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I've been a vegetarian for over 8 years. I'm not an overly healthy vegetarian but vegetarian none the less. I eat eggs and drink milk ect, I'm not a vegan. I've gotten to see a lot of different reactions over the years, some people look at me like I'm a mythical creature that couldn't possibly exist, others don't care but what I have noticed is men tend to care more. Why is this? Men tend to be the ones with longer reactions, meaning they ask over and over why. I don't have a good reason, no great story, just a choice I made and stick with. Women tend to take it for what it is and move on, more of a it doesn't affect me so why care attitude and thats how I am. I don't care what others eat or don't eat. Even when I date someone I could care less if they are a meat eater or not but the guys I've dated almost always care that I'm a vegetarian and eventually make a thing of it. Why?

By Gypsy317716
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45 comments

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5

I became a vegetarian in 1971 and what you describe is how people often react; men and women. In some restaurants i'm even shown the seafood portion of the menu. That's when i ask them if they grow their seafood in their garden. hahaha

But generally people can't seem to understand why i made or make the choice, and the fact that i've been healthy and continue to be super-active confuses some even more. LLOL

How do i handle their curiosity, if that's what it is? I used respond with smart ass responses but got bored with doing that long ago. So when someone persisted on the subject, i just asked why my vegetarianism seemed so important to them? That usually changed the subject, or just ended the conversation. Either outcome works for me.

josephr Level 7 July 5, 2018

I know, it's hard to not respond to what we see as stupid comments.

@JackPedigo Sure is.

4

On the whole, men tend to be bigger jerks about most things than women - not that some women can't give us a run for our money.
I'm vegetarian, but not preachy about it. If someone wants to eat meat - that's their choice. However, if I'm paying for the meal I wouldn't feel good about buying someone else's meat or fish. How we use our money is an ethical choice and may affect pollution, child labour, corruption, cruelty, exploitation, human rights and climate change just to name a few examples. Sometimes in relationships you just let things go rather than make an issue of them, but if I was close enough for long enough to someone who had a meat-eating habit that I was supporting there would come a point where it would need to be addressed.

Gareth Level 7 July 6, 2018
4

I'm a guy and have always viewed being vegetarian or vegan as a personal choice. As long as you are happy and getting enough nutrients (protein, vitamins, etc), that's all that really matters. To be honest, I've always found it baffling as to why people have trouble accepting those who are different from themselves.

Don’t ever try to change aspects of whom you are just to fit in to a group. Instead, let your true colors show. The people who will love the real you are the people with whom you should be friends with. Life’s too short to try to make everyone like you. Once an individual stops seeking validation from others, true growth begins to shine through. We are all different people who have different tastes, different ideals, different perspectives and different opinions. Just accept that some people are bound to dislike you, and it’s nobody’s fault.

A true relationship (friendship or romantic interest) will keep it real and won't lie, now that's real talk!! I truly believe talking and sharing all important decisions together can keep a healthy relationship. Don't start in the habit of lying for your friends or romantic interest because it can and will make it so easy to start lying to them. Speak what's on your mind and what's in your heart in the beginning of your relationship and continue this habit in the future. Never ever bring someone else's problem into your life and household. Sometimes it's okay to say nothing when the other partner is wrong especially when they are upset. Not everything has to be said all the time. Sometimes we must realize that some things happen out of our control. Remember, misery loves company so keep some things to yourself. We all will have trials and tribulations, so keep an open mind and make good judgement calls and your relationship with your friend or romantic interest will have less bumps.

At the end of the day, what matters is that we VALUE and LOVE the people that are in our lives. We need to learn that happiness is more than just a feeling. It is also a choice and the result of a series of choices. We have to choose to appreciate and love those around us.

4

I have no idea. Frankly, it’s your choice. I would like you despite your choice of food. I don’t care for vegetables, but I certainly don’t care if my date chooses to eat them.

4

I was a vegetarian for three years (vegan for three months, that ended quickly) but have been eating fowl and fish for many years now. I had a couple of negative comments when I was a vegetarian; my then boyfriend's sister-in-law said, "Well, that's just stupid." I refrained from saying, "No stupider than your low IQ makes you." The only "issue" I had in dating was after I returned to fish and fowl; a man took me to a retro restaurant and they had NO chicken or fish on the menu. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, which must have been grilled with the ham, and was sick for the rest of the day.

I am "weird" in general, so I guess most people just accept my diet as another part of my weirdness.

I have the same diet. My problem is a sweet tooth. I look for low sugar dessert items most of the time. Most of the time. ?

@Sticks48 I have a sweet tooth, too. I eat at least an ounce of dark chocolate everyday and have ice cream or frozen yogurt every third day. I can't bring ice cream or sweets home because I will eat ALL of it in a very short time (except for the chocolate--that, I regulate well). I used to weigh 250 pounds, so I am careful about what I consume.

@Gwendolyn2018 Wow! Looking at your picture you would never know you ever carried that much weight. I love dark chocolate, chocolate cake, key lime pie, chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup. There is a bakery in New Braunfels TX with amazing strudel. Sorry, l got carried away. ?

@Sticks48 I love it all! However, anything chocolate is my downfall. I have had the weight off for 20 years. I gain a few pounds, lose a few pounds, but I plan to never weigh 250 again. Other people have said I don't "look like" I ever weighed 250, but I am not sure how I am supposed to look after losing the weight.

@Gwendolyn2018 People who have never seen me with hair, I've been shaving my head for 20 yrs, can't imagine me with hair. It's like they think l never had any. Speaking of hair, and l know you are tired of hearing it. WOW!

@Sticks48 Yes, I have hair.

@Gwendolyn2018 No, l don't have hair. ☺

@Sticks48 @gwendolyn2018 I enjoyed reading y'alls little thread you got going. I have a sweet tooth too, partly why I can't go vegan, that and cheese.

@Gypsy31771 What are your favorite deserts?

@Sticks48 And I think none the less of you for the lack. (Grin.)

@Gypsy31771 You can go vegan and eat sweets! I love cheese but do not eat much of it due to the calorie count. If I were told that I would die within the month, I would eat as much cheese and sweets as I wanted, but I would not eat cows or pigs--I just do not miss them.

@Gwendolyn2018 And l think none the less of you for the abundance. (Grin.)

@Sticks48 I expected nothing less.

@Gwendolyn2018 Good, because less is all l have.

@Gypsy31771 mmmm cheese ...

4

You frighten me and I feel threatened. Heheheh.

4

Because most guys have a deep love affair with meat and if you don't eat meat they feel like it's going to inhibit their ability to eat meat

3

Vegetarians and Omnivores... the Montagues and Capulets of food.

There's so much judgment related to what people eat. If it's not one thing, it's another. For example, I'd like to live long enough to see the decriminalization of bread.

I don't know that men necessarily react more. I think either a man or woman will react if the person they are reacting to could be a potential partner. In other words, my vegetarian girlfriends don't care that I eat meat, but they also won't date someone who does. This may be because it matters more when you have to live with someone, share meals with them, or eventually raise children together, etc..

Having said that, I've seen both men and women push back hard regarding the consumption of meat; whether to consume it or not. Not even related to vegetarianism, I've struggled being in a relationship with someone who had very limited tastes. He was a "meat and potatoes" guy who was uncomfortable watching anyone eat sushi. The social impact of food is significant. This could be why you notice it more with men than women.

Athena Level 8 July 5, 2018

I agree with you. OP didn't provide context on how these conversations get started, only the differing reactions of men & women. I agree with you that if the topic comes up, the reaction/level of interest will vary depending on who you're talking to (a potential partner, as you said, will have a higher level of interest and might ask more questions.). Personally, I'm an omnivore, but I'd at least be willing to try going vegetarian (not vegan, necessarily) if my potential partner had that lifestyle already (and was willing to do all the shopping/work, LOL!). Loved your stance on bread, btw. =]

3

Too many people, I guess especially men, take another's food choices as an affront to their own. Often, even mentioning I am vegetarian/vegan brings up all kinds of comments and often defenses of their own choices. Unfortunately, there is no excuse for meat as a food choice! It is simply a matter of one's own sensual desire.

It's funny but next to religion the next controversial topic is one's food choices. With a little bit of critical thinking and looking at evidence both choices are clear.

3

I wouldn’t care what the person ate.

3

Vegetarian diet makes sense. Vegan diet is over the top and doesn't make much sense. We are omnivores and need animal protein and that all important B-12. How we get it means nothing to me until one goes through all sorts of machinations to supplement what is needed, then it makes no sense. So, I as a man who loves a good steak occasionally, would not question your diet. Why other men might, I have no idea.

@Belrieve -- I'm aware of that. You can get it in other ways as well. It all falls under having to engage in machinations to get where one needs to be with reasonable health. One does not get adequate B-12 from soy in its natural state, either. It has to be prepared, concentrated, and/or fortified. My opinion is that people eat far too much meat in the US. Just 2.5 ozs. of beef meets the normal daily need. Older folks, such as moi, need a higher intake simply because we don't process B12 as efficiently as we once did. I have no argument with the vegans. It's just that it doesn't make much sense as opposed to the vegetarian who get theirs without going through hoops -- and yes, I know all the arguments, so don't bother.

I think veganism makes perfect sense. It's just not that easy to do and get right.

@Gareth -- You don't need to convince me. Convince yourself and be happy. I shall enjoy my occasional filet mignon and I will be happy.

3

I get the same reaction. I've met very few male vegetarians, and most are gay but I do know some who have fabulous vegetarian restaurants.
My theory is that traditionally, men hunted and women gathered vegetable or gardened. So men like to eat meat more than women. Women are more accepting but men provide meat, type of thinking.
I've been vegetarian most or my life. I live it and have no desire to eat meat except seafood on occasion.
You'll meet someone who either doesn't care or perhaps wants to try it. Not all men are asshole. Lol.

Hey! You seem to imply most men are assholes!?

@Gatovicolo most of us are. It’s a problem society has placed upon us and a lot can’t seem to escape the problem of socially imposed hyper masculinity (aka assholeness).

I don’t think it’s evolutionary ingrained in us as much as it is enforced by society. If you go to Little India in Houston, TX you will see most people (men and women) are vegetarians. Here in the bulk of the states eating meat is tied to masculine behavior, so not eating meat can be perceived to be a threat to one’s own masculinity.

@Prescott
Honestly, I think you’re wrong. Being masculine doesn’t imply assholeness. And women can be assholes too. It’s not an exclusively male phenomenon.

@Prescott perhaps it has to do with our culture being principally oriented to eating meat.

@Gatovicolo I totally represent that statement. (Women being capable of being assholes, that is...)

@Prescott yep. Gotta love the Indians. There culture is so totally different from ours. Their diets depend largely on their caste historically. I love Indian food.

@Gatovicolo nowhere did I say women can’t.

@Prescott
You’re identification of assholeness with masculinity did.

3

A factor is possibly wondering where to go for dinner or lunch. All my favorites don't really offer non-meat based meals. I lean towards taco stands and food trucks. Or they just never dated a veggie. My sister is, and going out to eat with her posed some challenges.

I just posted about a date I had with this issue!

I don't usually have that problem unless it's a steakhouse. I've always been able to find vegetarian options wherever I went. Even if it's not on the menu most places are very willing to accommodate. Most Mexican places have a full vegetarian section on their menu. I can't speak to food trucks but if they're preparing the food fresh and not just reheating I don't see how it would be much of a problem

First world problems!

3

Interesting! I too eat a vegetarian diet and am surprised at how difficult it is for others to deal with. Like you I don't care what others do, I do this for me and my reasons. I ate meat most of my life so get what it is like.

Guess it means I cannot help you.

Deanervin Level 6 July 5, 2018
3

Maybe they see you being a vegetarian as a threat to their "perfect life" in the future. No home cooked steak dinners, no grilling burgers with friends on game day, having to eat stuff like "rabbit food" (aka salads and vegetables), tofu, quinoa, tempeh, or other foods they can't pronounce. I really have no idea. People can be overly cautious to things that seem "strange" and "not normal" to them, which can lead to rudeness and aggression.

As a vegetarian myself, I've had people (mostly women because I work with 98% women and date women) tell me I'm missing out by not eating meat. They'll try to tease me by saying their food (whatever meat dish they are having) is sooooo goooood and will offer me a piece as if I'm punishing myself by not eating meat and if I tried it, I would go back to eating meat.

Sorry you are going through this. I guess it's to be expected living in the South. As for myself, I'm part of the unholy Southern trifecta: atheist, liberal, vegetarian.

joeymf86 Level 7 July 5, 2018

I ate cows and pigs for 50 years. I do not miss them, but I did miss fish and fowl.

I can't tell you how often I hear that exact comment about them cooking something and how I'm missing out. I always tell them it would make me incredibly physically ill at this point to eat anything involving meat and they generally leave me alone about it.

I suppose I'm in that trifecta as well. I don't call myself a liberal but everyone loves to call me one. I tend to just say I'm logical, not liberal.

2

I think it might be that some people have experienced what I call almost a condescending, superior attitude from some vegetarians. I don't care what people eat. I can see by their choices whether they are making healthier choices which might include meat/animal products or not, but unless they start lecturing me, it doesn't bother me in the least. Maybe they think you are going to try to change them? You seem to have the best attitude, so I would say it is them, not you...let them go...if they can't deal with food, how will they deal with the more important things in life?

2

I'm a guy that is an ovo-lacto vegetarian... You'd be welcome at our table.

Some people create an image based on stereotypes. The questions are probably just curiosity because you aren't preachy about it. Of course, some people see it as a power issue to influence what other people eat. There are a lot of different potential motivators.

2

When I went vegan I mentioned it to a coworker and he asked me if I had told my mother I was gay yet? He was an asshole, not only doesn’t he work there anymore I can’t remember his name.

2

People tend to ridicule what they don't understand. There is definitely truth to the whole machismo thing as well. There are so many fallacies about vegetarianism propagated by the uneducated that the general populace just choose to believe what they've always been told, rather than being skeptical & doing their own research... Kind of akin to religious indoctrination. Funny that so many non believers who often pride themselves on their skepticism fall into the same traps as everyone else. "Where do you get your B12 from" Fact: B12 comes from bacteria, not plants or animals. Farmed meat most commonly gets its B12 from supplements & fecal contamination. "Vegetarians don't get enough protein" Fact: No case of protein deficiency has ever been recorded in any human who eats a sufficient number of calories from whole food sources. "You need essential fatty acids" Fact: All essential fatty acids come from plants. No animal can produce them. I could go on, but I'm sure there are plenty here who already will try to claim I'm wrong based on things they've heard rather than from their own research & conclusions. I prefer to stick with the proven science.

davyjones Level 6 July 5, 2018
2

That's interesting. I looked at your profile. Is this a big deal in your age group? At my really advanced years, and IF I was looking for a potential permanent partner... I'd be concerned about someone's health from that diet. A simple solution is to ask the fellows why they keep asking YOU about it.
PS: I'm not looking for a date. If I was it wouldn't be with someone my daughter's age.
smile009.gif

And you're happily married and fiercely monogamous.

@Minta79
Absolutely. My wife and I are "together". And we both like that.

2

Gurl. I was vegetarian for several years (chose to start eating meat again in the last couple of months to combat some persistent anemia, that was not caused by diet, but also wasn't improving) and men (most of whom I wasn't dating because I was married until about a year ago) were always in awe and need of an explanation. Like "homie, I choose not to consume meat, end of story."

Minta79 Level 7 July 5, 2018

I feel like we could be friends

@Gypsy31771 then let's be friends smile001.gif

1

Men are probably commenting because somewhere in their heads they are thinking how it would be tough for them to date you.

I'm a veggie, too. I don't get a lot of comments and, on the rare occasion that I do, I consider the source. Usually, it comes from people that feel disempowered in life and need someone to mess with. It's usually some asshole masturbating about bacon... and he is related to me. In this case, I gently inform him that it's my business and that he isn't paying for or cooking my food and is it going to date me shi mind his business.

My favorite is when it is done by an obese person with diabetes saying my diet isn't healthy. I address that, too - I tell them that they need to watch their own protein/fat/sugar macros themselves before giving me any advice. At the end of the day, the proof is in the proverbial pudding.

Carry yourself with confidence. Your diet causes less misery and pollution in the world - it's a fact. If you think you're diet could be better, then make it better! Be the best you can be.

All the best to you!

1

I never thought of it before but I do believe you are right. Meat eating has long been associated with masculinity though it's not as obvious in our cultures as others. Except how men, even ones that never cook, just LOVE to barbecue. Also more hunters & fishers are men.

Carin Level 8 Aug 26, 2018
1

Perhaps it's a testosterone thing. Lol. I'm a meat eater, but do not have problems with someone who is a vegetarian.. it's just a diet preference choice.

t1nick Level 8 July 24, 2018
1

Because some men believe it's a woman's job to prepare all meals.

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