People love to make fun of vegetarians! Most of the time, they take the gentle (or not so gentle) ribbing calmly, without firing anything back.
Or maybe they are thrown the same questions every vegetarian (or even vegan) receives, such as “why don’t you eat meat?” and “What do you eat?” and “where do you get protein?” and “Not even on Thanksgiving?”
If you are not the kind of person who can come up with quick quips on the fly, it can be really hard to come up with something to say on the spot. If you are like me, you wish you had something good to say, and then you will think about it and think about it long after the fact, and THEN come up with that zinger that you wish you would have said.
In this post, we’ll try and cover various potential responses you can use to those who want to use you (as the vegetarian) as a comedic/social/political punching bag. We’ll also see if we can put together some clever/intellectual/thoughtful responses so that you can be prepared to respond on the fly, just as though you thought of your clever riposte there on the spot.
General Quick Responses to People Who Make Fun of You For Being Vegetarian
- How come people who eat a plant based diet live longer than those who eat tons of animal-based products?
- My body is not a graveyard.
- I’m not perfect, but I’m doing the best I can to cause the least harm.
- I don’t eat anything I’m not willing to kill.
- There’s a reason you take your kids to pick berries but not to a slaughterhouse.
- Meat contains ways more pesticides than plant foods do.
- I sleep better knowing my dinner didn’t die screaming.
- Torture doesn’t taste good to me.
- Vegetarians are less likely to get cancer, did you know that? I’d like to avoid cancer if possible, how about you?
- It’s way cheaper to be vegetarian. Don’t you like money?
A mind of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows.George Bernard Shaw
- Animals are my friends. I don’t eat my friends.
- The only animals I eat are crackers.
- Being vegetarian isn’t a diet. It’s not a phase. It is a permanent lifestyle.
- I didn’t change. I just woke up.
- My body is a temple, not a tomb.
- Why are you so critical of my dietary choices?
- Does my being vegetarian make you uncomfortable?
- Wow, I’ve never heard that one before (sarcastic delivery)
- They say that we swallow around six spiders a year in our sleep…surely that’s enough protein.
- My soy milk frees all the cows from the yard.
- The grain used to feed livestock could be used to feed millions of people.
- Global warming.
- I don’t eat anything that pees.
Responses to: But where do you get your protein?
- Usually from the grocery store. Safeway. Albertsons. Whole Foods. Target. The Farmer’s Market.
- From food. Same as you.
- The same place animals get it. I just cut out the middle man.
- Do you really want to hear the answer, or are you just being difficult?
You could point out all of these famous people who are awesome and also vegetarian
Did you know that these folks are (or were at the time of writing this article) vegetarian? With all of their success, how could they be wrong on the question of meat?
- Albert Einstein
- Alex Baldwin
- Anna Paquin
- Anthony Hopkins
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- B.B. King
- Billie Jean King
- Cesar Chavez
- Charlotte Bronte
- Christian Bale
- Deepak Chopra
- Eddie Vedder
- Franz Kafka
- Gavin Rossdale
- Isaac Newton
- Jack Johnson
- Jane Goodall
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- Jesus Christ
- Joan Baez
- John Lennon
- Leo Tolstoy
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Michael Jackson
- Nikola Tesla
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
And many more…..
How about dazzling them with some vegetarian facts?
- We can feed more people with a vegetarian diet. For example, we can grow 20,000 pounds of potatoes on one acre of land, while only 165 pounds of beef could be produced on that same acre.
- Studies show that the number of people could be fed by the grain and soybeans that are being red to livestock is about 1.3 billion.
- 25 gallons of water are needed to produce one pound of wheat, while 2500 gallons of water are needed to produce one pound of meat.
- Vegetarians overall have a lower rates of death from heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of hypertension, and lower rates of diabetes and cancer.
When All Else Fails…
You can fall back on tried and true quotes from famous people (or somewhat famous people).
As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.Pythagoras
People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.Isaac Bashevis SInger
It’s a pretty amazing way to wake up every morning, knowing that every decision I made is to cause as little harm as possible. It’s a pretty fantastic way to live.Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, when it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.Dean Ornish
People eat meat and think they will become strong as an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass.Pino Caruso
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.Paul McCartney
The time will come when men such as I look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.Leonardo Da Vinci
The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treatedGandhi
What are your favorite responses to people who call you out for being vegetarian? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you didn’t get enough comebacks here, check out these other posts which might help arm you against those would you sharpen their claws on you:
- Good Comebacks for Unwanted Opinions
- Good Comebacks for Backstabbers
- Good Comebacks to Being Called Short
- Good Clean Comebacks for Jerks
Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, all under the age of 10. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Emily is a mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer when the kids are sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her personal digital journal or her post about failing her way to blogging success.