I had my first date 6 months ago, with a guy named Damon. Damon had taken me out for pizza at my favorite pizza place, Little Italia Pizzeria in the Berkshire Mall. We were sitting towards the front of the small shop, sipping on our sodas. Damon had ordered a Barbeque Chicken Pizza slice. I couldn’t help but be just a LITTLE disappointed. I thought it would have been perfect if by some miracle, he was vegetarian too.
Our pizza’s was finally ready. As we began to eat our food, he offered me a piece of the barbeque chicken, I politely declined and kept eating my slice of pizza. To be honest, I was nervous to bring up the fact that I was vegetarian. I had been vegetarian for 4 years and had become well aware of the fact that, most people who aren’t vegetarians don’t like hearing about it. On top of that, I didn’t want to make him feel bad about what he was eating!
As the years go by, I notice people usually respond to finding out I’m vegetarian one of two ways. 1- they make fun of me for it or 2- they feel like I am silently judging them for eating meat! Which I am definitely not doing! I have no problem with people who eat meat!
So what kind of questions do I get as a vegetarian? First one and most common would probably be, What do you eat? People forget how many of our favorite meals are already vegan or vegetarian! We have salads, lots of Chinese food options, and pasta! (My favorite!! And what I usually order at restaurants) I honestly barley think about meat!
Growing up I had always wanted to become a vegetarian, mostly because of my love for animals! I also knew that it was the right thing to do! I would always tell my mother that I was officially going vegan but then by dinner time, I would smell the chicken and dig in! I didn’t fully commit to being a vegetarian until I was 14 years old. I made this choice because I could no longer support an industry that was hurting millions of animals. Almost everyone in my life did not thing this would last ( I could see why!). They never failed to mention that I was missing so much every time we ate out together.
The second most common question I receive is, Will it upset you if I order ____
When I am asked this question, I never know when to be flattered or annoyed. I understand that you are probably asking because you genuinely do not want to offend me, BUT I really couldn’t care less if you eat meat!! Okay, maybe that’s a little lie! I COULD care less if you ate meat or not. I wish people wouldn’t eat so much meat. But I would never ever judge you for it. I ate meat for 13 years of my short 18 year old life before I became vegetarian and then vegan.
Where do you get your protein from? How do you survive? This one is always a funny question to me. People assume that the only source of high protein is meats! Which is not the case! There is no shortage of high-protein vegan products! There are chickpeas, black beans, nuts, nut butters, tofu, quinoa, some grains, Hummus and pita, chia, and even broccoli! I know what you’re thinking, broccoli? First off, who even likes broccoli, and second how much broccoli would you have to eat to get the right amount of protein? I remember I would always try and argue that broccoli was a good source of protein! If you could eat five pounds in one sitting But instead now I can just explain that we really don’t NEED all that much protein. Its easy to get what we did need from simple and common foods. (like those listed above)
Are your parents vegan too? This is a big question. Since I turned vegetarian at 14 people would always ask me, is your mom vegan too? Did she force you to do this? (haha) The answer is no. This was a decision I made on my own, and my mom and brother were still both meat eaters. As the years went on, my mom began to start asking me questions about veganism, a few months after that she started researching it on her own. Soon after, my mom made the switch to being a vegetarian. (where she happily stays) I was thrilled she made the switch. She still drinks milk and her coffee and makes salmon burgers, but she is almost entirely vegetarian! Although, I must admit, she still eats a Chick Fil A’ chicken strip every once in a while. But she’s healthier then she’s ever been! And she wasn’t doing it for me. It was her choice. I must say, occasionally I’ll smell some cooking meat and wonder if I should go back to eating meat, and maybe I will one day, but for now I am happy being vegan. I’m doing the best I can at it and the bets I can to educate those who ask questions like this.
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