Vegetarianism conversation questions
- Are you a vegetarian or a vegan?
- Have you ever considered becoming a vegetarian?
- Do you know many vegetarians or vegans?
- How do people generally react to vegetarians or vegans in your country?
- Have you ever visited a vegetarian restaurant? What was the food like?
- Would you marry a vegetarian if it meant you could not cook meat at home?
Is someone a vegetarian/vegan if they eat ______?
- poultry (chicken, duck, goose, turkey, quail)
- vertebrates: fish, shark, whale
- molluscs: octopus, mussels, oysters
- crustaceans: crab, lobster, shrimp, goose barnacles
- milk, cheese, butter
- if very occasionally they eat red meat (beef, pork, deer, sheep, horse, mutton)
Why did you choose that particular definition?
Contrast with the definition of veganism: the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, but also in clothes and any other use.
These are some of the reasons people give for being vegetarian. What do you think of each reason?
- Moral. Some people maintain that keeping animals in captivity is inherently cruel, and killing them is pretty obviously unpleasant for the animal. Deliberately causing pain or distress to another animal is morally wrong and therefore we should not do it.
- Religious. Some people belong to religions which do not allow them to eat meat.
- Environmental. It takes a vastly greater input of water, fertiliser and energy to produce a kilo of meat than it does to produce a kilo of vegetables. In addition rearing animals generates considerable quantities of the greenhouse gas, methane - a for more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So some people are vegetarian because they want to save the environment and reduce global warming.
- Health. In most western countries people eat far too much meat. Red meat, in particular, seems to be unhealthy.
What arguments can you think of against vegetarianism?
- What if scientists could genetically grow meat in the laboratory so there would be no greenhouse gas burden and no suffering or violence since the meat and fat are grown in cultures? Would you prefer to eat this meat or regular meat, even if it were a "bit more" expensive? Could some vegetarians justify being able to eat this synthetic meat? Why/Why not?
- How would the world be different if everybody was vegetarian? Or a vegan?
- How would you feel if you were told that you could no longer eat meat?
- Can you think of any famous vegetarians? (Albert Einstein, Avril Lavigne, Buddha, Clint Eastwood)
- Do you think that vegetarians are more or less healthy than meat eaters?
- What is the most logical reason for becoming a vegetarian?
- What would you prepare for a vegetarian coming for dinner at your home? (appetizer, main dish, dessert and beverage)
- What meal would you miss the most if you became vegetarian?
- What would be a great meal you would prepare for yourself as a vegetarian?
- Would you go to a vegetarian restaurant for dinner?
- What would be more difficult to eat, a strange new vegetable, or an exotic piece of meat?
- In May 2003 a UN report suggested that world food shortages would be reduced if people ate more insects. What do you think of this idea and do you think it would be acceptable to vegetarians? Note that eating insects is not acceptable to vegans.