How to deal with annoyingly persistent questions about vegetarianism from the relatives

If you are dealing with well-meaning people who want to know why you don't eat beef / chicken / ham and why you always ask people what is in the casserole / where did you get the soup / how the vegetables were made and so on, then I’d like to present a little primer I like to call How to deal with annoyingly persistent questions about vegetarianism from well-meaning friends and relatives without killing them.

Or eating them.

How to deal with annoyingly persistent questions about vegetarianism from the relatives
There are only two members of my family who are vegetarians. Actually, I’m just an “almost;” he’s a strict vegan. At least, that was true until I got this phone call from my aunt . . .
“Oh, he’s eating proper food, now.”
By “proper food” she means meat. Damn. That means I’m on my own with the vegetarian questions.

So for all of us trying to follow a vegetarian diet, here’s a quick and easy primer.

Good luck.

The five most annoyingly persistent questions about vegetarianism from the relatives
Now, this is just meant to get you started. I’m sure there will be questions I didn’t think of. Ditto, responses.

And, erm, is it only me or do the same people ask the same questions every year, or what?
Do you eat fish (or pork or chicken or . . .)?
This question inevitably comes up right after I’ve explained that vegetarians don’t eat meat or meat byproducts, such as gelatin. I don’t know why they think beef is the only meat that counts.

No. No meat. No beef. No pork. No game, no fowl, and no fish. Never.


Isn’t it our birthright to eat meat? After all, our ancestors ate meat.
I love you men, I really do, but I always, always get this question from a man. Now why is that, do you suppose?

Well, our ancestors did a lot of fun things. Like drag their knuckles on the ground. Me? I have evolved to walk upright. And eat a vegetarian diet.


If we all stopped eating meat, wouldn’t all those cows and pigs and such starve to death?
I find it a little ironic and more than a little sad that people who consume meat suddenly feel concern over the welfare of their dinner.

Think supply and demand. If the demand went down, the supply would naturally dwindle as farmers slow their breeding programs. But I doubt, alas, that this will happen overnight. So I’m not that concerned about starvation for existing animals. Slaughterhouses, yes. But not starvation.


Aren’t you worried about getting enough {insert nutrient here}?
Everyone is always afraid I am about to perish from malnutrition or, at the very least, faint dead away from lack of everything from protein to iron.

An enormous variety of vegetarian foods contain quite a range of nutrients associated with meat. Soybeans, for example, contain a lot of protein. And spinach is loaded with iron. And, even better, these foods don’t contain nasty things such as, oh, cholesterol.


Do you miss meat?
Not really. I’m too busy eating everything from fresh bread and crisp greens to sweet fruits, crunchy nuts, succulent grains . . .
And now, I'd like to leave you with a giggle I like to call, your non-vegetarian family is not as bad as my non-vegetarian family
And here's the link to prove it.

Happy vegetarian holidays, everyone!