Blog: Vegetarian Smarties

Catherine Sleep | 2 November 2004

See yesterday’s story on Nestlé being criticised by the Vegetarian Society for using crushed beetles to produce red Smarties? The idea is that Nestlé will be shamed into finding an alternative method to make Smarties red.

The story has irked one of our readers who feels that vegetarians need to lighten up and stop being so sanctimonious. To quote him:

“Re your story about the Vegetarian Society complaining about Smarties. Please note that Smarties *are* suitable for vegetarians.  What they are not suitable for is vegetarian *diets*.

It irritates me to hell and back to hear of vegetarians described (or more often describing themselves) as somehow physiologically different.  If I was Nestlé, I'd sue the Vegetarian Society for defamation.”

My reaction to this rant (for which many thanks, all opinions gratefully received) is blank incomprehension. Surely 'vegetarian' is a generally accepted and understood term for ‘person following a vegetarian diet'. What does everyone else think?

Here’s the story in question


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