has yet taken me up on the offer :D
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on December 23, 2010:
Excellent, well-written hub! There are several hubs out there on this topic, and they all take different angles; I've just written one myself dealing with the 'why,' animal rights aspects and definitions; LisaHW has one on how to shop and "translate" meat-based recipes, and now here is yours on dealing with dumb questions. Good job!
I am reminded also of a bumper sticker I used to see a lot in San Francisco that poses a GREAT question to omnivores:
"Why do we keep animals we call "pets" and kill animals we call "dinner?"
I always thought that was an excellent question, for there is no practical difference between any animals as far as being a sentient being.
rotl from Florida on December 08, 2010:
Really enjoyed your hub.... loved the omnivore bingo chart. I have to say, my favorite has to be "do you eat animal crackers?" Do people actually say that?
SnowLion on November 30, 2010:
Nice Article and funny:)
Well, It's not about God and religion, it's about life cycle, some animals here for us as humans to eat as well as for other wild animals to eat, Human nature is to be able to eat everything but other animals basically can't have this ability, therefore there is a reason for the human to be able to eat everything while other animals can't.
Hope you understand, being a human means we are different than other species, there is always side effect for being extreme in anything but to be Normal Human and use your ability to eat Balanced food, you live longer and healthier, Seafood or Fish are very healthy food and hard to replace it with anything, don't take Vitamins supplements to replace food, If you can't replace with other natural source then don't take something has side effects even after long time.
But if your concern is the animal cruelty, then we should kill all wild animals which feed on other animals to live with all animals in peace after:) just joking
Think about it
PurpleOne from Canada on November 07, 2010:
I'm vegetarian myself and what I hate hearing most is "God put animals on Earth for us to eat." How do YOU know? I just can't stand it when I hear this but it's hard to know how to respond because then you have to get into a religion debate which is not exactly light conversation.
soumyasrajan from Mumbai India and often in USA on September 29, 2010:
Very interesting article. I had faced these type of questions in USA almost 30 years back when first time I visited USA. I thought now there is much more awareness in USA about it. It is much more natural there also to be vegie.
Some days back I also wrote a hub on Vegetarianism- specially about my experiences in USA etc. and ideas in India where more than 40% people are vegetarian and it is so natural that you never even think about it.
Aaron DeBacker on September 14, 2010:
There are lots of curious people in the world that think its interesting that you are Vegan. I am sure there are many who find your way of life insulting. Whatever the reason, they ask the questions because they don't know the answer or just want to hear your take on the subject. True they might be ignorant to the way of the Vegan lifestyle or want to make jokes about it, for many reasons, but to b-rate them isn't that just as ignorant? One point of this article I find truly interesting, if not ignorant in itself is the answer to the question: :Why is it okay to eat animals and not plants? To say that the life of something that can feel pain is more important than a life that does not feel pain is crazy! We can't even fathom the way a plant perceives the world. We know how they work scientifically, study how they move, even respond to music, and how they live in there environments. However, we can never understand what is like to be a plant. True they might not suffer but they are killed, eaten alive! Okay so I am being a bit dramatic :)
I think it is awesome that the goal of a vegan is to minimize suffering of animals by human hand. I think animals shouldn't suffer and should be given a good life. I think there needs to stricter codes and laws about how we treat animals and how we slaughter them. I would love to see that change especially since they are being used for food. By not giving them that respect we take for granted the food they provide for us.
Personally I could never be Vegan, because one thing I do enjoy in life is eating:) And to limit what I eat would kill my happiness:)
I am actually left with one question that some might call ignorant, but to ask is not as ignorant as not asking... so here it it is: Would a vegan eat an animal if there was no suffering involved?
MaryRenee on July 17, 2010:
Kerryg: What a great hub! I can't tell you how many times I've heard all of the above comments! Some people can be so rude and ignorant toward vegetarians. Awesome hub, bravo! :)
Zannie10 on July 09, 2010:
You are exactly right! Meat eaters can sometimes be so ignorant when it comes to talking with vegetarians or vegans. Sometimes I think it's because they don't have the will power to do what us vegetarians or vegans do. These people should learn to respect us and our love for animals and stop criticizing or asking stupid questions.
Esmeowl12 on July 08, 2010:
I thought this was a very interesting and informative article. Thanks!
jasonrayhall on July 08, 2010:
concerning humans: "...the only animals capable of higher thought..."
Just for fun, I would like to call out the description of our mental condition as "higher thought". Honestly, though I do crucify myself in this thought, I tend to see this "higher thought" as more of a disability and a mutation. We (including myself) seem to never fail at overcomplicating nearly everything so that we can fit ideas into the constraints of language and imagery (media). Though this 'disorder' proves itself over and over to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys with razor blades, I don't beleive that there is anything "higher" about it. Our convoluted thought processes historically have mainly (but not solely) served to fuel segregation, elitism and confusion amongst the members of our species. Animals (and still some secluded human tribes) are capable of communication and understanding without the dirty veil of spoken or written word. More importantly, animals are much less obsessed with themselves than we humans tend to be, and exist on what I would consider to be kind of a "higher" plain than we in that they do not readily sacrifice their instincts based upon trivial and often nonsensical ramblings and conviction of others. We may have accomplished many things that impress our own kind, but what have we really? Aren't we merely lost in our own thoughts and overly-amazed by and obsessed with our own inventions that we piece together in order to simply amplify our egos and separate ourselves from the Earth and our ability to survive by utilizing what we are naturally provided? Perhaps not... however it is worth considering that, at the end of the day, every aspect of our perceived superiority (or higher thought) is but an illusion constructed to satisfy an epidemic of vanity throughout the psychological landscape of the human species. The human brain is a fascinating and dangerous thing and furthermore holds the potential for relative catastrophe when rattled about in a box of billions of others. Like it or not, perception is reality and our human bodies are completely disposable machines being utilized by an indifferent energy that is always balanced whether or not it seems fair to a given individual, group or species.
On a side note... not all of us necessarily NEED to consume meat in order to survive... but if you were to eat foods with nothing but survival in mind, then you can do without salt and spices. And to reiterate... it is absolutely NOT wrong to take the life of an animal for food. As I have said before, the real problem is mass-production; and that affects animals and plant life alike. Again, nothing wrong with vegetarianism, however I think that the argument for vegetarianism is misdirected if the aim is to 'not harm' animals. The thing is that, no matter what you eat, you're a human and you are likely an active part of our capitalist society. If you consume goods of any kind that you did not farm or manufacture yourself, then you have no idea of how much wildlife was sacrificed to bring you that bottle of water, gasoline/oil, electricity, computers and even fruits and vegetables. So if vegetarianism makes you feel better about what you have done by contributing to the destruction of land, water and resources needed by the animals that unwillingly sacrificed their lives for you to have that bottle of water, your electricity, your transportation and even your food, then by all means... veg out. However do not blind yourself to the fact that technically... nobody is a vegan. It is virtually impossible unless you are completely self-sustained and ensure that no animals are harmed in the sustainment of your wants and needs.
If you want to achieve the goal that you claim to have through your life as a vegan or vegetarian... go get some unclaimed land somewhere and farm your own food... but be careful not to use any electronics; especially mobile phones.. the comm towers alone are waging an outright war on the health and lives of animals worldwide.
BTW... I am also guilty of being a part of today's human civilization, and regularly consume goods that affect (harm and kill) animals... I do not like it, but I cannot justify putting myself into a state of denial about it; nor can I justify or afford the endeavor of attempting to cut myself off from it completely.
Lifeallstar1 on July 08, 2010:
This was great!! Thank you for enlightening us and really well written. I loved the bingo! When someone asks a stupid question, just say "it tastes like chicken."
Ruth on July 07, 2010:
I loved this hub. As a vegetarian I get so sick of people expecting me to justify my diet, when they know absolutely nothing about healthy nutrition. I especially hate the "where to do you get your protein from?" question. "Well..da..baked beans." People don't realise that almost every food contains protein, even the humble potato (and if you've read 'The China Study' you'll know that a high protein diet can actuallly kill you).
I loved reading this hub. Very funny, and very true.
benderr12 on July 07, 2010:
Haha I am not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I did enjoy this hub.
Jeff Berndt from Southeast Michigan on July 07, 2010:
Re dairy cattle and calves, the dairy farm near my home (where we buy a lot of our milk) lets its calves nurse until they are ready to eat grass. That's one of many reasons I like that farm.
Re eating meat or not, in some places, animals like goats and sheep take food that people can't eat (grass, 'weeds,' what have you) and turn it into food that people can eat (milk, other dairy products, and meat). This is the only way people can survive in some areas of the world, since most food crops won't grow there in abundance. Y'ever try growing wheat on a mountainside? :-)
As mentioned above, I'm not a vegetarian, but I also don't buy meat from industrial operations. We get our meat from local farms that let the critters live like critters, and they have nice lives. Well, right up until the last moment or two, anyway. But the point is that they are treated well during their lives, and slaughtered as humanely as possible when the time comes.
pippin on July 07, 2010:
hilarious, i have received every single one of those comments at some point
jasonrayhall on July 07, 2010:
You make some very solid points. And yes, I do agree with the notion that we could certainly do with a lower overall meat consumption and that it would certainly be beneficial to us all as a whole (and individually). Come to think of it, we would all benefit by simply consuming less in general. I realize that I may have deviated from the initial thought behind this post, but it's all just too interesting to consider. All we can do is the best that we can in an effort toward conservation and moderation. Unfortunately we as a species have trapped ourselves in a world where we're almost forced to live off of frozen, canned and 'fast' foods (plants and meat alike) and growing farther and farther from self-sufficience. I also agree that there is a much wider variety in the world of vegetarian cuisine. To be quite honest, I could make a go of such a diet. As a matter of fact, I'm a huge fan of Indian Cuisine for one, which makes excellent use of a seemingly limitless array of spices, greens, legumes and more; and are absolutely perfect dishes on their own with or without meat. Thanks for the intelligent and refined response to my role as 'devil's advocate'. I will continue to read your material with great interest and look forward to it. Thanks for giving us all something to 'chew on'.
kerryg (author) from USA on July 07, 2010:
someonewhoknows, most farmers feed calves commercial milk replacer after separating them from their mothers. It is based on milk powder and is cheaper than feeding them whole milk.
kerryg (author) from USA on July 07, 2010:
jasonrayhall, carnivores need meat to survive. Humans don't. We are also (as far as we know) the only animal capable of higher thought, including the ability to consider the ethics of our diets. Personal morality varies widely in most other areas, so why is diet any different? Why it ridiculous for some people to believe that it is wrong to kill another living creature for food when we can sustain ourselves perfectly well on plant foods alone?
Making such a choice hardly elevates one to the status of "God" or puts one out of harmony with the natural world. In fact, humans are fairly unusual among omnivores, and definitely among omnivorous primates, in the percentage of our diet that we devote to meat. For most omnivorous species, meat is an occasional treat, not a daily occurrence, and the same is true in many traditional human societies. It's only our unnatural system of industrial agriculture that allows us to eat meat so plentifully.
More than 80% of the grain grown in the United States is fed directly to livestock, so I think if humans consumed only plant life, we'd actually end up with far MORE plants than we currently have. We might also have more variety, since all the land currently taken up by field corn intended to fatten cattle, pigs, and chickens could get converted to crops with actual nutritional value beyond animal feed, such as vegetables and fruits. You can produce about 2-4,000 pounds of beef off one acre of good land. The same acre can produce 40,000 pounds of tomatoes or potatoes, 36,000 pounds of pears, 6-8,000 pounds of broccoli...
There are regions of the world, including most of the Great Plains here in the US, that aren't suited to produce much of anything BUT meat, and in those regions a diet high in meat is natural and reasonable. However, in many other regions of the world, eating a diet based primarily or entirely on plants is a much more efficient use of land and water resources.
SALVAONEGIANNAOLCOM from south and west of canada,north of ohio on July 07, 2010:
I'm not directly involved in the dairy business ,so I do not know how they treat calves,but I would think they would allow them to feed from their mother's milk in order to survive.Unless they are being used to produce veal which of course is a calf that treated badly in order to provide the demand for veal of which I have no information to convey here.
Let us consider the possibility that there are lifeforms in the universe that eat human flesh.How would we feel about that possibility? There is some information on the internet that says just that.It's been said that that these et's are living underground at locations around the world.The unitedstates and Egypt are two such locations that I'm aware of.The way I understand it,they eat only young children,which they have abducted and use as slave labor who died due to overwork not unlike the Jews who died in labor camps during world war two.
The children are eaten just after the point of death.I understand these particular Et's eat raw flesh,or so I 've read.
Is,it reasonable to say ,that all lifeforms feed on other lifeforms at sometime or other,during or after they have died?
I for one would love to see the day come when we could produce our food by replication.That is by reproduction through technology.I've read that if our ecosystem colapses,we humans may have to survive by growing alge for sustanance.
jasonrayhall on July 07, 2010:
Many of my favorite creatures that I've met in life happen to be of the "non-humanoid" variety... many of those same beloved acquaintences consume the flesh of other animals and do not necessarily include any other form sustenance, save water, in their diet. If carnivorousness is an act to be looked down upon in humans then why not in animals. I find that it's hardly fair to assume that humans hold some sort of superiority or righteousness above other animals if it is in fact non-human species that one, as a vegan or vegetarian, might intend to place upon a pedestal. Does the concept of vegetarianism (for the sake of visiting less "harm" unto animals)not contradict itself by removing the human species and elevating them as Gods from the rest of this living Earth? Isn't the idea to live in harmony with your environment? To simply not prefer meats or to require their removal from one's diet for health purposes is perfectly understandable; however to register its concepts and ideals as a sort of religious or moral structure is proposterous. This is not to say that this is the case for all vegetarians, however it is evident that many people who have acquired a meatless diet do tend to attempt to tie it to something bigger than what it is. All life requires the consumption of other life in order to survive for however long that it might. Non-human creatures have an inate understanding of this and do not require that they be set aside into marketable groups for presentation to the rest of the world. Animals are more secure in their activities, preferences and diets than humans tend to be and would much better understand our act of eating them than some of our own species. To add to that, a good healthy/meaty human most certainly could become a great meal for a Grizzly Bear for example. Do you suppose that some Grizzlies rally around and protest the murder of baby seals? I think not. In addition to even that, I would like to add that if all humans consumed only plant life (especially considering our currently excessive population size) we would eventually run dangerously low on plants... and they are a massive provider of oxygen (life). The problem here is not the carnivorous habits of the human species... but the ugly nature of mass production which is perpetuated by overpopulation. My thought on this is... "Eat what you will and do not condemn others for variations in their diets" (that goes for both sides of the fence).
Good topic. Good writing. Keep it up. Thanks.
kerryg (author) from USA on July 06, 2010:
someonewhoknows, I'm not a vegan, so I can't speak for them, but I do find their position understandable. Cow's milk is intended for calves, not for humans, yet we take calves away from their mothers when they are only a day or two old and take all the milk for ourselves. I think it's pretty reasonable to consider that to be exploitative and cruel.
SALVAONEGIANNAOLCOM from south and west of canada,north of ohio on July 06, 2010:
I fail to undrerstand the difference between milking a cow and picking fruit from a tree to eat.What harm is being done to the cow? It's not like we were forcing a human female to give breast milk against her wishes as some fanatical vegans would have you believe.If,on the other hand we are forcing the cow to produce more milk than it could produce otherwise ,then I can see that we are doing them harm by forcing them to produce more milk than they would otherwise produce by introducing artificially manufactured growth hormones that negatively impacts the health of humans as well as the animals we use them on.(I don't think that humans should homoginize milk with milk-fat.It's been proven that milk-fat is too saturated and not healthy for human consumption.Goat milk is much healthier and easier to digest. I don't drink pasturized milk anylonger because of the lack of benifical bascteria.The kind found in yogert. I don't see how we humans could get enough protein in our diets seeing as there are many more kinds of proteins in existance than the 23 amino acids required for life.I'm not sure that the human body can produce all of the proteins it needs within it's own body without eating other sources.I know beans and rice or beans and corn when eaten together makes up a complete protein.I suppose any legume and complex carbohydrate will make up a complete protein.Milk and potatoes when eaten together also makes up a complete protein.At least that's what the Irish ate in order to survive in some places in their history at least.
From what I've read,one reason trees produce so much fruit and nuts is to for their own survival.Squirls bury acorns ,that can sometimes survive and grow into trees.Then we humans will not cut down a tree that we depend upon to produce fruit for us to eat.Overproduction is their way to survive.
Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on July 06, 2010:
nice hub, it may seem funny but people who do not have any idea in being vegan or vegetarian really thought those questions are serious.
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 06, 2010:
I heard yesterday that all species of wild salmon are endangered because of over-fishing. I have not seen the news story, but if true, this is pretty wasteful.
thayak on July 06, 2010:
Brilliant and hilarious! Good job!
Naturalreflection on July 06, 2010:
hilarious! I have recently begun my attempt at becoming vegetarian, its not as hard as you would think. The hardest part is when your family cooks you something and it would be rude to not eat it...and btw has anyone read Eating Animals??
paintball guru on July 05, 2010:
hahah, it's all true. I don't really mind too much when someone calls me a vegetable killer, because I know it's a joke. But I'm really glad you touched on all of these, especially Sara Palin's "why would god make animals out of meat."
vaalion on July 05, 2010:
Haha, interesting hub. Much respect to vegetarians but while I have a pretty diverse diet meat is very important to it... and I love fish!
kerryg (author) from USA on July 04, 2010:
anne.moss, glad you enjoyed it! I was kind of including the fish thing under the "do you eat eggs" level of ignorant-but-not-malicious questions, but really, it's SO dumb I may have to go back and add it in. I have no idea why so many people seem to believe that fish and chickens are some sort of plant!
anne.moss from Israel on July 04, 2010:
Thank you so much for this hub! I'm pleased to say the only one I frequently encounter is "so what have you left to eat if you're vegan?"
That's after I explain what vegan is, and why fish don't count as vegetable.
JaclynHarris on July 03, 2010:
This was great...refreshing to hear. Thank you.
debwalker from New England USA on July 03, 2010:
You did a great job answering common without coming across as preachy.
TwitterTwaddle on July 03, 2010:
I am experimenting with Vegetarian meals, great way to get healthy, meat is good but it's sustenance, vegetables offer vitamins and less of the shit that ends up building adipose tissue (FAT)
Generally meat diet is associated with Cold climates.
Vegans can be downright obnoxious assholes, remember that.
I believe that meat isn't really that necessary at most it's probably best served as a delicacy along with allot of grains and vegetables.
Ending animal suffering is what it is all about, nothing wrong with a clean painless kill if you hunt, good idea since unless you have the stomach to harvest your kill before eating the muscle then you do not have any real entitlement to meat.
Shut down horrific corporation based meat farms for good.
But at the same time, Please don't be assholes to people who doubt being a herbivoracious dieter.
TwO1FouR from Dallas, TX on July 02, 2010:
Very funny! Haha
justom from 41042 on July 01, 2010:
I think it's amazing you think we who eat meat actually give a crap what what others are eating. What makes you all so proud of what you digest? Peace!!
Nolen Hart from Southwest on July 01, 2010:
Funny hub. My spouse is a vegetarian and I no longer kid her since I understand her motives. Although I still eat meat I have switched to free range beef and bison. There is way to much cruelty in how beef, pork and poultry are commercially raised even for me as meat eater to stomach.
MelissaWood on July 01, 2010:
These are sooo true. I get them all the time. Plus, with my friends they feel super awkward about eating meet in front of me (I honestly don't mind) and thus make me awkward as well. I approve of people who keep their meet consumption low because thats the real problem. We eat far to much meet as a nation (USA). I agree we are omnivores therefore we can eat meat. However, we were scavengers and didn't eat nearly as much meat as we do now. Too much meat is bad for you and the animal. Its hard to treat anything humanly when its all about producing as quickly as possible.
Gilbert Smith from New Mexico on June 29, 2010:
...Although I had a vegan moment when, smoking a cigarette, a guy chowing down on a bacon cheeseburger, a milkshake, and a twinkie (yes, a twinkie of all things) told me that I had to take better care of my body.
Gilbert Smith from New Mexico on June 29, 2010:
I feel ya, and I'm a meat eater. There's really nothing worse than people trying to shove their own beliefs down your throat, regardless of which side you're on.
Can't we all just... get along?
hypnosis4u2 from Massachusetts on June 29, 2010:
Great information and funny to boot. I can't say I've ever been interested in being a Vegetarian but certainly no reason to ridicule somebody who is.
mrpopo from Canada on June 29, 2010:
Fantastic Hub in support of a good cause. I doubt many meat eaters would be convinced otherwise because their lifestyle is more important than reasoning, but nonetheless a well written and concise Hub.
Katie McMurray from Ohio on June 28, 2010:
Great hub, The most commonly heard comment I get from (mostly men) is you can't live on just vegetables... UGH I don't even try and in fact don't tell people I'm a vegetarian, few people really notice what you do and don't eat if you don't tell them... Funny hub, thanks and Peace :)
NaomiR from New York on June 28, 2010:
Interesting read! I'm not vegetarian, but a good friend is vegan and my dad would always say obnoxious things to her.
kathyfofathy on June 28, 2010:
If I had a dime for every time someone offered me a salad....
TheListLady from New York City on June 28, 2010:
This is so clever. I like the Q and A format. How anyone can eat the toxic meat in America which is annually recalled by millions of pounds is beyond me. And how we can feed it to our children - yikes! Our girls ages 11-14 look like grown overweight women.
I'm a vegetarian (because I have eaten eggs - hopefully they are really organic from cage free hens) and I think my good health speaks for itself. It's been 35 years and I do not have the chronic ailments of people my age and younger - like high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, asthma, poor eyesight, arthritis, obesity, etc. etc. etc.
Then we have to deal with the industrialization of all our foods including fruits and vegs. We have to be so vigilant.
Thanks for such a creative hub. Nice to meet you too!
edguider on June 28, 2010:
"Do you eat animal crackers". I have actually had someone ask my wife this? She is vegan and gets these questions all the time. Very funny hub...
jeanie.stecher from Seattle on June 28, 2010:
Hi there Kerry! Nice hub you have formulated here. Very interesting.=)These are the typical comments which are usually given to vegetarians, but well, most of it are proven wrong.=)
Jeff Berndt from Southeast Michigan on June 28, 2010:
Brilliant hub. I've never understood why people feel the need to mock vegetarians because of their diet. Who the heck cares what someone else eats? You're not trying to make me eat (or not eat) the stuff. You're not my kid, I have no say in your diet. I particularly like the humorous/sarcastic tone of your article.
I'm not a vegetarian, and I'm okay with that (I wrote a hub to that effect, actually). You are, and that's fine too (perhaps a follow-up hub to that effect would be a good idea).
Rated funny and up.
Angel Ward from Galveston, TX on June 27, 2010:
cute hub, I think lol. I do eat meat, but not a fan of it in abundance. Being part Native American, I just believe in a more natural way. WIldlife biologists do show that sense we have destroyed natural predators, the deer population will increase by 105% in one year, and starve from lack of land, because we have destroyed it all. And, don't gross out, but wild pigs are getting horrible, because Russian and European wild hogs have been brought here, its tearing up our land. I can't stand how people allowed pigs here so long, it has ruined this country, and is not native to America, before they were brought over, Native Americans could grow gardens without fences, they called pigs a curse to their land.
Eating an animal should be a special sacred thing, not scarfing down hotdogs, bacon and hamburgers without thanks, it may be silly to compare, but like on Avatar, when he thanks the deer, and says he will become one of the people, calling the deer brother....I think the cycle of life is to be respected, and I am thankful to say Native American meat is the most lean and nutritious over the junk in stores....Deer, Buffalo, and Turkey, are wonderful for you.... fatty beef, pigs and caged chickens are gross!!!!
So good post we all need to be true to ourselves.