What is it about a vegetarian that annoys me? I have never really thought of asking this question because, frankly, I don’t know any vegetarians. I guess I should be even more specific; what is it about a MALE vegetarian that annoys me to no end? Don’t get me wrong here, I am not anti-vegetable; in fact I will eat practically any vegetable presented to me, except for brussels sprouts which are inedible and evil. I am not anti-vegetarian, either; live and let live, in my opinion.
Every now and then though, I come across one who is smugly self-righteous and obnoxiously whiny. Especially the ones who declare they are vegetarian for “ethical” reasons. You know the ones I’m talking about; they think it’s cruel to raise animals for food and we are evil because we enjoy eating these animals. I don’t know how many of you out there read Men’s Health…I personally don’t subscribe to this rag, but I do read it on occasion when there is one among the stacks of magazines in my doctor’s waiting room or dentist’s office, etc. (You get the idea)
So it is that I came across the February 2010 issue of Men’s Health and the cover asks the question, if a man is a vegetarian, does he remain a man. Curiously, I flipped to the article, written by Jonathan Safran Foer. In this article Mr. Foer whines and cries; carrying on like a 6 year old in the grocery store who can’t have the candy he wants. He laments a situation he created by not telling his host he is a vegetarian and that would be forgivable, except that he doesn’t stop. In his writing, it seems he is indignant that his host didn’t provide vegetarian alternatives. Then he goes on to label meat-eaters (aka, the rest of us) as cruel, crude beings who take pleasure in knowing the poor animals are made to suffer greatly in order to provide sustenance for mankind.
That is what irritates me; nimrods like Mr. Foer who believe their way is the only way to be. He crows proudly what matters to him matters and he will not “sacrifice his values” no matter whose house he finds himself in. He claims he does not want to be a proselytizer but that is exactly what he does in this article. This is exactly what I don’t understand. Why is it that vegetarians feel they must publicly proclaim their diet of choice and become offended when those around them do not agree? Why do they feel the need to preach to us? Why is it that, in the course of my life, the vegetarians I have met are almost militant; protesting in front of Burger King or Mc Donald’s (at least in California, they do)? Whatever happened to live and let live? I eat meat, you don’t, so what?
Look, I like veggies; my wife and I eat veggies every day at dinner and, yes, sometimes we have vegetarian meals. That, however, does not give us license to force anybody else to eat vegetarian meals. I have no problem cooking vegetarian alternatives if I know in advance who’s coming to my house to eat. I am just irritated with guys like Mr. Foer. Do you want to know my opinion, Mr. Foer? My opinion is NO; you are NOT a man, not in even the slightest splinter of the meaning of what it is to be a man. You don’t have to eat meat to be a man but you certainly must NOT whine when you feel you are offended because the world will not re-create itself to fit your ideal.