Created By: Rainbow on August 23, 2012 Last Edited By: Rainbow on August 27, 2012

Vegetarians Only Eat Vegetables

Fictional vegetarians only eat vegetables and rarely eat sweets.

Name Space:
Page Type:
This would be a potential subtrope of the Straw Vegetarian trope, although I'm not sure if the more extreme aspects exists outside of The Simpsons. It could also be widened to be a "Vegetarian food is always health food" trope as well. Or this could be merged to add more traits to the list under Straw Vegetarian.

In many examples of Straw Vegetarian type of characters in fiction, or at least more militant ones, their diet isn't a matter of merely not eating meat, but they often only eat "health food" and often only eat organic food as well, and the idea of organic sweets and other "junk food" treats is almost never brought up, even though such things exist. In some cases, people assume that the trope title is literal and that vegetarians only eat vegetables, maybe taking the term "vegetarian" a little too literally.

Examples where vegetarians are assumed to only eat vegetables:
  • In "Lisa The Vegetarian" from The Simpsons, she only gives vegetable alternatives (the gazpacho mentioned in the quote from the Straw Vegetarian page) to Homer's BBQ and everyone else says things like "You don't win friends with salad" to her, forgetting that popular party foods such as cake and ice cream (and Homer's other favorite, donuts) would also count as vegetarian since they're not meat.

Examples where a vegetarian diet is treated as the same as a health food diet:
  • Dawn from The Baby-Sitters Club dislikes eating sweets and other junk food snacks as well as being a vegetarian.
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • August 23, 2012
    Hmm. Maybe we can call it Literal Vegetarian?
  • August 26, 2012
    So does this mean no fruit and other non vegetable flora? If not then I think this is a case of People Sit On Chairs and Shaped Like Itself.
  • August 27, 2012
    I think that, while the trope focuses mostly on vegetables, but it ignores that many foodstuffs can be processed from plants. One of the points being made is that sugar is a naturally occurring foodstuff that would fit into a vegan diet, but it is usually ignored. Bread is made from flour (ground wheat). Another point to be made is that vegetarian does not necessarily mean vegan. Many vegetarians don't have a problem with milk or eggs, and particularly lax ones might eat fish.

    Personally, I don't think this is a strong enough trope. Then again, I don't remember seeing many vegetarians in fiction, which speaks more to my taste in entertainment than anything, I suppose. There might also be a trope in "Not All Vegetarians Are Vegans", but again, I don't have enough frame of reference myself.
  • August 27, 2012
    What I meant was that there may be a common assumption that vegetarians only eat "health food" and that they don't eat anything considered "junk food" as well as avoiding meat.
  • August 27, 2012
    This is the first I've heard of it, and my mum's a vegetarian.
  • August 27, 2012
    I've seen the inverse of this trope in Real Life more than played straight.
  • August 27, 2012
    The vegetarian=health food is something I've seen a fair few times in Real Life, especially in restaurants that might serve burgers, steaks and so on, but have nothing vegetarian on the menu except salad, or people who say that they don't like "vegetarian food" (ignoring the fact that chips/fries, most cheeses, bread, ice cream etc. are all vegetarian).

    It's also worth pointing out that the Vegetarian Society argues that word vegetarian doesn't come from the word vegetable at all, but from the Latin word vegetus meaning lively or vigorous.