Friday, January 01, 2010

Don't Hate Me, Meat Eaters

It's one of the greatest dilemmas in vegetarianism: how to talk about your diet without annoying your friends.

My host, a new friend, asks if I'm drinking red or white. I tell him that depends on what's for dinner. Turns out, it's lamb.

"I'm so sorry," I say, feeling like a jerk for being a jerk, and also like a jerk for feeling like a jerk. "Didn't I mention that I'm a vegetarian?"

I hadn't. So we move on to the consolation.

"Don't worry about it!" my host (still friendly) chirps. "There's plenty of other stuff. I made a great Caesar salad."

"I hope this question won't be annoying, but is there any anchovy in the dressing?"

"You don't eat anchovy?"

"I'm afraid not," I say, as if it weren't a choice.

"Just a little bit in a dressing spoils the whole salad?"

"Spoils isn't the right word," I say. Although it is.

And now, the inevitable: "Why don't you eat this stuff?"

Read the rest of Jonathan Safran Foer's thoughtful commentary in the January/February 2010 issue of Men's Health Magazine...


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Matt Schmidt said...

I don't have this problem. But I suspect that I'm not as polite as you when dealing with this sort of thing.