What is it that makes meat eaters so GD defensive? I recently posted this message -- http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24104550 -- in response to a question on how we lost weight, stating that I lost weight when I stopped eating red meat. I wasn't advocating vegetarianism. I made it clear that I wasn't a vegetarian at the time, I was merely mentioning it in response to her question. I then get a response to my post -- http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24107178 -- stating how to portion meat in a restaurant. There wasn't anything outright nasty about it, but there was a tone to it which I read as preachy and defensive.What is it about meat eaters that make them so defensive? I don't ever preach vegetarianism. Both my mom and my brother eat meat -- mostly chicken and fish, but meat none-the-less. Most of my dad's side of the family are "meat and potatoes" guys. I don't ever try to 'convert' them, or anyone else.I don't get it. I simply don't get what makes some people so defensive about it.Caat
I'm glad to reply to that post here, caat.I am so done defending vegetarianism to anybody, anywhere.I have not eaten meat in 27 years and really have never made a big, damned deal out of it. But especially in the first few years, people felt they could dump all over me about it.This ranged from faux concerns about my health to aggressive nastiness and defensiveness when I would commit such crimes as not ordering a hamburger in a restaurant.I don't know if the poster was being nasty or not, but the tone sure was there.Juliewinter
As a meat eater I know I have dealt with many militant vegetarians through the years (mostly in college, but even a few since then) (one went so far as to put handfuls of dirt on the meat we were grilling while it was unattended, ruining a good portion of a college kid's weekly food budget)That may make some meat eaters expect that kind of attitude from all vegetarians.Squeaky wheel gets the grease, one bad apple, yadda yadda yadda.I agree you didn't preach, and they did overreact. Just trying to offer up one possible explanation.OK I'll go hide under my rock again and wait for more tasty veggie recipes to add to my diet.
To me it just comes down to mutual respect. I don't preach about my political preferences, religion, ethical choices, food choices etc., to anyone, and I appreciate being granted the same respect in return. Quixotic? Maybe. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)To hear of anyone acting the way you described, DBAVelvet, embarrasses me as a vegetarian! I'm sorry for the experience you had. That kind of behavior is just as bad as a meat-eating relative antagonizing the vegetarians at Thanksgiving dinner.And don't hide under a rock! I'd love to learn about some of the veggie recipes you've been collecting ... :)Lucky :)
What is it about meat eaters that make them so defensive?I think that some view vegetarianism as a rejection of their lifestyle. As if somehow my choice to not eat meat is a comment on their choice to keep eating it.Red meat, especially, has been demonized in the US for the last few decades. True, there's a lot of media attention in the other direction, especially when it comes to advertizing, but a lot of "eat healthy" messages have a subtext of "meat is bad." So I think some people feel conflicted about eating meat. And when someone shows up who doesn't eat meat, it reminds them of all the bad things lurking in their unconscious mind (high cholesterol, heart attacks, stroke, etc.), and they get a little afraid and a little too defensive.I sometimes get the "why do you wear leather shoes, then" arguers. Those annoy me. Life is not lived in black and white.But sometimes they're genuinely interested. The oddest conversation I had was with a fast-food drive-thru guy: try explaining that your vegetarianism stems from a concern for the humane treatement of animals and the reality that commercial beef and chicken production are severely damaging the environment and that while I want to enjoy modern conveniences I felt I could at least make some choices to cut out some of my poor behavior -- with a whole lane of starving customers lined up behind you.I myself have never met a preachy vegetarian, but then, I went to a very open, touchy-feely school where it was good to validate all "life choices"; what you ate generally wasn't considered a threat. There were a lot of vegetarians, which, in a weird way, helped to balance the power and everyone seemed to get along.I now live in a conservative lower-middle class town, dominated by recent Mexican immigrants. Eating out is a challenge, but the local taqueria now knows I'm the "veggie tacos" order. (And yes, the beans have a good chance of containing lard. But life is short and I don't intend to live it too rigidly.) I get some confused looks, and sometimes have to send an order back because the waitress didn't understand the gringo, but everyone's always been nice about it.Chopec
(And yes, the beans have a good chance of containing lard. But life is short and I don't intend to live it too rigidly.)Actually one of my diet tips is to order the vegetarian beans. They aren't made with lard and therefore are lower in fat.Normally I'm getting my fave all cheese platter (cheese enchiladas, portabello quesadilla) but I do get funny looks when I order the vegetarian beans with my chicken soft taco, or beef enchilada.
And don't hide under a rock! I'd love to learn about some of the veggie recipes you've been collecting ... :)Well so far my best one was actually my own creation.I am a mushroom fiend (yes I would actually prefer a grilled portabello with cheese to a cheese burger any day) and I grew up in Texas with a lot of TexMex influence, but I'm in WW and trying to eat healthier.So I came up with my own Mushroom enchiladas.Basically I stole a recipe for Mushroom fajitas, used that marinade to prep my mushrooms, cooked them in a skillet till soft, then rolled them in my tortillas, used two cans of Old El Paso Enchilada sauce (I'm not quite to the point of making my own yet, but give me time) and then sprinkled that with grated 2% Kraft cheese. Popped in the oven long enough to heat it through and melt the cheese.Gotten rave reviews every time. Except from the fungus haters :)
I think that some view vegetarianism as a rejection of their lifestyle. As if somehow my choice to not eat meat is a comment on their choice to keep eating it.This is my perception exactly.In terms of disarming them I've noticed that most people's follow up question is "why are you a vegetarian?" (That is, if they don't jump straight to "Have you heard the way carrots scream when you pull them out of the ground?")I've found that a casual shrug with a dismissive "Eh, just a personal choice" tends to end the matter. LCK
I am a mushroom fiend (yes I would actually prefer a grilled portabello with cheese to a cheese burger any day)Tried this one? It's excellent!http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_19116,00.htmlCodyWho eats meat now and then, but never makes a big deal of it
I think meat-eaters get so defensive because they believe that by opting out of something that they participate in, we are telling them that they are wrong. -Heidi
I think meat-eaters get so defensive because they believe that by opting out of something that they participate in, we are telling them that they are wrong.Yep. Essentially, you're holding a mirror up to them and forcing them to look at the choices they make. You don't have to say a word; you don't have to be provacative at all ... just *knowing* you're vegetarian sets some people instantly on the defensive. My wife has to put up with snide comments almost every day from the people she works with because she's a vegetarian. Interesting, isn't it? If she got razzed about virtually anything else, it would count as harassment in the workplace. But because it's her eating habits, it's apparently OK to make her feel on edge all the time. And she's pretty much forced to eat lunch with everyone else in the break room -- eating at one's desk is frowned upon -- so she has no choice but to hear it every single day. Granted, it's not openly hostile stuff she gets, but it's just the fact that everyone waits for her to show up so they can make their "Oooh, what's *that*? What did you bring in *today*?" comments, as if her lunch is some kind of freak show brought in for their entertainment. And then there are the comments about getting enough protein (plenty, naturally), whether she uses any leather products (no!), and on and on. She can't even get any relief from her boss, who has commented more than once, "I couldn't survive without meat." Well, obviously, you can. My wife and I are both vegetarians, and neither one of us is exactly wasting away. ;-)Luckily, I seem to work with more enlightened people here at the Fool. (Hi, Lucky and HelloKitty!)I know I'm jumping in late here, but I hope the original poster's situation has improved.
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