Meat Versus Veggies
"Veggies are what food eats."
— Doc, The Whiteboard
"Good news, everyone! You don't have to eat meat! I've got enough gazpacho for all."Bob is a born and bred "meat and potatoes" type of guy. He counts meat-related foods as his Trademark Favorite Food, has a Bacon Addiction, staunchly believes that Real Men Eat Meat, and in extreme cases will willingly become a Burger Fool just to be close to the burgers. Chicken, pork, beef, fish, lamb, goat—if it's meat, he'll eat it without any qualms, and he's not afraid to be a Large Ham about it. Alice, on the other hand, is a vegetarian. As such, she's a supporter of the all Soy diet and would thus thrive in a Veganopia environment, and literally Does Not Like Spam. She'll probably eat Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables, or jump at the Call to Agriculture. Maybe she'll advocate Artificial Meat, the type that's made from plant byproducts, such as tofu, mictoprotein, or gluten steaks, and she might well assure you that it Tastes Like Chicken. Perhaps at one point she used to eat meat, but switched camps after meeting her food live and in person. Or perhaps she doesn't eat meat because it's against her religious beliefs to do so. If the creators of the work dislike veggies in general she will probably be a Straw Vegetarian. When their philosophies on food come together, expect them to clash. Bob thinks Alice is eating Fake Food, and that she just needs to try meat ''once'' to appreciate how good it tastes; Alice is squicked out by Bob's dietary choice and thinks he'll suffer Death by Gluttony for his obsession with meat. A Cooking Duel may ensue for each side to prove that their preferred food type is superior to the other. Worst-case scenario, a Food Fight or Diner Brawl will ensue. Basically, this trope is about the kind of conflict that goes on when a meat-eater and a vegetarian have to share the same dining space. There will be no middle ground. No Real Life Examples, Please! on this page. PLEASE. The last thing we want here is a brawl between "meat-and-potato people vs. tree-huggers."
— Lisa, The Simpsons, "Lisa the Vegetarian"
Some examples of Meat Versus Veggies:
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Anime and Manga
- The eponymous character of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a strict vegetarian and believes there is no justification for eating meat. She is so stubborn about this issue, in fact, that she turns a deaf ear to Jean's arguments that he and her friends only eat meat for food, not for cold killing. (She abandons this attitude, however, when she tells them about her tragic past that led to her rigidness about it.)
- In the 1987 movie Date With an Angel, the angel responds rather poorly when the main character offers her a burger...she does, however, eat the French fries.
- The 2005 low-budget film Shooting Vegetarians focuses on the main character, a vegetarian, being forced to go and work in his father's butcher shop. Hilarity Ensues.
- Willy Spino, a meat-eater, and a vegetarian blind woman have a minor spat about their diets in the Apocalypse film series movie Revelation.
- In Bedtime Stories, this is one way Skeeter Bronson and his sister Wendy are at odds with each other. Wendy raises her kids on a strict vegetarian diet, as evidenced by a gluten-free wheatgrass cake that nobody eats at her daughter Bobbi's birthday party. When Skeeter tries to make breakfast for the kids using various foods in her kitchen, he asks in exasperation "Doesn't your mother have tastebuds?", and he later gets them burgers for dinner as they stay with him at the hotel where he works.
- The Hobbit has a rather humorous scene where the company, who are mostly Dwarves, are invited to attend a dinner party in Rivendell. Much to the Dwarves' chagrin, their Elven hosts have prepared a variety of green foods and salad for them, and the Dwarves aren't entirely sure what to make of it. Dwalin takes a fist of the green stuff and demands meat, and Ori asks if they have any chips note In a later scene, they're roasting food over a fire, including a sausage and some of the leftover lettuce.
- One of the first challenges in Would You Rather invokes this trope. During a high-class dinner party, when the main course of foie gras and prime rib arrives at the table, one guest politely informs the host that she's a vegetarian. Said host, in turn, offers her $10,000 in cash to break her veggie ways. After a moment's hesitation, she does.
- In Super Mario Bros., Daisy, despite being a human descended from dinosaurs, is a vegetarian, but is fed meat as a captive by the aggressively carnivorous King Koopa. She asks a Goomba to bring her steamed veggies instead, which he fails to get to her before she is rescued.
- Phoebe Buffay of Friends is an odd case, as she flits between being a strict vegetarian by virtue of being an animal-rights supporter, and eating meat as part of Hypocritical Humor. The trope is played straight in one episode, however, when she gives in to the pressure to impress her boyfriend's parents and eats some veal, and is later sick because of it.
- Another episode has her horrified when, while acting as a surrogate for her brother and his wife, she starts to crave meat. Her friend Joey vows to take up vegetarianism during Phoebe's pregnancy to balance it out.
- Dharma and Greg: Abby, Dharma's mother, is a strict vegan, which causes problems in some instances.
- Roseanne is every bit of a Jerkass toward Darlene and her boyfriend David because they're both vegetarians.
Roseanne: (introducing them when they're camera-shy) They're vegetarians. They don't have the strength to hold their heads up.
- On another occasion, she delivers this line to David (who had been brainwashed by a Disneyland-esque cult):
Roseanne: Listen to me, David! RABBITS AND GEESE AND GOATS ARE NOT PEOPLE!! THEY DON'T SING AND DANCE!! THEY'RE FOOOOOOD!
- Darlene was little better; she not only refused to shut up about her vegetarian status and was every bit as much of a Jerkass as her mom, but at one point actually vandalized her family's diner for selling loose meat. Given that diner was her impoverished family's only source of income at the time, this was a pretty selfish and stupid move.
- On another occasion, she delivers this line to David (who had been brainwashed by a Disneyland-esque cult):
- Star Trek:
Spock: Please pay no attention. I'm not myself. I'm behaving disgracefully. I have eaten animal flesh and I've enjoyed it. What's wrong with me?
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Mr. Spock is a vegetarian, and is extremely displeased with himself when he eats meat in an out-of-character moment in the episode "All Our Yesterdays":
- In Star Trek: Enterprise, there is a sect of Vulcans that rely on both emotion and logic in balance, and they have no qualms about eating meat.
- The Klingons, the Vulcans' main competitor for the primary alien race in the franchise, seem to eat meat almost exclusively. Some of it is still moving.
- Gordon Ramsay once tricked a vegetarian into eating meat in one of his cooking shows. Needless to say the vegetarian wasn't pleased.
- In Leonardo, Jerk Jock Michelangelo makes fun of Leo for being vegetarian, and suggests the birds he frees should be "released" into a cooking pot.
- Frequently referenced on No Reservations - Tony falls squarely into the meat camp, many of his personal favourite Food Porn moments involve huge piles of sizzling animal parts and he rails against vegetarians or vegans with political motivations he finds ridiculous and who don't actually know how to cook vegetables properly. He will grant points to the (generally Buddhist) vegetarian cooks of places like India and China, however.
- Starsky & Hutch have been known to clash when it comes to food. Starsky mostly eats salami, pizza and any spicy burrito with onions. Hutch, however, prefers a more 'healthy' approach.
- Given a slightly different spin on That Mitchell and Webb Look in a sketch where a meat-eater is invited to a dinner party at a vegetarian couple's house and, when told what the menu is, asks what the 'meat' option is. The vegetarian, of course, replies that they're a vegetarian household and there's no meat option. During the ensuing argument, however, the meat-eater points out that when the meat-eater had the vegetarian and his partner over for dinner he was courteous and respectful enough to provide a vegetarian meal for them despite it not being his preferred choice of meal, and in a way it's actually a bit rude and hypocritical of the vegetarian to expect the meat-eater to bend over backwards to accommodate the former's dining requirements in the latter's home without being willing to extend the same courtesy when the roles were reversed. The vegetarian finds he has no comeback to this, so they decide to cook the family cat for the meat-eater.
- Downplayed on MythBusters; for the most part, the members of the Build Team respect each others' dietary choices (Kari is vegetarian, while Grant and Tory are not). However, the producers of the show do deliberately send Kari to pick up meat products from the butcher (because her reactions make for good TV), and Tory and Grant aren't above teasing her about it themselves.
- In Dinosaurs, it's Carnivores versus Herbivores. Earl and Fran reacted to find broccoli hidden inside Robbie's room like they had found some illicit drug.
- In one episode of Living Single, Regine becomes a vegetarian and attempts to force her roommates to follow suit by throwing out all the meat in the apartment. The roommates counter this by throwing out all her veggies and having a huge meat-only BBQ in the backyard. This backfires on everyone, however when Regine snaps and demands everyone's meat products for herself.
- The (first) Doctor Who Strax Field Report on each incarnation of the Doctor reveals that Strax considers the Fifth Doctor's 'vegetarian diet' to be the cause of his lack of warrior constitution.
- On an episode of QI, Stephen Fry asked why people who do not eat meat are called vegetarians. Jeremy Clarkson's response was "So they can be identified as fools and madmen!". Clarkson also wanted to put vegetarians into Room 101.
- Vorkosigan Saga:
- Cordelia comes from Beta Colony, where all the "meat" is actually vat protein. When she marries Aral and moves to Barayar it takes her a long time to get used to meat from actual animals.
- From a remark by one of the Koudelka sisters in A Civil Campaign: Cordelia still insists on vat meat at Vorkosigan House, thirty-some years later.
- In Memory, Miles tells how as a boy he used to bring home fish caught from the local lake, which Cordelia would dutifully eat. He stopped when he realized his mother was not enjoying it.
- In the novel Elizabeth Costello, the eponymous character's vegetarianism is just one of the many issues she has to contend with in the world she lives in.
- In the Garrett, P.I. series, vegetarian Morley and steak-lover Garrett constantly mock each other's eating habits. Interestingly, Morley is the one who's a stone killer by profession.
- In the Baby Sitters Club series, Dawn and her family were vegetarians (though this varies from book to book; sometimes they simply avoided red meat, and sometimes they, especially Dawn, were devout vegetarians). This was especially played up after Dawn's mother married Mary Anne's father, with three vegetarians and two meat-eaters in the same house having to make peace with one another's diets.
- Taken to intentionally ridiculous extremes in Nebulous, in which K.E.N.T. investigates a 'vegetarian colony' as if it were an extreme Planet of Hats with an inscrutable alien culture. The vegetarians are physically feeble brainwashed malevolents controlled by a Mad Scientist overclass, while K.E.N.T. struggles to understand what vegetarianism is, can't resist smuggling in chicken even though they'll likely be killed, are shown to become angry and shout at people who don't eat meat, and finding soy-based substitute meat ("Soylent Beige") significantly more repugnant than cannibalism, which they find totally normal. This is all a deliberately ludicrous inversion of several Doctor Who Author Tract stories promoting vegetarianism (such as "The Green Death" and "The Two Doctors").
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio "The Holy Terror", Frobisher (a shapeshifter who uses a penguin body) is introduced playing with an alien fish, tormenting it before he eats it. The Sixth Doctor, a vegetarian, catches him doing this and is appalled, telling Frobisher that what he's doing is unnecessarily cruel and that there's a whole room on the TARDIS full of canned tuna if he's hungry. Frobisher snaps back that the need to do this is part of his nature as a penguin, and it's not his fault the Doctor prefers salad. Then the Doctor finds out that the fish isn't even a real fish - it's created artificially by the TARDIS, and Frobisher's bullying of it has caused the TARDIS itself to go on strike.
- Subverted in Warhammer40000, of all places. The Tau are herbivores, Wide Eyed Idealists who preach the Greater Good and plan to unite the galaxy whether it wants to or not, and have a bad habit of trying to shame any potential allies they come across. The Kroot mercenaries are Noble Savage carnivores who snarkily call the Tau out for the hypocrites they are behind their backs. Yet the Tau have come to an understanding that the Kroot simply can't eat vegetables; as long as the Kroot agree to not eat Tau corpses, they all work together just fine.
- In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser uses meat-based healing items while the Mario Bros use mushroom-based ones (although the Bros are heavily implied not to be vegetarian generally when a door recommends Mario eat more puttanesca (which contains anchovies) in Partners in Crime. Nevertheless, Bowser's meat-and-sweets-exclusive diet is used for comedy quite a lot of times in the game, particularly in the sequence where a dispute between Bowser and a vegetarian carrot farmer (who believes that 'a healthy body craves no meat') leads to Bowser being forced to eat a carrot the size of a large car, which he moans about several times later.
- In Girls with Slingshots, Jameson's girlfriend/later wife Maureen is a shy vegetarian blogger who is harassed by one of Jameson's longtime friends, Candy. At first Candy's jokes and pranks about Maureen's eating choices/reactions to the thought of meat are treated as funny, but eventually everyone in the group decides that Candy has gone too far for too long and call her out on it. As for the rest of the cast, it rarely if ever comes up as an issue.
- Kevin & Kell takes this trope to its logical extreme, with it being the (as Danielle put it) arbitrary distinction used to divide society, a la race or sexuality. Then again, this is a society of Talking Animals, and given that the meat eaters prey on the veggie eaters often... A prime example is Bruno Luplin, a wolf that converts to herbivorism. It's treated in society as if he was transgender, and unfortunately it's the not-so-accepting part of society.
- Sometimes happens in Johnny Wander, such as when Yuko excitedly proposes a new bacon recipe to her friends, who are all vegans/vegetarians. Cue awkward silence.
- James Lileks' fisking of the Meat Cook Book in his Gallery Of Regrettable Foods includes many comments reminding readers to never, under any circumstances, eat the vegetables.
WARNING! The carrots here are not to be eaten. Your manly meat-a-rifficness will diminish if you eat the carrots. Vegetables are for commies.
- Though, if you read the gallery, it's pretty clear he finds all the meat recipes revolting. That's not because he hates meat; he loves it. It's just that all the meat recipes are revolting (the vegetable ones aren't any better).
- The "You might be a twinkie if..." list, "twinkie" referring to "My great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess; do you want me to read your aura?", has "If you ask me for vegetarian recipes..."
- Epic Meal Time has fun with this one.
- whatthefuckshouldimakefordinner.com's personality is extremely abusive to everyone, but if you click the 'I DON'T FUCKING EAT MEAT' button it will switch to insulting you about your diet instead of just generally swearing at you. All part of the fun, of course.
- In What About Mimi?, Mimi's mother is vegan, but when she's away for the weekend Mimi's father secretly eats meat.
- In Peace on Earth, Meat-eaters and Vegetarians are among the warring factions mentioned as the grampa squirrel explains how Mankind wiped itself out.
- Danny Phantom: between Tucker and Sam, Meat and Veggies respectively. It begins after Sam gets the school to take meat off the school menu, and it escalates to the point where the two of them each organize two dueling protests in front of the school.
- The Simpsons: between Lisa and Homer in "Lisa the Vegetarian", where Homer is throwing a BBQ just around the same time as Lisa has just converted to vegetarianism. After attempting to sabotage the BBQ Lisa goes missing as she is searching for others who share her philosophy; when she finds them, they point out that though they share her values, she's actually being an intolerant jerk. note
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has a minor moment of this, when the Gaang arrives to the Fire Nation: Sokka is overjoyed to eat meat at last, while Aang gets a little sick thinking about eating meat, and decides to stick with the veggies. In general, the Water Nation had meat as a major part of their diet (being from a part of the world where food was scarce), and the Air Nation was a vegetarian society being a race full of Friends To All Living Things (doubly so for Aang, being the Avatar). But since the Gaang are True Companions, Aang, Katara, and Sokka get along fine.
- Teen Titans:
Raven: I respect that you don't eat meat. Please respect that I don't eat fake meat.
- Beast Boy is a vegetarian (or a vegan; he doesn't seem to eat eggs or dairy, but is still referred to as a "vegetarian" in canon) due to the fact that he's "been some of those animals." He frequently encounters conflict with Cyborg because of his dietary preferences (making scrambled tofu instead of scrambled eggs, at which Cyborg was not amused). In one episode he tries to persuade Raven to eat one of his tofu-dogs; her response:
- In fact, in the episode "The Beast Within," one of the signs that something is wrong with him is when he eats meat and eggs and apparently enjoys them.
- Beast Boy can tolerate the presence of meat when he wants to. In "Employee of the Month", he sort-of willing works at Mega Meaty Meat because the Employee of the Month prize is his dream vehicle.
- The Bounty Hamster episode "Fashion Victim" has Marion as the vegetarian, being a hamster and all, and Cassie as the meat-lover.
Cassie: Call me old-fashioned, but I like my food to have a face.
- In The Powerpuff Girls, Bubbles was sort of an odd case, at least continuity-wise. She claimed to be a vegetarian in some early episodes (being a Friend to All Living Things, it made sense) and actually, no-one in-universe objected to it. In some other episodes, however, she seemed to abandon this philosophy entirely, having no problem with the Professor's sloppy joes. (Most likely, this was a case where it was Depending on the Writer.)