Author Topic: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.  (Read 8809 times)

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Nikko-chan

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Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« on: August 31, 2013, 09:07:08 PM »
I was at work the other day eating my lunch. Lunch consisted of falafel (yes this is relevant).

In fifteen minutes I got asked by no less than three people. "What is that?"

"falafel," said i.

"What is that?"

I launched into a quick explanation each and every time.

"Oh! So you're a vegetarian then!"

I just kinda looked at them funny. "Nope."

By the third time, I was tempted to say "What an interesting assumption." But I held my tongue, knowing it wouldn't be appropriate. I am just tired of explaining that no I am not a vegetarian and would you people just stop!


Anyone else have similar stories? Anything better I can say other than "No" especially to the one person who kept insisting that because I  was eating falafel I must have been a vegetarian.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 09:36:05 PM »
I eat falafel because I have a near addiction to any and all forms of chickpea. 

I go with the complete silence response, quirked eyebrow optional.  I have to hold my tongue due to its tendency to bolt like a frightened horse when I'm irritated.

veronaz

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013, 09:43:34 PM »
I think it's rude to keep questioning someone when they are trying to eat/enjoy a meal, particularly during a lunch break at work when time is limited.

I might say what the dish is, then "could you excuse me?"
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 12:18:25 AM by veronaz »

Tea Drinker

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2013, 12:15:57 AM »
I tend to say "I'm not a vegetarian, I just like vegetables," which has the advantages of being true and not defensive. I'm not talking about whether they're good for me, or whether I think I should eat more vegetables, I'm sticking to the fact that I am eating a salad because that particular day, I want a salad, or I'm eating sweet potato fries because I really really like sweet potatoes.
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Danika

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2013, 12:24:39 AM »
I tend to say "I'm not a vegetarian, I just like vegetables," which has the advantages of being true and not defensive. I'm not talking about whether they're good for me, or whether I think I should eat more vegetables, I'm sticking to the fact that I am eating a salad because that particular day, I want a salad, or I'm eating sweet potato fries because I really really like sweet potatoes.

That's a good response.

I, too, like falafel and hummus. But I'm generally a beef eater. I, personally, would have found the 'you must be a vegetarian' comment hilarious because it's rare that I'm not eating meat. I would have chuckled and said "ha! You caught me at a rare moment when I was not eating meat."

Psychopoesie

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2013, 12:35:08 AM »
Coworkers have often asked what I'm having for lunch - it's sort of a conversation starter if you're in the shared lunchroom. If it's homemade, leads to talk of recipes. If it's bought, leads to discussion of best lunch places around work.

I'd be surprised that someone assumed I was vegetarian because I was eating a felafel. They're yummy. Not an unusual lunch choice where I live in Australia so maybe that's why no one's ever made that comment.

OP's response was fine  - kept it brief and minimised the interruption.

For the coworker who keeps going on about being vegetarian, sounds like it could be a good time for a bean dip and ask "so what are you having for lunch?". Though that would open up further conversation which may not be the OP's goal.

Redsoil

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2013, 01:03:59 AM »
"...so you're a vegetarian?"

"No, I eat pretty much everything... veggies, cow, low-flying ducks..."
Look out... 
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Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 12:14:43 PM »
Things that don't move fast enough to get away in time...

jmarvellous

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 04:44:56 PM »
Just wanted to reassure the OP that this kind of conversation is no better if you actually ARE a vegetarian. Sometimes you just want to say, "Yep" and leave it at that, but it's rare that anyone making such broad assumptions will leave it at that anyway.

(I still try the "one-word answer" technique when I'm not up for discussing my personal choices or ethics. Another option is, "Have you *tried* the falafel from _____ (or the falafel mix from ____ brand or ____'s recipe)? They're so good, I don't care what's in them!" Just pretend you're talking about reasonable stuff that you're comfortable with and allow the person to come along with you .)

Also, we had a vegetarian wedding with falafel as a central dish, and all but 8 guests are happy omnivores. No one seemed to be having a discussion about the vegetarianess or lack thereof of the meal. I would guess you just were having a weird day!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2013, 05:13:22 PM »
I bought tofu the other day and though I was also buying a couple of lamb racks, the checker asked if I was a vegetarian. "Nope, just like it as an alternate source of protein."

In your case, I'd quit providing much detail. Maybe just a "it's a Middle Eastern dish"

Mental Magpie

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 01:15:21 AM »
I tend to say "I'm not a vegetarian, I just like vegetables," which has the advantages of being true and not defensive. I'm not talking about whether they're good for me, or whether I think I should eat more vegetables, I'm sticking to the fact that I am eating a salad because that particular day, I want a salad, or I'm eating sweet potato fries because I really really like sweet potatoes.

This is pretty much what I do.

I LOVE vegetarian "chik'n" patties and nuggets and vegetarian corn dogs.  I eat them all the time at work and often get odd looks because I'm also the lady walking around giving out homemade jerky.  When someone inquires, "But don't you...?"  I just smile and say, "Yup.  I eat vegetarian food because I think it's delicious!"

I will admit, however, that I am getting tired of the endless "quizzes" about my vegetarian food and the defensive accusations a la "I feel like you're judging me with your choices so I'm going to belittle you for the ones I perceive you to be making!"
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 04:25:16 PM »
"Are you a vegetarian?"

"Nope. Omnivore."

Softly Spoken

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 03:26:01 PM »
"Are you a vegetarian?"

"Nope. Omnivore."

Win!  ;D

Wow so eating vegetables makes you a vegetarian? I didn't realize I had to eat meat with every meal to keep my club membership! ::)

Anecdote time: I looove me some meat, but I have vegetarian sausage patties in my freezer. I bought them because I wanted sausage in patty form and all the real pork was links - not helpful if you are trying to make a breakfast sandwich. I found the veggie patties to taste good enough, but were too dry to stand on their own. No matter - I plan to crumble them up and use them to make a less fatty 'sausage' gravy. Regular sausage is still awesome, but meat substitutes have come a long way and I'm not adverse to experimenting with other forms of protein as long as they taste good. Speaking of tasting good...

So by your coworker's logic, anything you aren't eating right that moment has been stricken from your diet? Or maybe it was specifically because it was falafel. I had to look up falafel, and maybe they weren't 100% off base - there is not a meat version of falafel, it is considered a substitute for meat. Is it completely off base to think that if someone is eating a meat substitute, they don't eat meat? I wouldn't assume someone was a vegetarian if they were eating a salad, but since meat substitutes are considered just that I would probably wonder if someone was eating one because meat wasn't an option - that's the primary reason they exist. You were the unfortunate victim of a food assumption, but I think they are inevitable to some degree. Lettuce and carrots don't automatically mean a diet, dessert doesn't mean you're a sinful glutton, passing on alcohol doesn't mean you are in AA, and refusing sugar doesn't make you diabetic. We eat what we eat for millions of reasons.
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amylouky

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 03:52:35 PM »
I love veggie burgers (specifically spicy black bean burgers). I'm not a vegetarian, but most processed meats and ground meats just gross me out, so I like the faux version of those things. Veggie corn dogs? Send 'em my way..   Tofurkey? No thanks, I'll have the real thing. :)

Anyway I applaud you for holding your tongue, it is odd the ideas that people have about food. Like no one could possibly want to eat falafel just because the LIKE it, right?

Aaaand.. now I'm craving falafel.    :)

Tea Drinker

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Re: Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 06:51:52 PM »
Saying "there isn't a meat version of falafel" sounds like saying "there isn't a meat version of fruit salad" or "there isn't a dairy version of Cheddar cheese." Falafel isn't not a "substitute for meat" unless meat=protein. In my mind, meat substitutes are things like veggie burgers and the "vegetarian 'pork'" that turn up on Chinese restaurant menus; falafel or mushroom-barley soup or black beans and rice are separate things which people will like or dislike for varying reasons.
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