Robert Hoekman Jr is an award-winning American writer and editor, and the former host of the Spillers podcast and event series. His work has been featured by Fast Company, WIRED, Huckberry, 50-Word Stories, and others. He is currently focused on ikigai, walking, and writing the great American novel.
I don’t actually like a lot of vegetables. So what do you eat? Like at work and stuff. Chocolate, mostly. You know what I eat. Does that count as being a vegetarian? I don’t know. But I’m off of meat. Sure, but doesn’t vegetarian at least imply the eating of vegetables? I don’t think so. I think it just means you don’t eat meat. But it’s an ism. It’s a whole thing. Like a movement. Vegetarianism. It has vegetables right there in the word. It’s not like there are rules. No one’s gonna give you a violation for eating a cookie if you want to. But all you eat is processed food. I’m just saying, is it still vegetarian if there are no vegetables involved? That’s not the only thing I eat. Name one thing you’ve eaten in the last week that wasn’t processed. What does that have to do with anything? Something with vegetables in it. I had that, what was it, that salsa the other night. The salsa you got at the store. Yeah. That came in a jar. So? It’s still vegetables. But it’s processed vegetables. What’s the difference? Some big company mass-produced it. They mixed it up and jarred it and distributed it and then you bought it. So for me to be a vegetarian, I have to eat, what, like raw vegetables from the farmer’s market every day? Well, no. But there should be a vegetable in there somewhere, shouldn’t there? Like, a real vegetable. How can you call it vegetarian if there are literally no vegetables? The salsa had vegetables in it. You know what I mean. Vegetables that, like, came out of the ground. That looked like vegetables and weren’t ground up into some salsa mix and sent halfway across the country in a truck. You know, I never actually said I was a vegetarian. I just said I’m off of meat. Okay. So what do you call that? I don’t know. Do I have to call it something? Everything is called something. I wonder if there’s a name for that. Everything having a name. I wonder if anyone describes themselves using that name. Or if the people who describe themselves using that name actually ever name things, or if it’s like this, someone saying oh, I’m a so-and-so, only I don’t ever actually do such-and-such, whatever it is. Are we doing anything or are we just gonna keep doing this all night? This isn’t satisfying to you? When’s the last time this was satisfying to anyone? Jeez. Sorry, I didn’t know I was bothering you. I know. That’s kind of the problem. I don’t think I realized it til just now.