The topic of dietary preferences is a fraught one. Some people choose to eschew meat for religious reasons, for ethical reasons, for environmental reasons, or for health reasons — and some people believe that bacon is the universe’s way of wrapping you up in a really crispy, wonderful hug.
Whatever your personal preferences, it’s easy to feel like someone is ganging up on you or judging you for whatever you do or don’t choose to indulge in. Push away carbs? People are going to think you’re indicting their bagels. Become vegan, and people will ask you if you miss any manner of foods or products. Go gluten-free or paleo, and people will automatically roll their eyes at you. It often feels like nobody wins, and as someone who’s ran the gamut of dietary choices, I get where all sides are coming from. Really.
But here’s the thing — while most of your vegetarian friends couldn’t give a flying falafel if you eat meat in front of them, some people find it hard to believe that any “normal” human being would willingly forego meat or animal byproducts. That there’s gotta be a catch. There’s something wrong in our heads somewhere, right?
If you think your vegetarian friends are judging you, you’re totally goddamn right. You’re a monster. It’s not necessarily the consumption of meat in our presence that we find so offensive. It’s the moral depletion that is always present in the black souls of people who devour animals. Basically you’re heartless, and when you’re that horrible, you do a lot of other horrible stuff — and THAT is what we’re judging you for. As such, here is a list of things that meat-eaters do that we, the holy and pristine vegetarians who have never, ever, ever said something along the lines of “damn, I kinda sorta miss KFC” while drunk, judge you* for.
(*Lest you think 5% of the population is ganging up on you, don’t worry — vegetarians judge each other for some of these things, too. Because everyone’s just the worst.)
1. Being mean to kids.
Like, you don’t have to necessarily like kids or want a Duggar-sized family yourself, but at the very least, kids are pretty amazing little miniature humans. They’re innocent, they really do say the darndest things, and they’re pretty good at reminding you that life doesn’t have to be all that complicated sometimes. If kids aren’t your thing, you don’t have to be actively mean to them. People who are actively mean to kids were probably the kids who went around spoiling Santa for everyone else.
2. Holding the doors of a subway car open.
On any given method of public transportation, there are dozens if not hundreds of other people trying to get to their own destinations, too. And yeah, it sucks that you’re running late, and we sincerely do wish you the best of luck in making that appointment in time, but holding the door open just for one more person sets a precedent that the doors will have to stay open for one more person after you, and then another, and another, and then we’re all late and nobody’s happy, and really, stop it.
3. Eating food on said public transportation.
Not because we’re clutching the pearls at the fact that you dare consume animal flesh in our presence, but rather that if you are scarfing down cold lo mein on the subway at 11 p.m., that is a very bleak reality in your life, and an altogether #dark place. Not to mention, y’know, all them germs.
If I need to explain this one, bless your heart.
5. Not tipping.
I’m not saying you need to make it rain Jigga-man-style every time you go to Chili’s, but if you receive good service, the very least you can do is pay it forward in kind. Servers don’t make a lot of money. That’s how the system is rigged — and you know what? Even if they do receive a good, livable wage, it’s not that hard to really make sure they know you had a good experience. Really, adding an extra 5% can really brighten someone’s day. And that’s kind of fun on its own.
6. Abusing animals.
I mean, yes, we could sit here all day long and discuss the nature of humanely-raised livestock, and grass-fed beef and cruelty-free chicken. And to be sure, it’s a very important discussion to have. But really, if you’re going to have a pet, make sure you take care of that pet. If you see a stray cat on the street, for god’s sake, don’t kick at it. Dog fighting, inbreeding, puppy mills — I mean, it’s a pretty endless list, and what did Bones ever do to you besides want to show you love (even if his version of “love” means “lick your face”)?
7. Making your friends listen to you warble “Let It Go” at the top of your lungs over and over again.
It’s a lovely song. It’s got a great message. It comes from a wonderful movie. But really. You don’t need to get it stuck in our he… nope, too late. It’s stuck there.
8. Saying you’ll call, but not sending so much as a text.
We’re a constantly connected generation. There’s hardly ever a moment in which you’re not connected to every last person to whom you ever said hello at a “networking event” and promised to “get coffee soon.” There’s so much noise in this world, that if you’re not going to at least hold up your end of the bargain and follow through on actually making (and meeting!) those plans, then why even pay all of that lip service to begin with?
9. Forgetting your card or cash at home, and conveniently “letting” your friends pay for your meal.
Regardless of whether you ordered the Surf-n-Turf Party Platter For Five™ or an innocuous green salad, mooching off of your friends one too many times just looks like an opportunist move. Unless there’s been some prior arrangement where a friend owes you dinner for saving them from an awful first date, chances are good you should probably remember your card.
10. Microwaving fish in the office kitchen.
Seriously, nobody likes the fish microwaver. No one.