Living Vegan In Charlotte, NC – Easy Vegan Recipes – Vegan Restaurant, Product, and Cookbook Reviews

Omnivores Say The Darndest Things!

Gray Tabby

Did you really just say that to my mama?

First, a disclaimer.  Most omnivores are lovely people.  They may not understand the dietary and ethical choices I have made, but they respect them.  Most of the time, they ask reasonable, intelligent questions about my diet and I’m happy to provide answers.

This post is not about those omnivores.

This post is about the others … who can say the darndest things!

  1. “Bacon.  Baaacon.  Baaaacoon.”  This is usually said by a man rubbing his tummy, with a large, drooling, goofy smile on his face and absolutely zero idea how unoriginal he is being.
    Now, something happened in the years since I stopped eating meat. Many moons ago, bacon was something you had for breakfast.  Or it was a condiment – a slice might be added to a tomato sandwich, or a club sandwich, or a hamburger.  (I personally never cared for the greasy, fatty meat.)  Since those days, bacon has somehow obtained cult status and just hearing the word is supposed to spin me and other vegans into a meat-eating frenzy. Maybe they’d have a better chance of evoking nostalgia if they chanted “Filet Mignon, Filet Mignon,” or “She-Crab Soup, She-Crab Soup.”
  2. “Yes ma’am, you did order that.”  Said to me on several occasions by a waitress.  I’ll admit, maybe I was dithering between the ubiquitous black bean burger and the overpriced hummus wrap. Maybe I was distracted and said “hummus wrap” when I meant to say “barf bean burger.” But I’m absolutely positive the words “pulled pork sandwich” or “baby back ribs” never crossed my lips.
  3. “Here’s your veggie pizza with vegan cheese.  Would you like some fresh ground mozzarella on that?” No, actually, I wouldn’t.
  4. “I bet it makes you sad every time you see a McDonald’s.”  Yes, it does, but not for the reasons you’re hoping.
  5. “Just take the meat and cheese out of the sandwich.”  Said to me by a former employer.  Sorry, I do not want to eat two pieces of meat-flavored bread with a single leaf of spinach pressed between them. Couldn’t you have ordered a black bean burger for me? I know the deli had one – EVERY restaurant in Charlotte has one.
  6. “You did not seem appreciative of the Christmas luncheon that was served.”  This told to me by a former supervisor.  Even though everyone at that company knew I was vegetarian at the time (hence all the “bacon, baaacon” and “moo, moo” comments) there wasn’t one single vegetarian dish on the Italian buffet that was catered. No spaghetti with marinara sauce, no fettucine alfredo, no cheese tortellini. I wound up eating a piece of bread, and going to Subway afterwards.  If I did not seem appreciative – maybe it’s because I wasn’t.
  7. “You can’t eat that – it has GLUTEN!”
  8. “I could never be vegetarian/vegan, because I can’t eat soy!” Who says you have to?
  9. “I could never be vegetarian/vegan, because soy has all these estrogens!” (Uttered mostly by men.)  If you’re so worried about hormones, what the heck do you think is in your milk and cheese, which comes from lactating cows?
  10. “I could never be vegetarian/vegan because I like black bean burgers, but couldn’t stand to eat them every day.” (In Charlotte the black bean burger is the token veg offering in almost every restaurant. Small wonder omnivores think that’s all we eat.)
  11. “Would you like an appetizer to start? Maybe some chicken wings?” Uttered after I spent 5 minutes quizzing the waitress about the vegan options on the menu.
  12. “I could never be vegetarian/vegan, because it’s too restrictive!” Ironically, this is usually said by a high-maintenance woman who’s already eating so-called hormone free “happy meat.”  She eats organic and her food is locally sourced.  She’s gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, salt-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, preservative-free, additive-free.  For all I know, the food on her plate must face due west when she eats.  These people with orthorexia are the only ones I never encourage to go veg, because I don’t want veganism to get the blame (again) for someone’s already existing eating disorder.
  13. “All life is precious.” Spoken by an abortion foe (ironically termed a “right-to-lifer”), while eating a hamburger.
  14. “Why can’t I eat fish at a vegan meetup?  Fish are vegetables too!”  Uttered by an R.D. at a VegCharlotte meetup. Scary.
  15. “You do eat chicken, right?”
  16. “Moo.  Mooo.  Mooo.”  Always by a man waving a chunk of steak or hamburger on a fork in front of me. Sorry to disappoint you – it’s not going to gross me out, make me burst into tears, or otherwise cause a scene.  I wasn’t vegetarian from birth – I used to eat that stuff.  I now choose not too.  You, however, acting like a 5-year-old child in a fancy restaurant – that grosses me out.
  17. “Being vegan is just so unhealthy.”  Oddly, everyone who’s ever said that to me has been on heart or cholesterol medicines.
  18. “I care about animals.  I eat only free-roaming eggs and grass-fed ghee.”  Umm, since when does clarified butter graze in fields, eating grass?  And by the time eggs are able to roam or range, they’re called chickens.
  19. “Get the chili cheese fries – it’s veggie chili.” This is what the waitress at a bowling alley encouraged my partner and I to do during our vegetarian days, when we tried to place an order for cheese fries. We were quite surprised – bowling alleys are not usually so progressive.  We quizzed her several times – “Are you SURE there is no meat?” and she was adamant there was not.  So we ordered the chili cheese fries.  And guess what?  There was meat. When we spoke to her about that, she replied,
  20. “Can’t you eat it anyway? What am I supposed to do – take these back to the kitchen?” She was so opposed to taking the chili fries back to the kitchen and bringing us the meat-free option we had originally asked for we had to speak to the manager.
  21. “I put some beef consomme in the baked rice – I decided it wouldn’t be any good without it.”  My great aunt revealed this tidbit of info at the end of a “vegetarian” meal she’d made for me in my early veggie days.
  22. “Plants have feelings, too!  There’s no difference between broccoli and a cow!” If you really think that, then instead of taking little Susie/Johnny out to an apple orchard, strawberry field, or pumpkin patch, take them on a trip to the slaughterhouse.

What is the darndest thing an omnivore has said to you?

Man with Horrified Look


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16 Responses »

  1. “For all I know, the food on her plate must face due west when she eats.” *falls over laughing*

    I get a lot of mooing and the usual comments (the strawberry field/slaughterhouse reply is one I always have ready). I used to be seventy pounds heavier, but family has yet to think I’m wasting away… maybe I’ll hear that one this Christmas. Doubt it, though… family’s been pretty good to us, although none have yet sampled our cooking.

    And man, the bacon comments get ollllld. I make bacon out of lots of things and no pigs are harmed. And wings? Same thing: I put hot sauce on everything and I don’t miss wings!

    • “Family’s been pretty good to us, although none have yet sampled our cooking.” LOL – it’s amazing how afraid some people are of vegan food! I once had a party where I invited people to bring vegan OR vegetarian food. One man brought the most delicious looking cheesecake sampler you have ever seen. So I took the leftovers to work and left them in the breakroom – and no one touched them! Found out later everyone was afraid to because they thought it was “vegan cheesecake!”

      What do you make bacon out of? I’ve never attempted to make bacon, but I do like the carrot bacon at Bean.

      Oh, and congrats on your weight loss!

      • Haha. Vegan cheesecake! Oh, I plan to make some vegan baked goods for the family holidays this year. No one would ever know the difference. I know some people fear soy, so I’ll warn when I use that… but seriously, the variety of recipes I use as a vegan is far more impressive than when I was omni. I can be so much more creative.

        I make bacon out of mushrooms, tempeh, coconut, tofu, eggplant, and carrot (thanks to Bean for that introduction).

        Thanks for the congrats! I’m hoping to be the first in my family not to suffer heart problems.

  2. Nice article thanks. I think I’m lucky that in 8 years a vegan I’ve never had anyone dangle meat in front of me. So how does one find a veg meet up in Charlotte?

  3. I had #2 happen to me about 2 weeks ago. If I had been paying for this meal myself, I would have probably made a big deal about the whole thing but it was work related. I’m on the Green Team and we had just been to an outing to a recycling plant and stopped for lunch on the way back at Chili’s. Don’t you think it’s ironic that there are all these ominvores on the Green Team?

    Anyway, the waitress had the audacity to ask me if I wanted a to go box. NO I do not want a to go box for something I did not order.

    You know you left out one. You’re not eating enough protein. This came from a friend who was asking me what I typically eat. Lately I’ve come up with a new response for that one. It involves showing a copy of my blood work that shows my protein levels to be in the acceptable range.

    My fav though had to be from a Canadian friend who told me the thought of a big ole salad was disgusting to her because all she could think about was all the people who had handled all those veggies and no matter how much she cleaned them they would never be clean enough for her. Yes, she’s a little OCD. When she said that I wanted to say but what about all those people that handle that meat you eat. She’s never mentioned that is disgusting to her.

    So far I’ve not encountered the bacon comments, most of the family and friends have been supportive although I did have a cousin who during recent family reunion thought it was hilarious that I wanted a veggie sub with no mayo (which I had primarily given up years ago) and no cheese.

    • Oh, that’s too funny that your Green Team members are omnivores! Are you the only vegetarian/vegan on the team? BTW … what do you get that’s vegan at Chili’s? I’m guessing … salad?

      And your friend who is scared of salads because so many people had handled the veggies and they would never be “clean enough?” If you think she might be receptive to it, one day you should mention to her not only how many people handle the meat, but also the … ugh … less than sanitary conditions in meat packing plants.

      Thanks for sharing … your comments were great!

  4. Sadly it’s all too funny because it’s all too true!!

  5. OMG #15 happened to me just yesterday!!! My friend apparently thought vegans couldn’t eat anything that CAME from an animal, but could eat the animal. Lol.

  6. HA HAH HAAAA! I am a high maintenance woman and yet my diet does not make me happy. I am happy that I say the darndest things. Great post.

  7. Love it!! Too true! Do you really think mooing in my face is going to make me eat meat?! haha

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