The French do not take vegetarians seriously. To the French, vegetarians are liars, like monogamists, pretending one thing in public while keeping a pig or chicken on the side—figuratively. Even the word for ham, Jambon, sounds forcefully erotic. When asking a waiter, “Hold the ham,” he’s as likely to tell you to hold it yourself, much as a spouse might do. If the other diners can send what they don’t eat back to the kitchen, like the plates and silverware, let the vegans do the same with the beef.


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