Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I Hate Vegetarians.



Digital Parents Blog Carnival


And before you go all "how dare you generalise! We're not all like that!", be assured I know we're not all like that. I am one. But I'm also well aware that vegetarianism and vegetarian food gets a pretty bad rap, and sometimes with very good reason.

Let me back up a ways.

I have recently been re-reading the columns of my very favourite food writer (and one of my favourite writers full stop), A. A. Gill. This man could make Gordon Ramsay cry with his acid tongue and withering reviews. Never have I read such stunning descriptions of either how delicious or how disgusting something is. The man is a maestro of the metaphor, the samurai of the simile. I hate how well he writes, because it makes me never want to pick up a pen again, for I know I'll never be as good.

I read with great trepidation his column on vegetarianism. Sometimes I can get a little defensive when someone belittles us (but bacon is so delicious!), but I rarely say anything in our favour. Live and let live, I say. I know how annoying vegetarians can be, and I know how gross tofu sounds. And is. So I was nodding along as I read, amazed at how perfectly he captured the feeling of most carnivores to us poor lentil-lovers.

"Vegetarian cooking is, it need hardly be repeated, unremittingly vile." Um, yes - it can be. Ever picked up a pre-2000 veggie cookbook? They're full of baby-poo-coloured sludge and boiled armpit hair. true story. Thankfully, we've come a long way.

"'Ah...' I can hear the frail, ululating voice of a wan and flaccid woman, lying exhausted on a sticky chaise longue. 'You just haven't had any good vegetarian food. You should try my mixed-pulse cheesy bake.'" It's true! They do try to convert you with their "special" dish. Which, to a meat-eater is missing a massive slab of flesh to make it palatable. Even I blanch at the chickpea curry offered at work as the veg alternative to the other meaty lunches. Who in their right mind wants to eat a chickpea curry? Lentil pasta bake? Not I, said the fly.

When visiting a vegetarian restaurant on Christmas ("it would be mercilessly free from conspicuous fun and gratuitous enjoyment"), Mr Gill described the smell as the "round, mushy, slightly acidic odour of sanctimonious worthiness". There are some vegetarians that do think they're one up on the general populace because they forgo eating a tortured animal's fear-ridden flesh. The rest of us nibble at a bit of cheese guiltily and know we're no better than anyone else. "Vegetarians aren't big on presentation, everything looks as if they've got a bulimic hippo as a food taster." - *ahem* chickpea curry *ahem*.

"My Moroccan potato casserole was a textbook dish. You might like to make it at home to insult the neighbours."

"I noticed that vegetarians are all marked by their extremities. They have double helpings of freeform set-aside hair, which they arrange in exuberant abstract patterns, and their shoes are cunningly cobbled so that, if need be, an extra pair of feet may be inserted. They also all sniff fruitily." I have seen people like this. And yes they were eating a toasted mung bean burger with sprouts.

But for all our foodie faults, vegetarians are pretty cool. We eat what we want and if you don't like it you can bite us. Or perhaps you can try some of my veggie Mexican lasagna, you'll love it. *sniff*.

25 comments:

  1. Lol, good on ya!

    Happy carnival!

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  2. You're gorgeous x

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  3. Yes to all this!! I love meat-free nights, it is such a great idea on so many counts.

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  4. I can make you an awesome veggie chef :)

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  5. Why would a vegetarian go to a duck cooking class? The thought of a potato smothered in duck fat kinda doesn't really do it for me :) I understand some people go with the flow to avoid any trouble when people cook for them, but this is rather different...

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  6. Yes! And the smell is so strong!

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  7. Good call :) xx

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  8. Disappointing to hear Gill's diatribe. I had hoped he of all people would be open to a different approach or choice made when it comes to food. 
    So I'm going to ignore him. I'm not a vegetarian but I respect those who are and their ethos. And vegetarian dishes are usually pretty scrummy imho

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  9. We've been a veg. family for a while. I think the hardest part about vegetarian meals is that they are usually bakes or stews or curries... there's not a lot of meat, veg, carb going on which can be very simple to prep and plan. But I have grown to love lentils and after years of craving bacon I now look at it and shudder- it reminds me of bloody scabs. ew!

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  10. I really don't mind true vegos but I HATE it when I get a "I'm a vegetarian what will I have to eat?' in a duck and pinot cooking class and then have them dig right into the duck fat potatoes!??

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  11. My problem is I don't know how to cook good vego meal! I suck at it but I love ordering it when someone else cooks it :)

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  12. lol at bulimic hippo. hilair!
    I used to be a vegetarian, to the despair of my mother. I got sick of falafel pretty quickly. 
    These days we manage to go meat free a few nights a week and my husband's veggie lasagne is to die for. no jokes. Would love to hear what A.A.Gill has to say about it. actually I don't care. And after what you said about him I am not going to read him as I am only one chapter into my novel and fear I will cry myself to failure.

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  13. Your recipes always look delicious. And I have tried a few, and they are!

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  14. He most certainly does hate vegetarian food. In fact, he's pretty brutal about a lot of things... what I like about his writing is that it's so evocative. He describes his hate so perfectly. I'm just trying to make light of it, I guess.

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  15. It's a terrible article. Whether you are a vegetarian or not. For somebody purporting to love food, he does a pretty good job giving it so much hate.

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  16. Oh that's the sweetest thing! thank you! ! vegans are hard... I go straight for grilled veggies :)

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  17. Your food photos look anything but vile *drools*. I have a few vegetarian friends, one is vegan - I am just grateful she never expects me to cook for her! I would have no clue where to start!

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  18. I am a vegetarian and I love tofu (when its cooked with a nice curry) but I agree about the cook books being yuck! We sometimes eat fish n chips but other than that we eat vegetarian dishes. Our favorite is Bean Curry, or vegetarian Lasagna.
    We also love green smoothies for breakfast - but dont hold that against us as we are nice people!
    Cheers
    LIsa

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  19. Haha I would never. I agree with the tofu... lots of sauce! xo

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  20. I am 54 and have been a vegetarian for nearly 30 years. I come from a long line of meat eaters. I don't know why or how my vegetarianism developed but it did. Eating like this is rarely a problem for me but often a problem for others for some reason.

    What I'm finding more and more though these days is that I have to fight back the meat eaters at conferences and meetings to get my requested vegetarian meal!

    alison

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  21. Oh my gosh, I know! Sometimes people have to squirrel some away for me because everyone else gets to it first. Story of my life!

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  22. i seem too be the daughter of a vegetarian and my dad will on occasion order fish or eat soup with beef or chicken broth in it so yeah there not all bad it's the real militant one's that i dislike bye

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  23. haha yeah the militant ones make me a little queasy.

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