At the risk of offending vegetarians....



  • rowanwood
    rowanwood Posts: 510 Member
    As a former vegetarian...the key to offending them is to open your mouth and have sound come out. They will take it personally.

    Also, hypocrisy seems to be the primary reason for meat shaped non-meat. But I'm not bitter about my own stupidity. I'm FINE.

    Yes, seriously.

    Do you know how many "ethical" vegetarians eat meat when no one is looking? People who decide not to eat meat for other reasons are usually misinformed about quality protein, from my experience.
  • dandelyon
    dandelyon Posts: 620 Member
    I'm not offended as a vegetarian. I'm not sure exactly WHAT the reasons are, and I don't eat a lot of fake chicken nuggets, fake corn dogs, fake sausage, and fake bacon, but I know a lot of people like them as a lower calorie (possibly healthier, depending on your definition) option. It's an easy way to get protein if you're not watching your sodium. I eat boca burgers at work quite a bit because it's really convenient. If it wasn't a pattie, it would be bit harder to pop into the toaster oven.

    I know that my mom buys them because the idea of everyone not having a burger at a bbq feels like bad hosting to her.

    Also, meat doesn't come off the animal in hot dog or hamburger shapes. Maybe we're all just programmed to chow patties... even us weirdos who want soy-based patties :P
  • RedheadQuine
    RedheadQuine Posts: 111 Member
    I was vegetarian for a couple of years as a teen, because of ethics. Therefore I really enjoyed 'fake meat' as I felt I wasn't missing out so much if I could still have sausage and eggs, or 'chicken' fillets etc!
  • celadontea
    celadontea Posts: 335 Member
    When did we decide animals should be meat shaped and cooked into things like hamburgers, hot dogs, deli slices? These are constructs of the human imagination that formed a massive animal into another product/image. We are just applying the same construction by using different ingredients. Now are those highly processed faux meats all that great for you? That's another story altogether.
  • sinistras
    sinistras Posts: 244 Member
    There are faux meat products because many vegetarians still "like" things like burgers/hot dogs but don't like the consequences eating meat has on their health, the environment, or the animals used to make meat products. I don't see the problem in shaping a veggie patty like a hamburger patty--that's just practical for fitting on a bun!

    For some vegetarians, these faux meats are great "transitional" foods as they learn to cook more plant-based meals.

    Personally, I think a good homemade black bean burger or veggie nugget beat "the real thing" any day. :-)
  • SoDamnHungry
    SoDamnHungry Posts: 6,998 Member
    Maybe because meat tastes good and we've been conditioned to want it. Those who don't eat it for either ethical or health reasons still want it, and the food that resembles meat is very appealing.
  • tangerinepen
    tangerinepen Posts: 18 Member
    My dad says this to me all the time. And I always give him the same response: I like the taste of meat. Since what your food looks like is so important, and since those brands are appealing to people who like the taste of meat (usually), they make it look like meat to make it more appealing and (subconsciously) tastier. I don't eat meat because the suffering it causes animals is impermissible. That has nothing to do with taste.

    I don't get what's so hard to understand about that.
  • gowrirao81
    gowrirao81 Posts: 139 Member
    I had this conversation recently. I think the Quorn stuff looks like meat to please the newer veggies, rather than the well practiced ones. It's a good substitute to ween new vegetarians off of meat products and onto more 'true' veggie foods. Veggies do not need this processed stuff on a daily basis.
    When I first went to vegetarian the fake meat help make the transition a great deal easier. Now that I have been at it for almost a year I no longer eat that fake meat. I did some research on it and it is worse for you then real meat. Now I really enjoy the veggie based foods. But it is all a matter of personal opinion and ye=our own reason to go vegetarian.

    I agree. I was brought up vegetarian as a child in India ... I assure you there are no fake meat products there! Meat eaters who have given meat up as a choice use these products you mention to help get through the transitional phase.
  • HappyStack
    HappyStack Posts: 802 Member
    For people that can not eat meat for medical reasons not ethical.

    These people are precious few in comparison to the amount of "ethical" vegetarians.
  • pan0ramic
    1) Many veg*ns (including myself) grew up eating meat, and thus like the familiarity of the products. There can be a significant overlap period while people transition.

    2) It allows for direct substitutions in recipes and social gatherings. Example: veggie chicken strips for fajitas, and tofu dogs for BBQs.

    3) Meatless Mondays are becoming more and more popular, thus there is a market in making vegetarian products that appeal to meat-eaters. (I was one of those).

    Just as a note: meat itself is often arbitrarily shaped. I might ask the same question back: why is meat often pressed into strange shapes: strips, nuggets, sausages, etc. Over the decades, we've sort of figured out these ways of eating that are convenient meat-delivery options, so it would make sense that the vegetarian options are just the same.

    Anyways, it's just the fake meat stuff anyway. It's not like they're trying to make broccoli look like a steak.
  • bcattoes
    bcattoes Posts: 17,299 Member
    I am not vegetarian, but the logical answer seems that they were probably raised on meat and want to continue eating favorite foods without killing an animal to do it.
  • sinistras
    sinistras Posts: 244 Member
    The the shaping into "meat shape" really is all about the bun! And for crying out loud, what is a "real" chicken nugget supposed to resemble? ?
  • Kalico66
    Kalico66 Posts: 2 Member
    It's because nobody would like to eat a veggie coleslaw that's shaped like a cube, smart *kitten*. LOL JK!! And if by saying "your food" you mean that you've never eaten a vegetable, thats a bit weird! but really, some people who convert to this lifestyle just need something old to cling on too. Also, just because the food in it is different doesn't mean you have to change the shape of it. I mean, if a chocolate bar was made limited addition mint chocolate flavoured, should you change the shape from a rectangle too a circle? No. there's no point. The exact same goes for our food. Hope this helps!
    ~anonymous vegetarian
  • Kalico66
    Kalico66 Posts: 2 Member
    Agreed, my friend!
  • curly1986
    curly1986 Posts: 98 Member
    Why is mince or sausages assumed to be meat. Its just a shape that meat gets put into. Why can't vegetarian foods be put into the same shape? If we want a burger well then it makes sense for it to be burger shaped, if we want something in place of a sausage, well it just makes sense for it to be sausage shaped. No point getting crazy with the shapes of of food to make the look like non-meat! Im veggie but not because I didn't like meat. Just didnt like the idea of animals being slaughtered (often in awful slaughterhouses) for me to enjoy a roast dinner or a steak etc.
  • jenilla1
    jenilla1 Posts: 11,118 Member
    I'm not a vegetarian, but I only eat birds and fish. I have trouble digesting dairy and red meat. Personally, I think fake processed meat products are just as gross as real processed meat products. Chicken nuggets, ground beef, hotdogs and all that crap (real or fake) are just nasty to me. I avoid them both. :sick:
  • JesterMFP
    JesterMFP Posts: 3,596 Member
    ....why the F**K would you make your food look like meat?

    Vegetarian bacon, chops, mince, sausages, burgers, kievs, Hot dogs.....WHY??????

    We carnivores don't make veg shaped meat products.....
    I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm guessing because some people give up meat for ethical reasons, but still like the taste/texture of meat. And if you're making something that tastes and feels like meat, why not shape it to look like the original product too?

    As a non vegetarian, I don't need veg shaped products because I eat actual vegetables.
  • arghbowl
    arghbowl Posts: 1,179 Member
    I was a veg in high school for about 3 days. It was 3 days of cheese pizza bliss because everyone in my family were meat eaters. I gave in with a delicious pulled pork sammich.

    But really, I think it comes down to aesthetics. Who wants to eat a disgusting looking piece of processed vegetable mush? We've been "trained" to think that something looks tasty in X, Y, or Z form, hence veggie patties, veggie hot dogs, and veggie bacon.... If our food looks "familiar," we're more likely to eat it.
  • SailorKnightWing
    SailorKnightWing Posts: 875 Member
    I'm not a vegetarian, but I actually prefer the taste of veggie burgers to most normal beef burgers. If I didn't make them look like meat, how would I fit it on a bun? :bigsmile:
  • tumblyweed
    tumblyweed Posts: 416 Member
    Meat eaters do the same. For example, when you eat chicken nuggets at quiet a few fast food places the nuggets are fairly uniform and 'chicken nugget shaped'.

    I think it's a mental thing. However, I cannot eat anything shaped like meat. I think it's odd. I prefer vegetables that are comfortable just the way they are. :bigsmile:
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