By: Destini Merrill
If you are a devoted vegetarian or vegan looking for something to relate to, or a sworn meat eater and can't get with the program regarding the problems of a veggie person's dietary lifestyle, here ya' go.
- First thing's first, when we tell someone that we are vegetarian or vegan, and after they ask us, "Really?!" they ask, "So, how do you get your protein?"
- We understand that not everyone is not a well-informed health nut, but what we need you to understand is that this question is the most annoying thing that you can ask us. It’s annoying because when people ask us this, there’s usually an undertone of concern for our health because they think we’re weak or that we’re going to become weak over time. And then we have to begrudgingly explain that vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy, all have protein. So, thanks for your concern but we’re good. And we can still do one armed push-ups!
- To snowball on top of #1; when people asks us, “So what do you eat?”
- We eat everything that anyone else eats, just without the meat (regarding us vegetarians). And, it’s the same deal with vegans. They eat a variety of meals, they just exclude meat, dairy, eggs, and honey from their food. Sure, our food restrictions may seem like a lot to anyone that’s never tried it but vegetarians/vegans aren’t limited to just bland, tasteless salads every day. We also eat air… with salt.
- “But you eat fish right?”
- FISH ARE ANIMALS!!! IT IS FLESH!!! IT IS MEAT!!! NO, WE DON’T EAT FISH!!!
- Hidden meat in supposedly "veggie friendly" food.
- This is not just a pretentious complaint that gives us veg heads an excuse to showcase our diets during family events, or at restaurants, IT’S AN ACTUAL THING! Must you make French onion soup with beef stock? What is it with this chopped up bacon in my brussel sprouts? Why is it a necessity to premix chicken in with my summer garden salad? I didn’t know chicken was a root vegetable! And don’t you dare ask us to pick the meat out!
- Unhealthy or expired veg options in cafeterias.
- Sure, menus in cafeterias can be diverse, but more often than not, there’s always either a hit or a miss when it boils down to what vegans and vegetarians can eat. I’ve noticed that among many cafeterias (school, work, or otherwise) that usually there are plenty of eats for meat eaters, but when me along with my fellow veg heads go to get something to munch on, we get stuck with the minimum like, chips, cookies, crackers, french fries, and the small section of poorly put out fruit that looks like it’s been sitting out for days. Now mind you, some of us may not mind these snacks, because who doesn’t love french fries? But, sometimes we would like to treat ourselves to an actual meal.
- The “You’re killing all the poor plants!” argument.
- Not that I’m trying to make meat eaters feel bad. But when you make this argument towards us, it is immediately invalid. See, the livestock used just to make a 1/4 pound of burger meat is mass produced using 6.7 pounds of grain and forage, and 75 square feet of land is used for grazing and growing their feed. Vegan/ vegetarian diets obviously cuts out anything to do with animal products, which would cut those numbers to less than a quarter of usage. So scientifically speaking, meat eater consumption actually uses/ kills more plants than vegetarians or vegans combined.
- Expensive a** health food stores.
- Now I along with many others, love a good health food store. Whether if you're vegetarian, vegan, a meat eater, gluten- free, or you're just looking to try grocery shopping someplace new, a health food store can have a healthy version of anything for anyone. But for the love of everything that is tomato & basil flavored, do they seem to love selling everything for at least $2.99 and over. And as a broke college kid, this means that I don't get to shop at these awesome places as often as I'd like. Nor do many other people who want to keep a healthy wallet as well as a healthy body. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy, inexpensive foods that caters to everyone at a basic everyday grocery store that still sells bread for only $1. I just wished that they all sold those natural Wild Harvest black bean burgers that I'm personally obsessed with.
- Cookouts and family holidays.
- It never fails. That one inevitable moment that makes things a little awkward; when you have to bring your own food to a barbeque or cookout because not everyone makes awesome, veg head friendly pasta salad. And as for visiting your grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving or Christmas, there’s that difficult moment when you have to explain to your relatives why you can’t have Grandma’s famed honeyed ham and you’re stuck with eating buns, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and pie… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, until you realize that you’re cousins ate all the macaroni and cheese and Grandma is still confused.
- When people get offended when you tell them you are vegetarian or vegan.
- Oh my God, I am SO sorry! I am so sorry that my own personal decision to not eat meat or animal byproduct just imposed onto your decision to eat what you want. I had no idea that my dietary choices affected your life so much. SORRY, NOT SORRY.
Healthy Tip for the Week: Go meatless for one day of the week. You’ll be more inclined to eat more fruits and vegetables and in the long run, it can reduce your risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.