Here are 10 examples of what *not* to say on a date with someone you met on a top dating app who doesn’t eat meat.
1. “But do you eat chicken?”
For some reason, many people tend to believe that chicken isn’t a type of meat, and therefore is a healthy part of a vegetarian’s diet. But they’re very wrong. Being a vegetarian means you don’t consume any animal products, which may or may not include eggs or dairy (as those are considered by-products). Vegetarianism is unique to each person, but chances are high that your date probably doesn’t eat any type of meat. So when you ask us if we still eat chicken, the answer is nope! Not chicken, not beef, not pork, and not turkey — not even on Thanksgiving.
2. “I’m sure there’s ONE type of meat you’ll eat. ;)”
As you may have guessed, this is a not-so-subtle sexual innuendo. Once upon a time, I went on a date with a proud meat eater who made a joke about me eating German sausage (yes, he was German). It’s always unwarranted, awkward, and uncomfortable. A great sense of humor is appreciated, but this inappropriate joke isn’t it. Do us all a favor and keep this one to yourself.
3. “Will you get grossed out if I order something that has meat in it?”
Okay, don’t get me wrong. This is a kind and considerate question to ask someone who doesn’t eat meat, especially if they have an allergy or related health concern. But order whatever you want! Nine times out of 10, the answer to this question will be “No, but thanks for asking.” However, keep in mind that your date might actually have an issue with you eating meat in front of them. If that’s the case, and you wind up falling for them, be prepared to never be able to eat meat with this person for the rest of your life.
4. “How do you get your protein?”
Easy! There are a million other ways people can get their daily dose of protein aside from meat.
Beans, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, tofu, and eggs (depending on the person) are some examples of the many protein-packed foods that vegetarians eat on the regular.
5. “So what do you eat?”
Surprise! Vegetarians eat a lot more than just lettuce. And no, we don’t eat grass. We eat vegetables, grains, carbs, dessert (yes, it’s a food group), and, also depending on the person, maybe even dairy. So in answer to this question, we eat really great food, and we’re going to find something off of any menu that we can enjoy on a lunch or dinner date with you.
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6. “Did you go vegetarian to lose weight?”
Ouch, and yikes. Never bring up a person’s weight on a date. Ever. Avoiding this question should be common sense, but some folks don’t see how problematic and judgmental this question is. Whether or not your date started living a vegetarian lifestyle to lose weight or not is totally up to them, and they don’t have to disclose that information to you regardless. Skip asking this so you don’t wind up sounding like a complete jerk.
7. “But humans are carnivores...”
This one gets old… fast. Yes, we have sharp teeth to help us rip apart meat like other mammals. Humans still eat and gain energy and nutrients from plants. We don’t have to eat meat just because we’re said to be carnivores. Also, have you noticed that the biggest, strongest animals are herbivores? Elephants, gorillas, rhinos, and hippos to name a few. A plant-based diet is a sufficient diet. If you love eating meat and it properly fuels you, all the power to you. More veggies for us!
8. “I could never give up steak or chicken.”
Good for you! We likely never envisioned living our lives without steak or chicken either, but alas, our values and lifestyles change over time and things change. And sometimes we wind up living without some things we never thought we would. This is getting deep, but we’re definitely still talking about eating meat. Congrats on not being able to envision life without chicken nuggets. Vegan nuggets are just as delicious.
9. “Can you just pick out the meat from [dish]?”
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about ramen, a plate of nachos, or a pepperoni pizza. The answer to this question is no, probably not. Splitting appetizers or meals can be a bit difficult when you don’t eat the same way as your partner, but it’s not the end of the world. Don’t be selfish. Either ask the server to leave the meat out of the shared dish, get it on the side, or pick a meatless option. Problem solved.
10. “Are you one of those ‘save the animals’ advocates?”
Everyone has different reasons for why they go vegetarian. I do love animals, but that’s not why I stopped eating meat. Whereas I stopped eating meat and poultry because it didn’t agree with my stomach anymore (aka it made me super sick every time I ate it), others do it for religious purposes, environmental reasons, and activism efforts. A simple “Why did you stop eating meat, if you don’t mind me asking?” will go a lot smoother and make you sound thoughtful rather than rudely asking if we’re “just” doing this to save the animals.
Think Before You Ask
These are only 10 of the many things you should never say on a date with a vegetarian about their diet. Although we can’t list them all, a good rule of thumb is to think long and hard before saying something about someone’s lifestyle that may be judgmental or condescending. No one wants to date a jerk — whether they eat meat or not.