"A vegetarian who eats meat is not a vegetarian."
Translation:Ein Vegetarier, der Fleisch isst, ist kein Vegetarier.
Recently received the following email, for any and all interested:
You suggested “A vegetarian that eats meat is no vegetarian.” as a translation for “Ein Vegetarier, der Fleisch isst, ist kein Vegetarier.” We now accept this translation. :)
Thanks for the contribution, please keep it up!
I had to think about this for a moment. Sure it's sounds right. But something seemed off. In today's society it's all about self identifying. If you say you're a vegetarian, you're a vegetarian. If you eat meat then you've just a vegetarian who has fallen off the wagon. Not unlike an alcoholic who doesn't drink. He's just an alcoholic who's fallen on the wagon.
It's kinda creepy to compare vegetarians and alcoholics... :-D But you are mostly right.
I know vegetarians who had to stop doing so for a while because their physicians told them to, they were so malnourished! (Completely their own fault, by the way, not the fault of vegetarianism in itself.)
I also know many people who want to stick to a better diet or help the environment and so they proudly proclaim that they are now vegetarians! Only to not follow up later. That is fine with me, too, they tried, and for some reason or other it didn't work out.
I also know people who claim to be vegetarians–but only at home. And sausages are fine, too. (That's not REALLY meat anyway, is it? It's more like... cheese.) And when they are eating out, eating with friends and family, then they don't hold back at all, buy burgers and chicken wings en masse because they are vegetarians at home, so this is the exception, they are allowed this. (Conveniently forgetting about the fact that they eat out most of the time and that they are not complete vegetarians at home either.)
And I think that, that is cheap, that is lying (to yourself?) to make you look better and I don't think these people should be called vegetarians. Eating less meat doesn't make you vegetarian. Abandoning meat altogether makes you vegetarian.
It is a wonderful goal to eat less meat! What is wrong with that? Why do you have to claim to be something that you aren't?
I also know a lot of regular genuine vegetarians and I think it's admirable and sorry about this outburst. This is off-topic, isn't it?
"Der Mann der isst" means "the man who eats". This is literally how you use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom) in German, it's not even remotely misleading. I assume you're confused because it says "...der Fleisch isst", but the 'der' doesn't reference 'Fleisch' (that would be grammatically wrong anyway), it references the act of eating meat.
Because it's the conjugated verb in a main clause, which is always in the second position.
If we remove the relative clause "der Fleisch isst" we get:
Ein Vegetarier ist kein Vegetarier.
Which is what we would expect with regards to word order (obviously the meaning is a contradiction in terms—though the phrase "einmal ist keinmal" does come to mind). We can think of the relative clause as being in brackets:
Ein Vegetarier (der Fleisch isst) ist kein Vegetarier.
to help us visualise the fact that it doesn't affect the word order of the main clause. It's essentially an adjective that comes after the noun rather than before it. Another way of expressing this sentence would be:
Ein fleischessender Vegetarier ist kein Vegetarier.
So, when you look at it like that, you can treat "Ein Vegetarier, der kein Fleisch isst," as one element meaning the conjugated verb "ist" still comes second.
While you don't necessarily have to differentiate between the question word and relative pronoun "who" in English (although as a relative pronoun, you can differentiate between the two by swapping out "who" for "that"), German has separate terms for both.
You have to remember that German doesn't have to make sense when translating directly from English (and I can tell you it often doesn't); German just has to make sense in a German context.