It can be lonely out there being a vegetarian. Depending on which survey you're reading, only about 3 to 5 percent of the American population bypasses the meat at suppertime. And if you actually sit down with them, it seems that a good chunk of them are lying about it.
Yes, I said lying. They know who they are, but as a woman who's been practicing real deal vegetarianism for 15 years, I'm willing to out them. If these people tell you they're vegetarians, you're allowed to roll your eyes:
1. People who eat fish. They love to call themselves vegetarians, but as long as they're eating anything from the ocean (or the lake, or the river), they're actually just confused pescetarians. Some will argue that fish aren't meat, but according to Merriam-Webster, a pescetarian is "one whose diet includes fish but no other meat." Get back to us when you give up that shrimp habit, and we'll talk!
2. People who eat meat occasionally. As I say to my 7-year-old, what part of no don't you understand? Vegetarians eat NO meat, no meat on odd Fridays and even Tuesdays. Either you cut it all or you don't (ahem, Gwyneth Paltrow!).
3. People who maintain a junk food diet. OK, so technically if you eat potato chips and drink diet soda all day, you may not be eating meat. But you need to actually eat VEGETABLES to be a vegetarian.
4. Vegans. Maybe lying is a strong word for this group, but there's a very distinct line between what a vegetarian will eat and what a vegan will eat. The latter cuts out all animal products, even eggs and dairy, and about 89 percent of vegans are pains in the you-know-what. On behalf of vegetarians (and the 11 percent of really cool vegans), please don't assume we're the same just because they sometimes drop the word!
5. People who eat chicken. No red meat is not the same as no meat.
Do these fake vegetarians drive you nuts?
Image via izik/Flickr