Breaking the "News"
Society and Vegetarianism
If you have just decided to become a vegetarian recently, great! But you may be asking yourself "How should I tell people?" Telling people is a big step, because surprisingly many people don't know a lot about vegetarianism.
Every where you look there are misconceptions about vegetarianism. On television, for example, vegetarians are generally portrayed as dumb, immature, or anorexic. Why look no further than NBC. "Friends" has Pheobe - the ditzy vegetarian who in one episode this season abandoned her beliefs to wear a fur coat! And the ill-fated "Conrad Bloom" has Conrad's sister - an animal rights activist who's an unemployed, and mooches of her brother. She never misses a chance to screech "Meat is Murder!", much to the amusement of the audience, as only a lazy hollywood hack could write. (To be perfectly fair, Fox's "The Simpsons" includes Lisa Simpson - An intelligent, sharp-witted, elementary school vegetarian, who is the moral center of the family.) (One more thing - how come you don't see male vegetarians on those shows?)
Generally stereotypes are frowned upon by society, except for the ones about vegetarians. Now why is that? If I were to say "All Jews are morons with no redeeming qualities," or if I said "All buddhists are insane criminals," then what would happen? I would be deemed by society a ignorant bigot. Which is perfectly fine by me, for society not to allow that sort of terrible prejudice. But if I were talking with most americans and said "All vegetarians are nuts," the response would be more often then not - LAUGHING. Don't believe me? What about those shows I wrote about in the previous paragraph. The only reason they make fun of vegetarianism is because people find it funny!
This is hardly fair, it is totally unacceptable to judge people by their
beliefs - no matter what they are.
Because of these many misconceptions which I just wrote about, telling
people that you are a vegetarian becomes, sadly, much more difficult. Your
father may think your a wimp, your mother may think your anorexic, or worse.
But with over 1 million people becoming vegetarians every year, this ignorance
about vegetarianism and vegetarians will decline. Thus this web page and
thousands others trying to educate the world of the problems of meat.
You need to make it clear (when you tell people of your vegetarianism) of these things:
It is NOT: