Vegetarian: Final Round-up

I’ve written up a roundup of my short-lived stab at vegetarianism over at The Observer’s Word of Mouth blog. It’s actually a pro-vegetarian entry, in the sense that I think they’re often short-changed with regard to the meat alternatives I sampled and the lack of options available at many restaurants, but you’d never know it from the vitriol that rained in. C’est la vie. I do wonder, though, if a column written by a vegetarian bemoaning the same lack of choice would have been received in a similar way. Perhaps the image I used to decorate the piece gave people the wrong idea.


  1. Coo. Perhaps the lack of animal protein inhibits the ability to recognise irony (the t-shirt) or appreciate a well written article (which I thought it was). Still, you can’t please ’em all…

  2. i concur with the above comment!vegies are good but cant quite match up with the meaty tastes!

  3. Archie Valparaiso

    Apart from the moralising (more about that in a minute), the peculiar thing is just how defensive veggies still get as soon as a meat eater dares to pass judgement on their nutty fare – “How dare you question the tastiness of my diet! I am what I eat, so you’re insulting me!”

    I thought the piece was pitched very well: “I happen to love meat but if I decided to give it up, what would I be in for? After a week’s sampling I reckon food just wouldn’t be fun any more.” Is that really so hard to grasp?

    As one commenter pointed out, unless you’re a vegan so strict your diet resembles that of a ring-tailed lemur, the moralising won’t wash. That leaves us with what it tastes like. Does vegetarian food cut the mustard or not? Fraser found not. What – isn’t he allowed to or something?

  4. Dogmatic positions tend to bring out the latent arsehole in people. I’ve seen hardline vegetarians behave in a very superior and moralising fashion around meateaters. Conversely I’ve seen hardened carnivores behave very provocatively around vegetarians. What both extremists fail to acknowedge is the basic rights of people to choose the lifestyle that best suits them.

    Up until the age of 18 I ate no vegetables beyond onions and potatoes. I then went vegetarian for about five years. Now I eat fish but no other meat. That’s what works for me.

  5. Some of the comments wouldn’t have been out of place on the Daily Mail website. Never mind Norway, a few years ago we had to point out to a local pub that their only vegetarian option (a pasta dish) wasn’t actually vegetarian on account of the anchovies.

    Enjoyed the article, but as seems so often with writing on the web a lot of folk miss the point or are just looking for a reason to get outraged.

  6. A good article, I thought. In fact, your whole vegetarian experience has been a good read, and it’s the kind of stuff that keeps me reading BlogJam. A welcome return to form – you should carry out more experiments on yourself for our entertainment.

    I’m not sure why your article stirred up such a hornet’s nest though. The point was fairly clear, I thought – all you have to do is read it properly, without a disproportionate amount of righteous indignation. I think Hairyhighlander (let me guess – bald guy from Ipswich?) is right when he says “a lot of folk miss the point or are just looking for a reason to get outraged”. The anonymity of the web gives people the boldness to proclaim their views at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, they don’t always pick the right time, place, tone, or even soapbox, and in their rush to defend their right to a point of view they forget that everyone else has that right too.

    Hey ho.

  7. how frustrating. I wish people would read things more than once before they decide to rant and stamp their feet. That way they might actually have a point that was relevant to the damn article.
    (which i enjoyed, and thought fought their corner).

  8. @tunasunrise: Nope fully paid up highlander from Dingwall, but then I could just be making that up ;) Actually thinking about that no-one would make up that they came from Dingwall. I do have a full head of hair though (although it is receding a wee bit).

  9. @hairyhighlander

    Ah! Not a bad guess though. What’s in a name anyway? At least yours is descriptive. I, on the other hand, can make no claims to being fishy or bright in the morning.

    Nevertheless, congratulations sir, on your full head of hair. :)

  10. Vegetarians in my town are generally restricted to one venue if they want to eat out… the rest barely have vegetables, let alone a ‘veggie option’.

    Actually, that’s the bit that gets me, why vegetarian food has to be specialist, as opposed to just food that doesn’t contain meat.

    One menu has ‘salad’ another one has ‘vegetarian salad’…

    … makes you wonder what was in the first one that prevented it from being called vegetarian.

    Still, with barbecue season approaching it’s a good time to turn to the green side. Less food poisoning.

  11. Of all the newspaper sites I look at the one with the most vitriolic feedback is always the Guardian/Observer. There’s more powerless *rage* there than in the Daily Mail.

  12. Your lack of protein intake Fras has obviously dramatically reduced your energy levels and therefore attention to Blogjam.

    Let me know if we need to send an ambulance.

    Yours in meat,


  13. update your catsinsinks site!!! pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!!! thank you.

  14. very interesting! thanx