When I used to say that my daily diet was basically meat-free, some people were slightly confused and did a double take. But since I started adding that I try to exclude other animal products from my menu, people have been looking at me as if I were a psycho. Or at least pretended to be one.
As a vegetarian with eight long years of experience and as a beginning vegan I can certainly say I had seen and heard everything. Every single stupid, unreasonable and ambiguous argument targeted to ridicule my lifestyle and values was freaking me out on the beginning, but now just making me grin indulgently.
To show you what I have to deal with, here are some questions people REALLY ask.
1. Where do you get protein from?
Actually, that’s the funniest one!
Well, dear meat-eaters, deeply worried about the shortages in my diet, here are some fun facts: ‘my food’ is far richer in protein than yours. Let me compare some numbers: 100g of chicken meat has on the average 17g of proteins, 100g of salmon – 19g and 100g of tuna – 22g. And here come the 100% vegetarian options: peanuts with 26g of protein in 100g, green peas with 24g, pumpkin seeds also with 24g, lentils with 25g and the final winner in this category – soy, having 35g of proteins in 100g of dry product. Impressive, huh? Healthy, nutritious and tasty, believe me.
2. Do you eat fish?
Typical and classic.
Fish is not a vegetable. And it doesn’t grow on trees either. It’s MEAT. Same as chicken or beef. Or pork.
To be accurate: NO fish in my diet.
And NO seafood.
3. Is it expensive?
Please, do not listen to those TV ‘experts’. Vegetarians do not need £10 olive oil. And they rarely buy eco-organic-bio-green-ökö oat yoghurts. What I usually buy is nothing more than fresh fruit and veggies on the market, some seeds and kernels, beans and cereals. No luxury goods at all.
4. People in Africa are starving and you disdain meat!
‘People in Africa are starving and you disdain rucola.’
Maybe going vegan is indeed a sign of growing tired of consumerism and having the rich variety of products in the Western countries. But let’s be honest, it’s not in hands of one vegetarian to change the unequal distribution of goods in the World.
5. Or even better one: imagine you can save your mother/friend/dog/hundreds of people/the Earth by eating a burger. Would you do it?
C’mon, if I had such a power, I’d even eat the Extra Value Meal.
But I don’t have, so stop bothering me with those hypothetical questions.
6. Do you mind if I eat my Big Mac?
I don’t. Really. I’m not even gonna dare to comment on your eating habits if you please stop blather about mine.
That was just a short sample. And I didn’t even mention the questions about Hitler, semen and people getting sick and dying because of not eating meat. Not this time. I better go and eat my lunch – a whole grain sandwich with spinach, dried tomatoes, sprouts, linseed and avocado.