Can a Mexican Be Vegetarian?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And is the Mexican-American gang problem exaggerated?

DEAR MEXICAN: Do you agree with gente who think you can't be vegetarian if you're Mexican 'cause meat is an essential part of our diet? I've heard this argument three times within the past 24 hours from two blogs and The Today Show. I think it's babosadas. Growing up in Zacatecas, my parents only had meat on Friday when the pollero came knockin' or other rare occurrences.

Cuaresma Chica

DEAR LENTEN GIRL: Of course it's babosadas. A Mexican can eat a perfectly fine vegan diet—nopales, tortillas and all the wonderful vegetables of Mexico, from chayotes to huauzontle to beans, chiles and more—and still be as raza as Cuauhtémoc. See, the traditional indigenous diet didn't include too much meat, definitely not any beef, pork, goat, lamb or chicken, as those animals weren't native to the New World (yes, this sentence contained a triple-negative, shepherds of Shakespeare. Váyanse a la chingada). Yet those are the very meats those anti-vegetarian braggarts cite, in the form of carne asada, chorizo, birria, barbacoa or pollos rostizado, when they claim Mexicans can't live on a carne-free diet. These are the same pendejos who say they're puro mexicano while downing a Bohemia (named after the Czech immigrants who revolutionized Mexico's beer industry . . . alongside the Germans), eating their bolillos (introduced by the French) and tacos al pastor (brought in by Lebanese immigrants), and washing it all down with a Mexican Coke (done by gabachos). And those idiots must also love the most recent issue of TIME, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto being hailed as Mexico's savior, as laughable a premise as a Mexican showing up to a party on time.

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DEAR MEXICAN: Why are so many young Mexicans in gangs? And why do they love to graffiti everything, even their own ghetto apartment buildings? I see too damn much of this in the Los Angeles area. ¿Qué pasa?

El Virgin de 50 Anos

DEAR VIRGIN OF 50 ANUSES: Let's not pussyfoot around the issue. The National Gang Center's 2011 National Youth Gang Survey found that 46.2 percent of all gang members in the United States were Latinos, by far the largest percentage among ethnic groups in this country. But . . . if you take the 367,000-plus documented gang members in los Estados Unidos and put that over the 34 million people of Mexican descent in the United States, that amounts to barely 1 percent of all Mexicans in this country—1 percent too many, but hardly the epidemic Know Nothings make out the gang problem to be among Mexican-Americans (and keep in mind the Latino-gangs figure doesn't differentiate by national origin, meaning the cholo figure in our equation is artificially inflated thanks to Dominican, Puerto Rican and Salvadoran gangs). Then take into mind that gangs have existed among young immigrant men—especially in urban areas—since the founding of the Republic, and the question becomes why aren't there more young Mexican chicos in gangs. But you asked why do they join, so rent Gangs of New York, Angels With Dirty Faces, The Godfather, The Hangover and all that desmadre for the answer.

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110 comments
viejo_buitre
viejo_buitre

Personas que comen animales sabrosos. Viva PETA

mmorante1
mmorante1

I don't know why you think that all Mexicans eat is meat. If you go to Mexico and order a steak you will be sorry, because it will be a very slim steak. If you go to a better restaurant there will probably be no tacos on the menu. Mostly sea food and French dishes are the general  meals


griffinmichael
griffinmichael

Y Chicharrones? Did they invent their own version of pork rinds independently or import them from somewhere else?

Stephanie Garrabrant-Sierra
Stephanie Garrabrant-Sierra

Cesar Chavez was an ethical vegetarian who believed in animal rights. "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cock fighting, bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned." C.C.

sgsierra
sgsierra

Cesar Chavez was an ethical vegetarian.  He also opposed bullfighting and other acts of cruelty to animals. 


gabriel.ochoa.1977
gabriel.ochoa.1977

Besides the elocuent answer of the Mexican. Being born Mexican, living in Mexico and vegetarian for the last 12 years and vegan for almost a year, I can tell you that in Mexico there is a big vegetarian and vegan community, and it isn't something new at all. There are a lot of good and old restaurants with traditional and modern dishes made veg in cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara, and a few in Monterrey, and for sure in other cities that I don't know... We are the best raza to be veg in this world.

Chingazo
Chingazo

Vegeteriano si. But you have to have queso, no?  And how do you do a veggie alpastor? digame.

Tony Salantro
Tony Salantro

Thats because it is. They stereo type all mexicans as fat sombrero wearing drunks with dirty mustaches.I fucking hate this ask a Mexican bullshit. It only encourages ignorance within different ethnicities.

Jess Mendoza
Jess Mendoza

I've been a vegetarian for 40 years. No flour tortillas, no rice or bread.

Renée Saldaña
Renée Saldaña

The question might sound silly but the answer is legit. I've been vegetarian for 19 years, vegan for over two years, and I still get flak from people telling me I'm "white washed" or not really Mexican because of my dietary choices.

Keith Burks
Keith Burks

Plenty of vegans and growing. And is the gang problem exaggerated ? The 2 questions are not related. Sounds like Fragmented thought processes from the author and counter productive. Good help is hard to find.

gtnoriega554
gtnoriega554

As a child, I remember lots of times when there was no meat to eat.  Today, because I have a good paying job, I'm able to eat meat on a regular basis. 

Elisa Scott
Elisa Scott

Mexican Vegetarian since 88. I was 11.

Cecilia Gomez
Cecilia Gomez

Probably, we know how to make anything taste good!!!

Julio Arana
Julio Arana

No!!! I am dating a vegetarian and eat meat like a motherfucking raging carnivore

Armando Jr Solis
Armando Jr Solis

What a stupid question indeed..its a matter of personal choice, and got nothing to do with race or nationality..errrr

Rosemary Seaver
Rosemary Seaver

<--- Mexican Vegetarian right here! Going on three years.

Will Webb
Will Webb

nada como una rica carne tampiqueña, unos tacos de arrachera, o unos tacos de pastor...unos tacos de chicharron en salsa verde... carnivoro al 100%

Roberto Rivera
Roberto Rivera

Been a vegetarian since last summer, and haven't looked back since!... but ay chingao, tacos al pastor still smell and look DAMN good

Evelin Rubio
Evelin Rubio

Gustavo your response( can a mexican be vegetarian) had me do a standing ovation at work,jajaja! although im not Mexicana, soy de Guatemala and like always a lot of my people,alike many of my Mexican friends often throw out ignorant responses in regards to not eating meat. its embarrassing. thank you for your words!!!!my best wishes as always!

Robert Flores
Robert Flores

You all are missing the point! Go out and buy #Lowriting. A new book featuring awesome photography by Art Meza. And brilliant writing all in One book! Now go eat your vegetables Gustavo Arellano!!

Art Meza
Art Meza

Yay! Thanks so much, Oh Mexican One! And thank you, Alicia Dodger Princess Rodriguez! Also, I always agree w/ Robert Flores. That guy kicks ass!

Reymundo Armendariz
Reymundo Armendariz

Of course, my brother is vegetarian. But I will say that Mexican vegetarian food cuts out the most delicious dishes we have.

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

What does no rice or wheat have to do with being vegetarian?

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

No fair bringing reason into the argument, this is supposed to be about how the illegal people are trying to sabotage the U. S. economy by not eating enough beef.

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

"Dope" is a very good term in describing an article by Gustavo. ;)

turtleflower7
turtleflower7

yes er ri bob robert flores not only kicks culo but kicks period after all he is my sobrino

 
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