Saturday, December 22, 2012

Low Church Vegetarians?

It's been my observation that the least annoying variety of vegetarians are the sort that were raised in a bona fide culture that is vegetarian.  Most of the others, especially the vegans, seem to be almost all SWPLs with degrees that don't pay much who are desperately trying to distinguish themselves from the hated proles.
But for the cultural vegetarian, it's no big deal, and they don't get sanctimonious about it, despite the fact that it ACTUALLY IS a religious issue for them.

For instance, a group of my colleagues at work and I were cooking a bunch of freshly caught fish at a team building event some time back.  We'd brought along some veggie burgers and the like for the vegetarians in our group.  Knowing that some vegetarians have a concern for meat contaminating their vegetables when cooked on the same grill, I inquired of them if they'd like me to cook their veggie burgers first so as to not adulterate them with fish.  They all told me, oh, don't worry about that Jehu, just toss 'em all on.  You see, they understand that incidental animal material is going to be part of pretty much anything you cook or eat---even just grains.  They don't have a complex about it in the way that status-striving Western vegetarians and especially vegans generally seem to.  In short, they're Low Church Vegetarians---which is kind of ironic considering that they have a legitimate tradition going back thousands of years.  Perhaps it's always the new 'converts' that demonstrate the over-the-top zeal.


Anonymous said...

For the low-church types, it's not about the meat, it's about THEM.

kandya said...

I think pretty much the only cultural vegetarianism in the world is found in upper caste Indians. They do have problems with meat contaminating their food, mostly a disgust-related issue than an ethical issue.

Jehu said...

Yes, all the cultural vegetarians I've met have been upper caste Indians. Surprisingly, I've found they've far less incidental contamination issues than do the 'high church' SWPL vegetarians.

Anonymous said...

The problem upper caste Indians have with incidental contamination issues could arise from the need to draw boundaries in a highly multicultural society living in a dense tropical urban environment where fighting dirt and smells is an ongoing undertaking. This need will likely disappear within a Western society where they are a clear minority. Contamination issues then become just the consequences of choosing to live in a Western society to be adapted to in the interests of general amity and harmony. At least this is my reading from observing my parents' actions and attitudes on their visits.