The Vegetarian Letters plus Fab Foto Expose Entitled: Vegetarians! They Are Just Like US!

January 11th, 2011

Dear Charles,

Guess what?  I decided to be a vegetarian!   I know!  So cool!  And guess what else!  I have now been a vegetarian for nine whole days!  Well – actually more like eight whole days because I didn’t really decide until January 2nd and then I sort of wavered on Jan 3rd and ate the rest of the left over clam chowder  in the fridge which was kind of vegetarian if you are one of those ‘eats fish’ type vegetarians.  But then I decided to not be an ‘eats fish’ type vegetarian so I guess I have really only been a vegetarian for seven days.  But that is still a whole week!  It really hasn’t even been very hard.  I kind of like being a vegetarian!  In fact, I like it a LOT!  It’s kind of fun.  Does that sound weird?  Did you ever think that being a vegetarian was fun?  Because right now, I think it is very fun.  I don’t know exactly what the fun part is – except that it is sort of just generally fun.  It makes life a bit harder and a bit more work but also a bit more interesting and strangely – that is fun.

Do you want to know why I became a vegetarian Charles?  Okay.  Let me tell you why.

1.  The meat meme.  That means that people didn’t always eat meat Charles.  They only started doing that after they were vegetarians for a long, long time.  It got added to the culture of humanity later – when we moved out of the jungle which was full of fruit and nuts.  Do you know what a meme is Charles?  Because that is one of my very favorite words and I constantly fear that I am going to use it far too much and people will start to hate me for it.

2.  Meat is murder.  So obvious!  Why didn’t I see it before???

3.  I like vegetables.  A lot.

4.  It makes me feel superior to other weaker meat eating people.

5.  It gives me this sense of control over myself.

6.  It gives me this sense of being able to control other people with my ‘special needs’.

7.  I have this good friend who is a vegetarian and he made me think about being a vegetarian myself and then I became a vegetarian.

8.  I don’t know how long this will last Charles – but I like it and as stated before – it is fun.

9.  Now you need to tell me why you are a vegetarian Charles.  Because that story about the pot roast and the grocery list just wasn’t very good.




Dear Rechelle –

I knew you were giving up meat because I read it on your blog, and I wanted to write to you about it, but I was too ashamed to contact you because I hadn’t finished my repy to your book club question, which you sent me several weeks ago and which I’ve been working on in dribs and drabs in brief stolen moments because I’m apparently very bad at time management. I wonder what advice I would give to someone who wrote to me about a time management problem? Maybe I’ll write to myself about it and find out, although I know I’d have to wait a long time for my reply because it would have to wait until after the book club post, which I still haven’t finished.

Anyway, I was surprised and delighted to see your vegetarian news, especially after you painted a picture of yourself as a raging carnivore whose pie hole craved not pie, but bacon, and plenty of it. It gladdens my heart that you will now be using your oral cavity more for pie, as the Creator obviously intended, as evidenced by His letting Adam name it a “pie hole,” which is the name He obviously knew Adam would come up with when He saddled Adam with the task of giving names to all the orifices in the on the fourth or fifth day of creation.

I agree that being vegetarian is gobs of fun. A vegetarian diet is probably the most fun of anything referred to by a phrase with the word “diet” in it. However, the difficulties with it don’t contribute much to the fun for me. It’s fun for me mainly because the fun of eating, which is pretty fun all by itself, is enhanced when the thing being eaten is particulary pleasing to the palate, and I love most vegetables and vegetarian cuisine. I also feel healthier as a vegetarian, and everything’s more fun when you feel healthier and smugly superior.

And feeling healthier is really the reason I became a vegetarian after being nudged into it, which unfortunately happened with the notoriously weak pot roast/grocery list episode, which we won’t mention again and which, to my everlasting regret, can never be a better story. Anyway, after having become a vegetarian for my health, I decided that I was a vegetarian for all the most noble reasons you can imagine.

I wanted to tell you that if you’re cutting out fish, you should take an omega-3 supplement, because you need omega-3′s and they’re kind of rare in vegetarian fare. It has to be DHA. The ALA omega-3′s you get in things like flaxseed oil are next to worthless becasue your body has to convert them to DHA omega-3′s and it’s not very good at doing that if it’s like most human bodies. Most DHA omega-3 supplements are made from fish oil, but there are some that are made from algae, which is where the fish get the omega-3′s for their wondrous oil. Obtaining omega-3 supplements will make life a wee bit harder for you and thus make vegetarianism a wee bit more fun for you.

This friend of yours sounds like quite a remarkable person.

I don’t feel like I have enough of a grasp of what a meme is to use the word in a sentence other than this one.

Mentioning a meme again, this time in a sentence fragment,


Vegetarians!  They are Just Like US!

Photo of vegetarian shopping for groceries.

Yes, they do skirt the meat aisle, but other than that…

Just like us!

Vegetarian pouring a cup of rice cereal for peanut butter balls.

It’s not Rice Crispies, but other than that…

Just like US!

Close-up of vegetarian hands squeezing honey.

Amazingly similar to regular hands squeezing honey!

Glistening arty food shot of vegetarian fare.

Just like glistening arty food shot of meat fare!

Vegetarians – they laugh just like us!

Many of the foods that vegetarians can eat.

Non-vegetarians CAN ALSO EAT THIS FOOD!

Hiding vegetarian.

Found vegetarian!

Vegetarian DINNER!


Can you spot the vegetarian?
I know!
They all look the SAME!


  • Lee (sometimes known as Another Lee):

    Well, I was hoping you would write a scathing satire of vegetarians (I’ve asked before) but since you are one of us now, welcome to the club! Please be sure to order a t-shirt that says “Beef: it’s what’s in your colon” to wear to Zumba class. Guaranteed to enhance feelings of superiority. Also, just a heads up if you order up some algae pills. After you take them, several hours later you will burp, and it will taste like you stuck your head in a fish tank that hadn’t been cleaned in months, and drank deeply. Yes, that bad.

    • Rechelle:

      Mein Gott! Well at least that kind of makes being a vegetarian harder which strangely also makes it more fun!

    • Someone who takes those supplements told me that freezing them before use helps alleviate that symptom. I haven’t done it myself, so I don’t know, but it sure doesn’t seem like it would hurt!

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  • jalf:

    I have to be pedantic and point out that the first point (the meat meme) is a bit of a stretch. We evolved to eat meat. Go find a herbivore animal and make it eat some meat, and see what happens. First, it’ll be unable to chew it very well because it doesn’t have the right kind of teeth (or any teeth), and second, it’ll be unable to digest it.

    It’s not something we as a species just *chose* to do, any more than we “chose” to walk on two legs, or grow a big brain. Those things happened, sure, and if you’re willing to play with the idea of some kind of racial consciousness, perhaps *that* made a decision that “we should evolve towards meat-eating”, but in practical terms, it just happened through blind evolution, not a conscious choice, because it turned out to be an advantage.

    (incidentally, there’s good evidence that at least part of our meat-eating diet is responsible for our brains, and pretty much kick-starting the whole “intelligence” thing. To build big brains, you pretty much need lots of essential fatty acids, which are mainly found in… fish. Fish were a pretty important part of the early human’s diet, and if we’d “chosen” not to eat it, we’d likely never have evolved our big brains.

    Which isn’t to say that vegetarianism isn’t a perfectly viable choice today, of course. That’s a completely different issue, I think.

    Vegetarian food is yummy. And potentially healthy (you do have to watch what you eat a bit more, since some nutrients are less common in a lot of plant food, but that’s pretty manageable to deal with.).

    Personally I can’t say I’m a vegetarian myself, but I eat less meat than most, and am happy to eat vegetarian from time to time.

    • Samantha:

      I believe in eating in moderation but the trouble with that is everyone’s definition of moderation is different. I also eat meat but not every day and I eat locally raised meat (bison, pork, chicken, turkey) but I live in the country where there are a lot of small farms producing real food. The problem I have with a vegan diet is there is always some sort of supplement fish oil pills for example….well if you need to take man-made supplements something isn’t right to me, something is lacking in the diet.

      Good luck Rechelle with being a vegetarian I see it as just the other side of the extreme meat-eaters something is always lacking or out of balance…..I really think it is a matter of knowing how much of each fod is needed and let’s not forget our genes and how some people need more of some nutrients over others….it’s complicated.

  • action squirrel:

    This is not very constructive and may even spark an eating-disorder or two, but the only one at that table without carb face is Charles. Which is pretty impressive, because a lot of vegetarians get serious carb face – which means it’s just a little more puffy around the bottom half, really subtle, but in a particular way. I didn’t see it either the first 400 times because it has nothing to do with skinny or not skinny, but now I see it right away. The end.