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Playing With / Straw Vegetarian

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Basic Trope: The stereotypical vegetarian or vegan Stock Character.

  • Straight: Alice does not eat meat, and is always whining about the fact that other characters do.
  • Exaggerated: Alice doesn't eat or drink anything made with ingredients that use animal or vegetation products, not even water, because she believes all life - even the land nature thrives on - is sentient. She's also willing to murder anyone who sees no problem with eating meat.
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  • Downplayed: Alice is a vegetarian, but only because going meatless is the trendy "it" diet this week. Next week, it'll be paleo, and the week after that she'll be on the grapefruit diet. As for dealing with those who disagree with her dietary viewpoints, she only gets on their case when they're particularly nasty about it.
  • Justified:
    • Alice is a member of an Animal Wrongs Group, or other environmental group.
    • Alice can't eat meat for medically-diagnosed health reasons.
    • Alice has to abstain from meat for religious reasons.
    • Alice is some form of Funny Animal or Talking Animal that is naturally an exclusive herbivore, such as a cow.
  • Inverted:
    • In a setting where all or most other characters are vegetarians or vegans, Alice eats meat, and whines about others not doing so.
    • Alice lives on an all-meat diet, and whines about the fact that other characters eat plant-based foods too.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is seen eating fish or poultry.
    • Alice doesn't whine about other characters eating meat.
    • Alice isn't a vegetarian or vegan, just a picky eater.
    • Alice can't eat meat because of a medical condition; doctor's orders.
    • Alice is not a vegan or vegetarian, but she's on some other restrictive diet (macrobiotic, low-carb, gluten-free, fruitarian, ketogenic, raw-foodist, organic-only, what have you)
  • Double Subverted:
    • She still claims that she's a vegetarian, but that fish or poultry don't count as "meat."
    • Or she's quick to point out that it's "soy-based chicken substitute," "tofu," "seitan," "Qorn," or something along those lines.
    • But she does try to persuade them to eat less of it because it's better for the environment, or animal rights, or for health reasons.
    • Which annoys other characters, who have to prepare a separate dish just for her when they invite her over for dinner.
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    • That "medical reason" was self-diagnosed after Alice read an article online, or watched The Doctor Oz Show. Alice has never once addressed that with her doctor.
    • She's still constantly bragging about her diet, trying to "convert" other characters, etc.
  • Parodied:
    • Someone mentions Alice's strict diet of mushroom broth, and asks her how she's feeling. Alice replies, "Real sick...but proud of myself!"
    • Bob, an Extreme Omnivore, attempts to convince people to stop eating one very specific food item.
    • Alice's "Straw" Vegetarianism extends to a willingness to try to subsist on a diet of actual straw, for no better reason than that if a cow can live that way, a human should be able to do it too.
  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes Alice harangues others about meat, sometimes she doesn't.
  • Averted:
    • No one attempts to "convert" anyone else's diet.
    • The characters' diets are never mentioned.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded:
    • "I don't eat animals because it's wrong. I only eat spinach."
    • "Just because you think eating meat is wrong doesn't mean everyone else has to agree with your opinion. Telling me to quit eating meat will do nothing but annoy me."
  • Invoked: A vegetarian or vegan group disseminates literature about how a meatless diet is the only natural or healthy way for humans to eat.
  • Exploited:
    • Betty asks Alice to join her Free the Frogs cause, which Alice does.
    • Alice becomes a vegetarian/vegan chef (either personal or restaurant), publishes a vegetarian or vegan cookbook, produces a Cooking Show like that, and/or starts a vegetarian/vegan restaurant/food truck/catering business/bakery/etc.
    • A Cult puts all of its members on a mandatory diet that consists of beans and little else, in highly-rationed portions, to make it easier to exert control over its members. (It's hard to think for yourself or question authority when you're hungry, and when you're not getting enough protein for proper brain function.)
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "Why would I care whether you guys eat meat? I went off it for health reasons, not to save the planet."
  • Conversed: "Why does Alice beg her friends to go vegetarian? It's obvious they're not going to."
  • Deconstructed: Alice starts to lose friends because they'd rather have their meat than be her friend.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alice finds new friends who are vegetarians or don't care about Alice's ways.
    • Alice's friends all remain friends with her despite her diet.
  • Implied: Alice makes a face when Bob talks about getting a burger.

Back to Straw Vegetarian


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