I’m a vegetarian, not a health freak

Language separates us from the apes, lack of light speed separates us from joining the rest of intergalactic civilization, and assumptions separate me from stuffing my face with cheesy, grease-soaked dough torpedoes when I’m out to eat.

I’m a vegetarian, not a health freak, and how dare you assume otherwise.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch restaurants of all shapes and sizes begin to accommodate the picky minority. Gluten free menus are popping up in roadside diners, orphaned children stricken with fatal peanut allergies are actually being given a heads up on the menu before going into anaphylactic shock, and vegetarian options are finally being given their due.

There’s just one problem. Vegetarians are being oversimplified as a people who only eat healthy, when in reality we are a diverse segment of the population with varied palates, contrasting views on animal rights, and very different opinions on what constitutes a vest-appropriate occasion.

And not all of us want to eat responsibly.

Why, for instance, would you assume a vegetarian wants sautéed kale in a light cilantro vinaigrette over a deep-fried spinach empanada smothered in hot sauce and mozzarella? Or that we would rather order zucchini spaghetti topped with an organic tomato and sweet potato purée instead of a half-pound lasagna crammed with every cheese, sauce, and seitan sausage imaginable?

It wouldn’t be an issue if both of these options were on the menu, but typically there’s only one, and it’s the one with fewer calories.

So what am I asking for? A revolution? A march on Washington? An award-winning documentary exposing the NRA’s sinister plot to slowly turn every vegetarian into the perfect killing machine with zero percent body fat and an unstoppable urge to consume all beet green-based entrees? Maybe in time.

But for now, I want the world to acknowledge that just because someone does not eat meat does not disqualify them from access to flavor, to butter, to fat, to grease. With every bite of quinoa, with every crunch of chia seeds, we become more restless, and more desperate.

So I warn you, think twice before generalizing us, because we are everywhere. We are in your used bookstores, we are in your urban agriculture club, and we are in your used bookstores. And if you continue to push us, we will resort to writing more blog posts.

We’re vegetarians, not health freaks, and the next time a customer at your dining establishment slips you a stick of butter, don’t ask questions, just take it with a polite nod and go fry some shit up.

If you liked this post, I wrote something else you might like. It has pictures.

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