Home » Izzy, The Lighter Side

Ask Izzy #1: Vegetarian dilemma

July 14, 2009 – 10:56 pm10 Comments


Traditionally in Jewish culture, knowledge and wisdom are passed down from the elders to the younger generation.  Together with a historically higher than average literacy rate, this has been one of the keys to Jewish success in education, business, and life learning.

At Galus Australis, we are concerned that our community has forgotten the importance of utilising the wisdom of our elders.  That’s why we’re doing something about it!  We’ve recruited a genuine Zaida, as well as a Tante, to answer any questions our readers might have.

So for those of you who have any questions on any topic whatsoever, please direct them to either Izzy (izzy@galusaustralis.com) or Bayla (bayla@galusaustralis.com), and they’ll be only too happy to tell you what to do. Or where to go.

Dear Izzy,

Ever since I became a vegetarian at 18 during my year away in Israel, I have tried to date only girls who are also vegetarian (or vegan).  However, lately I have been wondering if I am making a serious error in limiting myself to vegetarian girls.  On one hand, I think the relationship would be much easier when both parties have similar dietary restrictions, be it kashrut, vegetarianism, gluten-free, or lactose intolerance etc.  But on the other hand I wonder if limiting myself in this way makes me run the risk of missing out on meeting my soul mate.

What’s your advice?

Adam, 22, Caulfield, VIC

Dear Adam,

Vegetarian!  What, are you crazy?  What kind of mishega’as is this?

You don’t eat meat? So what do you eat?

Do your parents know you are a vegetarian? Are they upset?

My advice to you is start eating meat like a normal person.  Look, if you don’t want to listen to me, at least try just a little piece of meat – you never know, you might like it.  It’s not going to kill you.

Zay Gezint.

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  • Daniel Levy says:

    This advice was just awful. “Eat meat like a normal person”. Really?

    That kind of discrimination based on a person’s life choice is awfully dangerous. By serving up that nugget of “advice”, you potentially make that person feel alienated from society by those “rejecting him” as abnormal.

    Not to mention, you did not answer his question in the slightest. He didn’t ask for your self-righteous judgment on his eating habits, he asked for advice on whether he should extend this life choice to making considerations of his life partners.

    To be quite honest, this post was a complete load of rubbish.

  • frosh says:

    Hi Daniel,

    I agree. For disclosure, the editors of Galus are vegetarian/pescetarians.

    Nevertheless, we aim to publish a diversity of opinion on this site.

    Plus, Izzy insists on full editorial control over his column; and we’re too frightened to argue with him – one day we might post a picture of what he looked like in his prime with his shirt off, and then you’ll understand why.

  • JBentham says:

    Hoo, love it!

    Irony, DL. Irony.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Excuse me, frosh? You have a duty of care to the people who write in not to have their lifestyles attacked and feel alienated from society.

    Just disgusting.

    Here, I’ll do the job that this idiot zeyde refused to do and offer some real advice to Adam:

    You should never feel guilty about having a certain set of expectations in a life partner. This is the person that you’re supposed to rely on, to fall back on, to get along with in hard times, to truly be your other half.

    With a lifestyle choice such as the one you have made, it could very much be difficult to maintain when you get into the serious part of your relationship (I.E. moving in with them). Personally, I’m a carnivore myself, so I don’t know how difficult it is to keep the discipline of making sure you get enough nutrition in each meal as a vego, but I’m sure it requires some effort. If you’re cooking for a person who isn’t vegetarian/they’re cooking for you, I can foresee the potential for tension arising. You’ll often have to make two meals, and it’ll be a hassle.

    But, I’m inclined to think that it can be made to work. Sure, it would be great if you met a lovely vegetarian who could share in your lifestyle, but this may be difficult. If someone else comes along who clicks with you on other levels, then you should definitely attempt to make the relationship work and find ways to overcome the lifestyle difference.

    Just think about this, in all parts of the world, people in love make great compromises on lifestyles. New mums and dads who both work have the painstaking decision of who sacrifices their career for the children is just one example. So it can be done, it just requires a bit of effort. I’m sure you can make it work :)


  • Daniel Levy says:

    Disregard that last ‘However,’

    I don’t know where that came from :-/

  • Michelle Hinton says:

    Dear Adam,
    I was just wondering if you also make it a policy to only date Jewish girls?? If so (and understandably) you have already significantly reduced the number of potential girls you would date from the general population, and then to again reduce that number by only dating those who are vegetarian. I think you are leaving yourself a very small dating window…and you really run the risk of being desperate and dateless. In my humble opinion you need to date the carnivores aswell. Who knows maybe you can convert them! Michelle

  • eli says:

    I am a little disappointed at the necessity to appoint a zayde/Tante type caricature for the blog. It’s somewhat of an anachronism to have this sort of personality (with all due respect to Izzy) and all the associated 1950’s Yiddishisms,Catskills mountain comic inflections in a modern day blog.

    I am not saying it does not have its place , but isn’t it time we let go of this type of cliched character. The TV program “The Shtick” also suffers from the same insipidness as part of its programming.

    There are many sharp, crisp and I loathe to say it “sexy” blogs,multimedia sites providing great Jewish content and commentary that it makes me a little embarrassed to see your blog include such a out dated mode of delivery.

    Having grown up as a Yiddish speaker and loving Yiddish theatre and comedy I am in no way suggesting that the “shetl humour” that is part of our culture be forgotten. But it has its place.

    Oh and by the way Daniel , get a life, if you didn’t get it, then “oy vey iz mir, bist oif tsurez”

  • Daniel Levy says:

    I have one, Eli, I notice that you were more than willing to insult me personally, yet you could not argue effectively against any of the material that I presented.

    Try again.

  • ORLY? says:

    Who is the WUM (wind-up merchant)here DL or Izzy?

  • JBentham says:

    Heh heh. Touche, ORLY?!

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