Whiny, pale, and (possibly) intent on eliminating the entire human race to make way for fluffy bunnies, the Hollywood Vegetarian is a thinly-veiled Strawman
who is desperate for a bacon sarnie or would really like meat "if they just tried it". In some works, vegetarians or vegans are also shown arrogantly forcing their meat eating family and friends to stop eating meat, often referring to them as murderers
. More often than not, no-one likes folks like this, often saying under their breaths, "Can't I have just one meal in peace?"
The vast majority of vegetarians, however, are not like this. Most have
eaten meat before and choose not to continue doing so for multiple reasons. The more well-rounded ones are also respectful of what others eat, though it helps if that respect is returned
. Also, the distinction between vegan and vegetarian is fairly simple: Vegetarians do not eat meat, vegans do not eat any form of animal product, including dairy. Both usually try to minimize or eliminate their use of animal products in general.
This section is a pick 'n' mix of stereotypical traits — any number of them can apply.
See also Meat Versus Veggies
- In an advert for Quorm (a type of meat-replacement protein) the vegetarian is portrayed as the classic whiner "it's-a-phase" stereotype. Which is really weird when you consider that the stuff is aimed at primarily at vegetarians.
- Lance Blastoff encounters one in Frank Miller's Tales to Offend. She is immediately converted when she smells the delicous aroma of roast dinosaur Lance is cooking.
- In a recent issue of Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew discovered that an Evil Chef in a Canadian ski lodge was serving human flesh to his diners, and played Straw Vegetarian to stop people from eating; knocking bits of food out of their mouths and shouting things like "MEAT IS MURDER!" Her actions in this case were justified in that, in the Marvel Universe, anyone who eats human flesh in the Canadian Woods turns into a Wendigo, and the chef was intentionally attempting to turn all of his unknowing patrons into Wendigos.
- In Everything Is Illuminated, the (obsessive) Collector wants a memento of the field of sunflowers. He walks over to them and, instead of picking a few petals or something, he picks up a harmless, living, grasshopper and seals it in one of his polypockets where, we are forced to assume, it suffocates. He is also incredibly pale.
- In Hallmark's For Better or For Worse, the female lead's son Collin is engaged to her rival's daughter, Sophia. They have decided they are "vegan", despite having no clue what it means. Collin later thanks his mom for her muffins, being apparently oblivious to the fact that neither he nor Sophia could eat not only the veal parmesan, but probably most of the salad, nor the muffins, nor most everything on the table. In other words, they're idiots, along with the mother, who could easily have served eggplant and held the parmesan. They also visit a farm where livestock is used and nobody objects to cattle being milked, and decide the best example of a vegan cake is carrot cake.
- Madeline Bassett, a recurring character in Jeeves and Wooster books is an unbearably mushy and sentimental girl, who eventually becomes a vegetarian and forces her fiancé to follow her diet. As a result, he leaves her for a cook.
- Magrat Garlick, in her first appearance in Wyrd Sisters, is the kind of vegetarian who is prone to informing non-veggies how much undigested meat they probably have in their colons. Lords and Ladies balances it out by contrasting her with an absurdly old-fashioned cook who doesn't believe vitamins exist. Interestingly, the book between those two, Witches Abroad, doesn't really mention her vegetarianism at all, making her surprisingly unquestioning about the ingredients of all the foreign food she's trying.
- Eustace and his parents in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader are vegetarian; they also follow other health fads like avoiding alcohol and tobacco. All these lifestyle choices tie into their characterization as bland, effete snobs and trend-followers who subscribe to secular intellectualism instead of the Good Old Ways.
- Penny on the pilot episode of The Big Bang Theory.
Penny: Oh, I'm a vegetarian. Except for fish. And the occasional steak. I love steak.
- In Malcolm in the Middle , we find out his class is full of these at the Krelboyne picnic. Hal becomes a hero to all the beleagured dads in attendence (who very obviously were not vegetarians) by sneaking in real meat, but chaos ensues when the Krelboynes realize their "tofu" is bleeding.
- Dick Solomon became one of these as a Compressed Vice on 3rd Rock from the Sun, reverting to his normal meat-eating ways at the end of the episode. Justified by the Rule of Funny and the fact that Dick's personality is just that extreme.
- Regine from Living Single becomes one after watching a daytime talk show where its said being a vegetarian not only good for you, but will keep you active and young looking when you get old (as well as have a hot, young boyfriend).
- Subverted in Hannibal by having Hate Sink Freddie Lounds be the show's vegetarian. Ironically, this leads to her being one of the only main characters who has not eaten human flesh.
- CSI averts this completely with Sara Sidle. She did complain when Grissom wanted her to clean up his meat experiment, but now they seem to have a good understanding, and she never fell into the stereotypes at all. She does occasionally point things out to someone in the break room, but doesn't get pushy about their choices.
- Played straight with the paleontology student who died on the set of the animatronic Walking With Dinosaurs live show. He not only pressured his girlfriend into swearing off meat, but he idolized herbivorous dinosaurs and despised the carnivores to a degree that seems idiotic in a science student.
- Britta from Community is one, as well as highly hypocritical about it, smugly announcing to the Study Group that she's a vegetarian while wearing a leather jacket.
- Similarly averted on Bones with Temperance Brennan. Her diet change was an outgrowth of one, the pig farm incident at the end of season one that was connected to her mother's death and two, writing in the real life choices of the actress playing her.
- Gordon Ramsay at one time seemed to believe this of most vegetarians and has pulled stunts before, such as allowing a cook to tell a passing vegetarian that something with bacon in it was vegetarian. He also organized a TV stunt on his program The F Word where he filled a restaurant with (supposed) vegetarians who had all agreed to try meat (presumably to put pressure on any regular veggies watching). He's softened up considerably since then, after some research on intensive pig farming.
Ramsay: It's enough to make anyone turn fucking vegetarian, for God's sake. And I've always sort of knocked vegetarians and vegans for missing out on the most amazing flavour you can get from meat. But you can see why so many people change instantly.
- That's So Raven: Raven's best friend Chelsea is a vegetarian and the shows Cloudcuckoolander. Her mother may also be a vegetarian as well as a hippie.
- Parks and Recreation: Chris Traeger isn't quite a vegetarian, but his health nut tendencies are treated in the same manner. One episode sees him attempt to get hamburgers removed from City Hall's cafeteria because they're unhealthy, and he makes a proposal to Ron Swanson: They have a cook off where Chris makes a turkey burger and Ron makes a hamburger. Chris slaves over his burger, making it with expensive ingredients, while Ron just slaps ground beef on a grill. Ron wins in a landslide, and when Chris has a bite, he announces that beef is just inherently better.
- One of these features in this story from Bash.
- The Best Page in the Universe portrays all vegetarians everywhere like this, and urges carnivores to eat more meat than usual to compensate for the animals that aren't dying.
- Averted by Karen in SBB Brothers' Sims Big Brother 8. While her interview makes her sound like one, where she states her goal is to introduce one houseguest to veganism or at least vegetarianism, but she doesn't outright say it.
- The Simpsons: Lisa tries to convince everyone not to eat meat at Homer's barbeque and eventually throws away the roasted pig. At the end of that episode, Lisa learns from Paul and Linda McCartney not to be judgemental about non-vegetarians, after which she mostly settles down — but it doesn't stop her occasionally lapsing into aggression in later episodes, mostly as jokes.
- Also Lisa once fell in with a crowd of environmental terrorists. She develops a crush on the leader and visits him in jail.
I think your protest was incredibly brave. Jesse:
Thank you. This planet needs every friend it can get. Lisa:
Oh, the earth is the best! That's why I'm a vegetarian. Jesse:
Heh. Well, that's a start. Lisa:
Uh, well, I was thinking of going vegan. Jesse:
I'm a level 5 vegan - I won't eat anything that casts a shadow.
- Admittedly she's young and has a crush; there's no strong indication she doesn't believe veganism is a good thing. In fact Jesse could be the bigger Strawman, likely only being such a strong vegan to swagger about his environmental message, not because he believes so strongly in it.
- In Danny Phantom, goth girl Sam tries to get meat banned from the school café in favour of her parody vegetarian diet of turf (yes turf, as in grass) - the result is mass protests from both sides. It's played for laughs, however, and is an Affectionate Parody (Her opposite, Tucker, is utterly meat-obsessed).
- Hayley in American Dad!. An adamant vegetarian, yet in one episode, she spends her time stuck in Africa with Stan and Steve in the American Embassy, clearly eating meat dishes. In another, she admonishes her boyfriend Jeff for eating a corndog, telling him they're vegetarian. Jeff replies "Still?"
- The Amazing World of Gumball:
- Clover from Totally Spies! claims to be a vegetarian, but has no problem with eating seafood.