The Vaper & The Vegetarian
Today’s post is going to be short, if none too sweet. One of the arguments I hear against vaping with disheartening frequency is, “Well, you haven’t *really* quit smoking!” — or variations thereon: “Wow, that’s great! So does this mean that after a while, you can *really* quit smoking?” or the most ignorant and obnoxious version: “Well, if you wanted to *really* quit smoking, you’d just quit cold-turkey! It just takes willpower!” (Of course, with that last one, it usually comes to light that the ostensible “Master of Willpower” spewing it quits smoking cold-turkey on an amusingly regular basis.)
So what’s my beef with this particular nugget of babble? Well, as with most things that annoy me, it annoys me because it’s an indicator of fundamentally lazy thinking. Put another way, it’s bone stupid; I’m going to give you an illustration of why that is, and you can feel free to use this illustration when you’re on the receiving end of the “*really* quit” B.S., and it’s incredibly simple. Here it is:
That is, of course, a veggie “burger.” I’ve known a few vegetarians, many of whom have tried to convince me to go veggie, and those “burgers” are usually trotted out at some point along the way in order to persuade me that going vegetarian doesn’t mean that I have to give up tasty, tasty snacks like burgers, chicken, and so on.
So let’s imagine, for just a moment, that I were to do that. Okay, let me stop laughing derisively and try to imagine that along with you. Now here’s a question I would *not* expect to be asked, “So when are you *really* going to give up eating beef and chicken?”
Why wouldn’t I be asked that? Because it’s a fundamentally stupid question, of course, but — moreover — because it’s an *obviously* stupid question. Faux meat simply isn’t meat, and everybody knows that. It’s just patently obvious that the stuff is actually composed of vegetal matter, even if it is dyed brown and brushed with fake grill marks.
On the other hand, it looks almost like meat. Smells almost like meat. I have to guess on this one, but my guess is that it probably also almost tastes like meat. But it *isn’t meat.*
Similarly, vapor looks almost like smoke — and that’s where the similarity to smoke ends. It doesn’t smell anything like smoke. Even the flavors that replicate the flavor of analog cigarette don’t really taste like smoke.
Simply put, there is more similarity between a veggie “burger” and an actual burger than there is between vapor and tobacco smoke.