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At Chipotle, some people get the steak. Others get extra chicken. But if you’re vegetarian, it’s all about the sofritas.

In today’s society, as tattoos and piercings become more common, one growing trend among healthy eaters and animal activists is taking a greener stand: becoming vegetarian or vegan.

While some people are willingly choosing to join the green side (we have salads), others simply just don’t get it. Meat-lovers, carnivores, “normal” people—whatever you choose to call someone who eats meat, don’t quite seem to understand the food lifestyles vegetarians choose.

On a daily basis, vegetarians are faced with multiple (and sometimes silly) questions about what it means to be a vegetarian. Here are six questions vegetarians are oh so tired of hearing:

1. Why?!

Why do you eat meat? For many, it’s appalling how vegetarians can successfully live a life without meat. They question every reason behind it—Why do you do it? Is it because you love animals? Are you dying?

The minute vegetarians uncover what seems like their deepest, darkest secret, it’s as if they have entered a game show called “Why?” Although vegetarians don’t need to justify their lifestyle, if you truly need an explanation to their lifestyle then it’s safe to assume that they probably love animals, dislike meat, have a health condition or just want to try out the plant-based lifestyle.

2. Do you mind if I eat this in front of you?

No, we don’t mind. Do you mind if we eat this veggie burger in front of you? Most times people forget that most vegetarians don’t eat meat by choice. We are strong enough to watch you slam a burger and not jump you (or rather, cringe).

3. Does that mean you don’t eat any kind of meat?

Yes! That’s exactly what that means. As someone who chooses to live a more plant-based diet than your average carnivore, it is not uncommon to be faced with people who just can’t comprehend a life without the murdering of animals for a meal or a snack.

If someone says they are vegetarian, they don’t eat any kind of meat. If they eat fish, they are a pescetarian. If they don’t eat any products that come from an animal, then they are vegan. The list goes on, but it’s not that difficult to follow.

4. So what do you eat? Can you survive on only eating salads? Do animal crackers count?

Many vegetarians don’t live their lives only eating lettuce and carrots, although it’s not a bad snack to have during the day. There are plenty of healthy, sustainable and protein-filled foods that are delicious to even the pickiest of meat-lovers. Aside from the occasional fruit and veggie, vegetarians also tend to eat, wait for it, pizza! And no, animal crackers do not count as meat. We like crackers and cookies just as much as the next guy.

5. How long have you been torturing yourself?

Okay, this is a fair question worded badly. Again, since vegetarians willingly choose not to eat meat, it is not torturous to live a life without it. Regardless of how long someone has been a vegetarian, they don’t care about your “I once tried being vegetarian for a day. It lasted twenty minutes” story.

6. Would you eat meat if I paid you?

This is just as bad as the “I was vegetarian for a day until I had steak” comment. No, I will not eat meat if you paid me—not unless you just casually walk around with a million bucks on you (a girl’s got to make bank somehow).

If I were stranded on a deserted island with only a cow and nothing else (which I doubt that’s probable, considering islands usually have trees/fruits/plants, etc.), I would probably question my eating habits, but for now let me eat my fruits in peace. 

Being vegetarian is a choice made by a growing number of people who choose to accept a life without the consumption of meat. While many can argue whether or not we are built to eat meat, vegetarians gain a lot of health benefits with their greener lifestyle. According to The Global Healing Center, adopting a vegetarian diet could result in lower cholesterol, weight loss, lower blood pressure and can reduce the risk of heart disease, among other benefits.

To some, it may be silly to consider a life without meat (yes, that includes bacon), but some vegetarians do this to take a stand against the slaughtering of animals. We know that having a few people stop ordering steaks at Texas Roadhouse won’t stop animals from being killed, but it’s the action of having a few people take a stand that will somehow decrease the overall numbers of animals being slaughtered.

If you’re iffy about what kinds of food alternatives there are for vegetarians or you’re just looking to cut back on your meat intake, click here to check out a list of tasty foods that are meat free.

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About The Author

Laurie Bengoa is a sophomore journalism major and a editor for WaveLength Weekly. You can catch her dreaming about her toes in the sand with a book in her hand. She is a firm believer in the fish with a bad fin and the motto, "Just keep swimming."

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