Anthony Bourdain Is Dead-On About Rude Vegetarians

anthony bourdainIf you don't think Anthony Bourdain is hilarious, then I pity you, I really do. Sure, he can come off a little snarky and over the top at times. But he's one of the world's most famous celebrity chefs, not to mention an Emmy-winning TV personality; of course, he has a strong point of view! In fact, being an a-hole -- and a really smart and worldly one at that -- is his shtick. So you can put on your whiny pants and complain about how "offensive" he is, or you can lighten up and laugh. It's up to you.

His latest sarcastic diatribe (which appeared in Playboy) was directed against that group of people that carnivores love to hate ... you guessed it: Vegetarians.


Here's why Bourdain is so very annoyed by vegetarians:

They make for bad travelers and bad guests. The notion that before you even set out to go to Thailand, you say, “I’m not interested,” or you’re unwilling to try things that people take so personally and are so proud of and so generous with, I don’t understand that, and I think it’s rude. You’re at Grandma’s house, you eat what Grandma serves you.

We all know that millions of people around the world follow a vegetarian diet for a variety of health, religious, and political reasons. Not only do non-vegetarians need to respect that, but it wouldn't hurt them to go out of their way to accommodate their requests and needs when possible. But Bourdain makes an excellent point about how inconvenient vegetarianism can sometimes be: Namely, it's rude to decline meat or other non-vegetarian items in other people's homes.

In fact, this was the very dilemma that put me over the edge when I attempted to eat a strict vegetarian diet for a little more than a year. I had no problem turning down burgers, bacon, and other meat items I had typically enjoyed in the past; rather, the most difficult part for me was hurting the feelings of the people who had offered me the meat in the first place. Because no matter how politely I articulated my reasons for not eating meat, I was still rejecting their food.

In most cultures, there's no way around the fact that rejecting an offering of food is as rude as it gets. In that sense, Bourdain's rude vegetarian comment is funny precisely because it's true.


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