Well, it seems that even vegetarians know that smell and it can be tempting to them. Very tempting.
NPR published an article on Friday about vegetarians and bacon, and it's a great read about the psychological effects the smell of bacon has on people.
The article's mission statement:
"It seems that bacon has a way of awakening carnivorous desires within even some of the preachiest of vegetarians. And we set out to find out why."It seems the "why" lies in the evolution of primal man to find high fat/calories especially desirable. The smell of bacon cooking conveys its fatty goodness in a way that our bodies have a primal identification with.
Johan Lundstrom, the scientist from Monell Chemical Senses Center quoted in the article, also believes that the association of memory/emotion with smell plays a big part in bacon's attractiveness. If you had a good childhood with family breakfasts featuring bacon, you'll relive those memories when smell bacon cooking.
I can totally see how bacon would tempt even the hardest of vegetarians back to the meaty dark side. If this wasn't true, why would they have to make fake bacon?
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