Pretty much every vegetarian has been accused of eating meat on the sly — which makes sense, since most meat eaters can’t picture life without steak (or hamburgers, or hot dogs, or bacon) and have a hard time understanding a voluntarily vegetarian lifestyle. But if you accuse a vegetarian of pounding down veal burgers during their off hours, chances are you’ll be met with some serious kale-fueled rage that’ll take a bucketful of bacon to forget. Pro tip: Next time, just skip the fuss and assume they’re lying. In fact, go ahead and assume that they ate meat yesterday. You’d probably be right.
Let’s break down the facts, shall we? A poll conducted by CNN surveyed 10,000 Americans about their eating habits, and roughly 6% of the respondents self-identified as vegetarians. The researchers then asked individuals to describe their eating habits, and 60% of the “vegetarians” reported having eaten meat within the last twenty-four hours. Okay, that could’ve have been a fluke (or just a really, really dumb sample group). Then the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a similar study. This time, they telephoned approximately 13,000 Americans, and 3% claimed to be vegetarians. When they followed up a week later, 66% of the self-proclaimed veggie-lovers had eaten meat the day before.
The study speculated that the disconnect might be happening because different people have different definitions of “vegetarianism” despite the pretty obvious “no meat of any kind” definition that can be found in every dictionary and search engine. We’re just going to go ahead and call bullish*t on so-called vegetarians who claim veggie cred while sneaking fish filets under the table. Here’s the takeaway: Next time you meet a vegetarian preaching about the benefits of a flesh-free lifestyle, make sure you get up real close and personal while they’re lecturing. We’re betting their breath will smell like bacon.