Vegetarians! Can we talk?

Let’s talk terminology first.

You, a vegetarian, are a herbivore. A ‘meat eater’ as you describe those not of vegetarian or vegan choice are omnivores. Let’s look at the definitions now…

Main Entry: her·bi·vore
Pronunciation: ‘(h)&r-b&-“vOr, -“vor
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin Herbivora, group of mammals, from neuter plural of herbivorus
: a plant-eating animal

Main Entry: om·ni·vore
Pronunciation: ‘äm-ni-“vOr, -“vor
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin omnivora, neuter plural of omnivorus, from Latin
: one that is omnivorous

Which leads us to:

Main Entry: om·niv·o·rous
Pronunciation: äm-‘niv-r&s, -‘ni-v&-
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin omnivorus, from omni- + -vorus -vorous
1 : feeding on both animal and vegetable substances
2 : avidly taking in everything as if devouring or consuming
– om·niv·o·rous·ly adverb

Okay, so, what’s the point? Well, many of you probably see nothing wrong with the term ‘meat eater’ but I, along with many others, are quite frustrated with this moniker. The choice YOU, the herbivores, have made does not mean WE, the omnivores, are in need of a term that limits who we are or what we eat. You have chosen to limit your diet. We, omnivores, say it with me, äm-‘niv-r&s, eat what we wish, when we wish.

Yes, there is a prejudice within your choice of words.

Main Entry: 1prej·u·dice
Pronunciation: ‘pre-j&-d&s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praejudicium
2 a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion

You may not see the term as anything but descriptive, but in fact, it is far from the bullseye.

So, with these definitions, aka cold hard facts, please know that you quite likely offending your non-vegetarian friends, family, or random strangers. And fellow non-vegetarians, please note that vegetarians are not strange, weird or anything out of the ordinary. They’ve made a choice for their reason. If you have a question ask it – without judgement. There is nothing wrong with them just as there is nothing wrong with us for eating meat and anything else you want to eat. Also, remember that you are a omnivore. You are not just a ‘meat eater’.

End. of. line.

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