Friday, March 18, 2005
10 Things That Can Ruin a Vegetarian's Day
2. Or that your favorite Mexican restaurant uses lard in their beans. Does not wanting to know make me a bad vegetarian? Are the vegetarian police going to come get me in the middle of the night?
3. Discovering a big chewy chunk of pork in your otherwise vegetarian meal. Hello!
4. Running out of Beano. Consider the diet. Beans, legumes, tasty cruciferous veggies like cauliflower and broccoli...Beano is not an optional item. It is a staple.
5. Having the "Why are you a vegetarian?" conversation with your in-laws, parents, or boss. Again.
6. Going to a family-style Chinese or Thai place with meat-eaters and having everyone order one dish. Yours is the only vegetarian dish. Everyone else gets eat four or five different things. You get one entree and all the rice you can choke down.
7. Being trapped in a room with your brother-in-law who loves to tell hunting stories.
8. Having pizza lunch at work. There are 10 pizzas, one vegetable. Everyone else takes slices of meat and one of vegetable, leaving you with one lonely slice of veg.
9. Having people look at your lunch and say "Oh my God! How can you eat tofu? How gross!" (This one has gotten less common in recent years, thankfully).
10. Being told at a family meal "I thought you could just pick the vegetables out of the meat stew and eat those."
Actually I am a lot more light-hearted about being a veg-head than this may sound. I try not to disturb others with my preference and have on more than one occasion prentended to eat a full, satisfying meal while pushing a lot of food around on my plate, as not to offend (as in the cases of #6 and #10.)
I imagine that some things ruin a meat-eater's day, too, like eating family-style with a vegetarian who wants to get all the dishes without meat while the meat-eater is dying for something chewy and dense. Or hearing endless factory farming horror stories, or warnings about clogged arteries and colon cancer.
As a food lover, sometimes I consider going back to eating meat because there is so much more cuisine to explore. But the truth is that I just don't like it. Never have, probably never will. Eating meat was always more of a chore than a joy for me, even when I was a little kid.
I remember my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Crockett, asking the class what their favorite foods were. My classmate Jeff Feeley said "Steak." I remember thinking "Steak? WHO likes steak?" I couldn't imagine it. My favorite food was artichokes.