The 23 Worst Things About Being a Vegetarian

We asked vegetarians across the country to share some of their day-to-day hardships involved in maintaining a meatless diet.
07/24/2014 12:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Vegetarianism is a divisive topic, but no matter how you feel about animal rights, everyone can agree on one thing: it's incredibly hard to not eat bacon.

To explore the unhappy underbelly of ethical eating, we asked vegetarians across the country to share some of their day-to-day hardships involved in maintaining a meatless diet. Here are 23 reasons to have pity on their bacon-deprived souls.


Turning down home-cooked meals
This was by far the most popular response. It sucks when someone's gone out of their way to cook, and you're left to awkwardly decline their hospitality.

Being lumped in with snobby vegetarians
This was the second most common response. That person guilting you for enjoying meat? They're the 1%. Most vegetarians hate those types of preachy vegetarians.

Antagonistic, ethical wormholes
If a cow is killed in the woods, and no one is around to hear it moo in pain, will you eat it? If you had to kill a chicken in order to stop a world-destroying plague, would you eat it then? Vegetarians are not excited about answering these types of questions. Most will happily explain their views, if you don't come at them with gloves swinging.


Crappy non-meat menu items and bad fake meat substitutes
That one obligatory veggie enchilada isn't really making anyone happy. And surprisingly, vegetarians aren't all looking for faux meat dishes.

The fact that Hitler was a vegetarian
Talk about ethical dilemmas.

Not having opinions about local restaurants
Good luck joining debates on BBQ rankings.


Having to study labels in grocery stores
You never know where gelatin might rear its ugly head.

Missing out on family food traditions
If you're Italian, you can kiss Sunday meatballs goodbye.

Making your Mom cry
She worked hard on that vegetable soup, but somehow forgot that chicken stock comes from chickens. And chickens? They're animals.


International travel
One of the best things about traveling is exploring new food cultures. One of the worst things about vegetarianism is figuring out if a restaurant abroad cooks their beans in lard.

Lack of restaurant options
Even the most veg-friendly cities have only a handful of decent vegetarian restaurants.

Grillmasters not having a dedicated pair of veggie tongs
Or if they overly stress their veggie tongs.

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