Lately I’ve been browsing this online dating site and noticed something that bothered me. In the past I’ve referred to this topic only to pick on people’s profile pictures on these sites but this time I have a gripe about something that the site has in its system itself. One of the options that a user can have for his or her profile is “diet,” from which he or she can select “vegetarian,” “almost anything” and so on. The thing that bothers me the most is the option for “mostly vegetarian.”
It aggravates the hell out of me that people still don’t understand that vegetarianism is an absolute. Either you’re a vegetarian or not. If you’re eating mostly non-animal products, but you’re still open to a steak now and then, you’re not a vegetarian. I selected “strictly vegetarian” for my profile but I essentially have the same complaint. If I’m not strict about it, then how can I call myself a vegetarian?
I think this stems from people’s misconception about different types of vegetarian diets as points on a scale by matter of degree, with lacto-ovo vegetarians such as myself as the “least” vegetarian to fruitarians as the “most.” There is a matter of degree in terms of how much we allow in our diet. However, changing one’s type of vegetarianism doesn’t make one more or less vegetarian. It only means that they fall under a different category.
Yet I still run into this mistake all the time. My vegetarianism will come up in conversation from time to time with people who will at some point want to clarify that I’m not a vegan. Then they’ll drop the “strict” bomb in there with something like “Yeah, those people are really strict about it.” I then reply “Well, I’m just as strict. I never eat animal products.” Then they looked confused and I have to give the same rant that I expressed above.
By the way, the topic of my vegetarianism endlessly bores me. I don’t pick on anybody for eating meat so why does it fascinate them so much that I don’t? I understand why it might be on a dating website but the only reason that I might take her vegetarianism into consideration is so we wouldn’t have to talk about it. To be honest, dating a meat-eater isn’t out of the question for me so I really don’t care that the option is on the website. I understand that it’s another step towards finding one’s “match” but it’s not a step that I take seriously.
Actually, I don’t take the whole thing seriously anyway. I’ve found some women that interest me but I usually stick to browsing. I haven’t even written up my profile yet. Besides, it’s hard finding women in my close proximity that say they don’t want kids. I don’t mind driving a distance but I really want to make sure the other person is worth it, which is hard to do online. But hey, at least I know that they might be a fellow vegetarian.