Like, really want you to know.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

Believe it or not, you can make friends with salad. I’m a vegetarian and for most people, that isn’t a big deal.

For others, it’s the most mind-boggling concept around. They’ll cry: “But you eat chicken surely? How about fish?” And when I shake my head, I’m often assaulted with the most annoying question known to vegetarian mankind: “Then what do you eat?!”

After eight years, it’s starting to get annoying. So on behalf of vegetarians everywhere, here’s a list of the things we really want you to know.

It’s a personal choice

You might be curious and that’s great. But think about how many times I’ve been asked: “Why do you do it?” For most people it’s not as simple as just loving animals. Respect the person you are asking because their answer could be very personal and they mightn’t feel comfortable telling you.

I can be tired without having an iron deficiency

Nope, just because I yawned, doesn’t mean I need to get some more red meat up in me. I probably should've just gone to bed earlier last night.

I really don’t want to try your burger

If only I had a dollar for every time someone asked me: “Are you sure you don’t want to try my burger? I promise I won’t tell anyone if you have a bite.”

If I haven’t eaten meat in five years, chances are, your Maccas cheeseburger is not going to change my mind. I know you're thinking that I actually want to eat it, yet am scared to ruin my rep. But truth be told, your greasy 2am Happy Meal just isn't appealing to me.

You should stop questioning me about my protein intake

How are you getting your protein? How often do you eat lentils? You should probably be taking supplements.” Are you a doctor? No. Do I ask if you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables? No.

Until either of the above happens, I won’t feel the need to break down my diet, meal by meal, for you.

I will not be offended if you eat meat around me

You may be surprised to know, I actually don’t care what you do. My choices don’t change how I see you. Obviously I’d love it if people didn’t eat meat and if they did, it was sustainably-sourced. But if not, I’m not going to go sit somewhere else.

Stop asking me what I eat

The answer to what I eat for dinner every night is FOOD. If I were to count up all the foods in the world, I’m guessing a good 80 per cent of it would be vegetarian-friendly. Don't make me get out the food pyramid.

Nothing will “happen” if I accidentally eat meat

Shall we take things back to primary school and have a refresher on the human digestive system?

I’ve heard every counterargument known to man

No matter what statistic or ‘fact’ you’re about to tell me, I’ve probably heard it before. I’m not trying to change your diet, so please don’t try to change mine. 

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