Just Say No

The following is a comment I posted on a Lifehacker post titled How to Be a Vegetarian and Peacefully Co-Exist at Meal Time.

In social situations, we often respond to people with an excuse. "I can't eat this because I'm vegetarian." Even this great article suggests we say "I already ate before I came here." Which is a totally reasonable suggestion.

My question is, why is "No thank you" never enough? It's true that people ask why, or try to goad you into eating something until you give them a concrete reason.

We do this for a lot of things and I think we should stop. Giving a reason might make you more sociable, but it also takes away your power. Don't want to date a guy? Don't say it's because "I have a boyfriend." Simply say "I'm not interested." If the person has something to say against that then you're not in a safe situation and you should leave.

People look at being vegetarian as a choice that you make even though you'd really like to eat meat. I think that's what omnivores don't like about being vegetarian. They want you to be able to do what you enjoy! Give them some relief by simply saying "No thank you" and following it up with "Because I don't want to." Be polite about it, but firm; and don't give additional reasons. It's simply none of their business.