Apparently, the stars have aligned and it's Vegetarian Weekend here in the United States of Where's-The-Beef.
Today is Hug-A-Vegetarian Day, sponsored by those lovable but disturbed whackjobs over at PETA. Not content with trying to get fish renamed “sea kittens” and actually driving more business to a Santa Ana McDonald's by being completely indistinguishable from the usual sign-twirlers, they've designated an entire day dedicated to really uncomfortable greetings with total strangers.
(“Hello! I noticed you ordered a Boca Burger, sir. May I give you a hug on this auspicious Hug-A-Vegetarian Day?”)
Tomorrow is World Vegetarian Day, a holiday concocted by the North American Vegetarian Society. It kicks off the month of October, designated by that august association as Vegetarian Awareness Month.
The question is, what's a vegetarian? If you sneak fish now and then, are you still a vegetarian? (Answer: no.) If you just hate the taste of beef and lamb but have no problem with a quick stop for the Colonel's original recipe, are you a vegetarian? (Hint: no.)
We've devised a handy guide to whether you're a vegetarian or not:
All snark aside, vegetarianism's not a bad thing. All of us could stand to eat a great deal less meat–though I will give up my steak when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers. Meatless Monday is a good start–just don't eat meat on Monday. It's not too hard to do, actually, especially in the peak of the harvest that we're in right now. I don't have trouble finding vegetarian and even vegan recipes to cook, and I refuse to resort to rubbery crap such as seitan and texturized vegetable protein.
Maybe don't go around hugging a vegetarian today. Maybe just consider dropping meat out of your meals once in a while.