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.
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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.
The undeniable deliciousness of bacon Animal suffering never tasted so good.
Road trips Hope you like Subway.
Having to explain where you get protein from Vegetarianism isn't a fad diet -- many cultures have been practicing it for centuries. That's even without the help of multivitamins!
Not getting enough iron If you're not careful you might become anemic and bald and your fingernails will break in half.
Explaining that you don't eat fish People who abstain from most meat but still consume fish are called pescetarians/quitters.
Picking meat out of dishes If you take the pepperoni off a pepperoni pizza, it's still a pepperoni pizza.
Business meetings Not the best time to talk personal politics or order a salad.
Meat worship Try eating out these days without coming across a menu full of pork belly.
Catered events Seventeen baby carrots and a handful of asparagus do not a meal make.
Dating non-vegetarians Bacon will tear you apart.
Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. He was a vegetarian for five years, a secret he has been keeping from his coworkers for just as long. Follow him to veggie enchilada flashbacks at @Dannosphere.