To understand the joys and sorrows of vegetarianism one has to be a vegetarian. The following list contains eight things that are all too familiar to one who enjoys a meat-free diet.
1. Only another vegetarian understands what a positive surprise it is, when you eat at your partner's parents for the first time and they serve vegetarian food. Especially if it is Christmas.
2. Only another vegetarian can understand why you would send pictures with your phone from the store to friends after discovering a new vegan-friendly product on the shelf.
3. You become terribly frustrated when you hear the sentence "but this does not contain any meat", when you turn down a cheesecake containing gelatine, or when someone says: "you can always pick the meat away".
4. Only another vegan can understand the irritation when fellow diners want to taste your portion, and you are left with only a small bite.
5. A vegetarian must hear the following lines year after year: "if no one ate meat, the world would be filled with animals." Or the joke about the speaker having "made a deal with rabbits".
6. Only after you turn 30 do your relatives finally realise it is not a passing phase.
7. "Can you eat fish?" Very few seem to understand that fish is meat. Chicken is also meat.
8. Only another vegetarian understands what it is like to be served fruit salad for dessert every time. On the other hand they may also understand what you mean when you speak of the falafel burger of Hesburger.
The sections have been gathered from experiences of members of the animal rights organisation Oikeutta eläimille (Rights for Animals).
Johanna Mitjonen – HS
Annika Rautakoura – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Image: Antti Johansson / HS