Another thing I thought of: what alcohol is for you, meat is for me. I especially appreciate it when my friends take the time to bring or prepare vegetarian items for social events. I also prefer not to be part of conversations about eating meat – e.g., how delicious particular meat dishes are.

The culinary arts teacher at my school is my friend, and I once – thinking that her professional expertise would make this topic of interest to her – talked for a few minutes about my experience with homebrewing beer. It was only after the conversation that I realized that my friend is Mormon, and thus probably as uninterested in hearing about beermaking as I am in hearing about how tender and succulent baby-back ribs may be. Because, as this anecdote shows, I have a tendency to lack tact myself, I try to have patience with folks who extol the virtues of meat-eating – but I also greatly appreciate it when people refrain from those conversations!