9 Worst Things to Feed Your Vegetarian Friends

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veggies"So what is it you eat?" I get this question a lot. Usually it's from well-meaning people, folks who know I'm a vegetarian and want to make sure they have something I will enjoy at their next get-together. Of course, there are others. They're the people who are confused as to how we veggie types can possibly survive without meat.

In all, after 15 years as a vegetarian (I just passed my "anniversary" last month), I've realized something: we vegetarians confuse the heck out of most meat eaters. And so I offer you all a simple guide in what NOT to feed a vegetarian who comes to your house:

1. Pepperoni pizza with the pepperoni pulled off. It's not "exactly the same as a plain slice." But it does taste exactly like a slice of pepperoni pizza.

2. Chicken. You're right, it's not red meat. But it's still meat.

3. Cheap veggie burgers. Any time a meat eater informs me they think veggie burgers are gross, I immediately ask if it's because they tried a Boca burger because these things are disgusting! Just like regular hamburgers, not all veggie burgers are created equal!

4. Bacon. You may think it tastes like what happens when the angels sing and the unicorns neigh (they're horses, right, they'd neigh?), but we don't. Stop trying to make us eat it!

5. That one side dish of veggies. We DO appreciate that you have that ONE bowl of broccoli (that is quickly diminishing because everyone else is also dipping into it), but next time you come to our house, we're going to put out one hot dog and let you all fight over it ...

6. The lasagna that may or may not have beef in it. There's nothing like being told "I can't remember if I put meat in that, why don't you taste it and tell me!" Is it really that hard to remember what you just made an hour ago?

7. Turkey burgers. I get that you eat them because they're "healthier," but I'm not just a vegetarian because it's "healthier." I actually don't eat meat!

8. The veggie burger you just cooked on the grill rack right below your dripping bloody steak. Really? Come on!

9. Seafood. This is almost always presented by someone with the words, "I know you're a vegetarian, but you eat fish, right?" As a matter of fact, I don't and neither does any other vegetarian I know. You're thinking of a pescatarian.

Any vegetarians out there? What would you add?


Image via andrewmalone/Flickr

vegetarian, healthy choices


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nonmember avatar Rachel

I'm a bad vegetarian. I eat meat occasionally - basically whenever it's served at a get-together when there isn't a vegetarian alternative. On the one hand, I should stick to my guns, but on the other hand, I hate the idea of hassling someone. It's time-consuming enough to plan and prepare for a get-together as it is. I don't want to trouble other people over my own personal decision...

Misty... Misty.Dawn

My best friend is a vegetarian...shes only been one for about 3 yrs, ive know her for like 14. So, I NEVER know what to make for her at things like my kids bday parties & stuff. This was a well intended list...but i thing you couldve done without all the mean notes after each tip listed. Things like this are exactly why us meat eater are so confused and baffled & seem mean to yall vegetarians...bcus in trying to educate us in something we know NOTHING about, you come off like nasty, catty bitches.

nonmember avatar Sarah.S.

I happen to be allergic to something that is found in a lot of dishes, especially in the summer. I just work around what I can have. It isn't that hard. I certainly wouldn't expect my host to drop everything and make me something special.
Vegetarianism is a choice, you have chosen to eat in a way that most people do not. You have to learn to live with the fact that not everyone will know how to feed you the way you want. Learn to work around it.

jalaz77 jalaz77

This is why you do a potluck so they can bring their own cause I am not going to bend over backwards to make those perfect vegetarian meals when in my group of friends may be 1 person out of 20 is the vegetarian. I would do a veggie pizza but probably no more than that cause it's also hard to know what kind of vegetarian they are, some eat eggs, some don't, some do chicken broth, some don't....again, a potluck.

Meg LeRoy Schlagenhauf

I'm pretty baffled that everything but nasty veggie burgers is actually on this list.  Um... people seriously try to feed you bacon?  I have friends who are vegetarians, but even before I did, I knew that vegetarians don't eat meat (and that chicken counts as meat, as does seafood).

I choose not to eat dairy because I am nursing and it gives my kids horrible gas and diarrhea... Should I just eat cheese and suck it up if there are no dairy-free alternatives because I'm making a dietary choice?  I don't f'in think so.  There is a reason people choose to be vegetarians and whether or not you agree with their choice, if you respect them as a person, you will make arrangements for food they can eat to be available.  How hard is it to Google "vegetarian appetizer" or something?  Seriously, people.  You can use "you guys are so meeeaaan" as an excuse not to educate yourselves if you really want to, but it just makes it seem like you are too lazy or you don't care enough to make an effort. 

nonmember avatar shelly

Ugh. Vegetarians are so pretentious. If you're so worried, bring your own dang meal. I have food allergies, and I would never expect someone to make special arrangements for me.

Pinst... Pinstripes4

I know some people who call themselves vegetarians but eat fish, which always confused me. Pescatarian makes so much more sense.

I do empathize with you on your list. I don't eat pork or beef, and the lasagna and pizza thing gets me every time.

nonmember avatar MimiB

I have a vegetarian spouse, but he doesn't make a big fuss about it. I think it's easy to serve [or have available] a variety of dishes that will please vegetarians and omnivores alike... so there's no problem. I always prepare several dishes that don't contain meat, like nicely seasoned grilled vegetables, some potato or pasta dishes, some non meat appetizers and dessert. I make a meat course... I tell people there's no meat in anything except the obvious dish... everyone gets to eat plenty, with the vegetarians just not eating the main course. I also keep cheese or eggs separate in case there are some vegans in the group... they can just ignore the cheese and deviled egg platter and enjoy the humous, guacamole and chips. This is not rocket science.

nonmember avatar Dawn

I totally agree with Shelly. I too have some several food allergies and I do not expect my family and friends to bend over backwards to make me something I can eat (most of the time they do ask me for ideas because they are great people!!). I usually just chose the foods I know I can eat and go with that. It can be tough at a party because I feel like I may hurt people's feelings, but you know what...I don't want to feel like crap later so I do what I must. Personal preference.

Elyss... Elyssa414

Gravy on the vegetarian mashed potatoes, and "vegetarian" stuffing (cooked in the butt of a bird)- yuck! Lol

I usually bring my own food, or at least offer to, especially for my husband who's vegan and noone can feed! Lol

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