And this is not an isolated behavior. More often than not, people express incredulity in the most aggressive terms when they find out I like cooking vegan food, which boggles my mind because I do eat meat and love eating it, but sometimes I would just rather not. As vamrat pointed out, the backlash is often worse than the vegangelical (tm) propaganda.
We even have a similar thread on OC.net
Even on such a forum where presumably some percentage of the membership doesn't eat meat for large swathes of the year, the mention of vegetarianism (or even reduced consumption of meat!) is met with accusations of heresy and the proclamation that we have a divine right to eat meat.
I'm all for reduced consumption of meat and actually think it's pretty gross how many food items have meat by-products. I recall how even my grandma used to make green beans with bacon in them. I don't see why that is really necessary, personally.
I think reducing consumption of meat for ethical concerns is great, and I try to buy free-range whenever I can and some of my friends have even told me about local farms in the area from whence meat can be obtained and I think it might be nice to see how feasible that route is.
That being said, I do believe we have a "divine right" to eat meat, and I think that vegetarian propaganda is often aggravating and in-your-face, at least here in the USA. Hence I think it's pretty understandable why people have such a negative reaction to it.
One of the reasons that I said that vegetarian arguments can be heretical (I don't think they all are btw, as should now be clear from the above paragraphs) is that often underlying such arguments is the idea that animals are equal to man and deserve the same rights as we do. They aren't and they don't.
I tend to like the approach taken by one of the professors that attends one of my missions; he doesn't ever cook meat for himself, but if someone offers it to him at church he eats it because he does not want to break the social bond created over the shared meal.