It is time to set the record straight. Whenever I leave the west coast there is confusion over what I thought was a relatively simple concept, “I am a vegetarian”. I tell this to people from around the world and I always get recognition, “Oh okay, I know what that is”, or sometimes even “Hey me too!”. But unless I am meeting an Adventist I quickly find out that a) they don’t know what that is, and b) they are not vegetarian.
A common scenario goes something like this. I am at a restaurant ordering and I tell them, “I am a vegetarian.” They give me the, “Ooh okay well we will get it with chicken on it.” So I respond, “I don’t eat chicken, I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat”. The obvious reply is, “Ok, we will order fish then.”
Apparently not only is there confusion over the definition of what a vegetarian is, no one knows what meat is. At this point I feel like the guy in Zoolander, “Am I taking CRAZY PILLS?!?!” I feel like it should be put down in writing somewhere: Meat is any dead animal that people eat. This includes but is not limited to: beef, pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, veal, lamb, venison, rabbit, orangutan, fruit bat, possum, tortoise, or anything else that walks, crawls, digs, slithers, burrows, swims, or hops around the earth.
Maybe I should start making up business cards with a detailed explanation on it about what a vegetarian is. It would be complete with cited references from dictionaries and legendary nutritionists. Somehow I still think the response would be, well what about duck?