Ethical Eating

In Honor of "Eat All Your Veggies Day" (Today): What Not to Say to a Vegetarian

Today is "Eat All Your Veggies Day," a food holiday that seems like something cooked up by scrappy British foodvangelist Jamie Oliver but is actually quite real -- or as real as any of the hundreds of hyperspecific food holidays in existence.

In honor of this healthy departure from the usual (completely awesome) celebrations of things like apple strudel (also honored today), it seems fitting to assemble a cheat sheet on how to peacefully celebrate this holiday with your veggie friends. Below are seven things to never say to a vegetarian -- unless, of course, you are sick as hell of him/her:

7. "Sweet Ted Nugent tattoo, dude!" -- Said while leaning in to look at a friend's new ink of Gaia, the Greek goddess of the Earth.

6. "Uggggggggggh. How do you live? I just don't know how people live without meat. I would kill myself. " -- There is no reasonable response to someone telling you to off yourself because you can't eat a steak-and-cheddar Hot Pocket.  

5. "So, you don't eat any meat?" -- Punctuated by a smarmy eyebrow raise and a creepy lean-in.

4. "It's really unhealthy not to eat meat." -- Said around mouthfuls of a KFC Famous Bowl.

3. "Maybe you just haven't tried the right kind of sausage." -- See item No. 5

2. "Happy birthday! It's a boxed set of TLC's Sarah Palin's Alaska." -- This phrase may or may not also apply to omnivores.

1. "Are you one of those vegetarians who's really sanctimonious and always preaching at other people about how they should eat?" -- To be followed by a painfully dull ten-minute lecture about how humans are hard-wired to consume meat and the fallacy of tofu, all in response to someone quietly ordering a caesar salad without chicken.

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Tricia Woolfenden