I’ve been a vegetarian for about five years or so.
With only 3.2 percent of the American population actually following a vegetarian-based diet, it’s easy to associate one with a unicorn. There, I said it. So when people find out that I am a unicorn that eats no meat, I am not surprised when I gets asked a whole bunch of questions about it. Over the years, I’ve learned of some patterns among the questions that people ask and what they expect a vegetarian to be like.
- I’m better than you because I’m a vegetarian.
Maybe I am better than you but it’s not because I’m a vegetarian. I don’t a lot of people who are vegetarians like me. In fact, I only know one and that’s one of my little brothers. Even though my sample size may be a bit small, I’m still willing to wager that there probably are some veggies out there who think this way but most don’t. Most are too busy going about their lives and could care less about you meat-eaters as much as your average Joe does for a stranger. You do you over there, and I’ll do me over here. If there is conflict between us, it most likely is for something other than you eat meat and I don’t.
- Why you no meat?
We live in a world with many different cultures and people and ideas. There’s no way we can limit it to just one reason as many have different ones and maybe even more than one as to why they’re a vegetarian. Some may be doing it for health reasons. I am because I never really liked meat (besides ham) and I feel guilty eating anything with a face or rather doesn’t have one because of me. When people swat flies or spiders, I’m in the background crying out, “It has a family!” Also, the meat that I would have eaten can go to someone who does eat mean without the need to buy more or kill more animals. This may not be the case but it does make me feel better about myself.
- But the protein, Destiny, however will you survive?
Being a vegetarian means that when people know that they will be concerned for your health, particularly your protein intake. What kind of protein do you get? How do you get it? Where does it come from? It is enough? Does it take you out dancing? You’ll probably lose a lot of muscle and mass. I cannot speak for another people but my protein comes from leafy greens, lentils, and protein shakes. The plants that I eat come from the ground or are byproducts of specific trees. Protein shakes come from heaven but I think everyone knows that. I eat or drink it depending on whichever’s faster. I couldn’t tell you how much protein I try to get a day as I don’t aim for a specific amount. I do, however, make sure I consume some protein-dense foods throughout the day. I could tally those if you’d like specifics. As for the change of weight, maybe it happens to some people because they are just starting out they are eating less until they replace the loss with meatless options? I don’t know. All I can say is that in my case I gained weight. Go ahead and solve that mystery for me. Please and thank you.
- What do you eat then?
Same foods that you eat except the meat. Beans, fruits, vegetables and everywhere in-between. Whenever I’m at my god mom’s house she always offers what she calls Rabbit Food. It’s just salad ingredients. It’s never stops being funny to me. Aww, she really does care.
- Vegetarians Versus Meat
I’d imagine someone who was born a vegetarian and stayed that way probably doesn’t miss the sweet smell of bacon. Those who just hopped on the wagon, however, probably do whether or not they want to admit it. I do. I love bacon and hamburgers. They smell good and taste good. What’s not to like? There are times when my dad is making bacon and I come in the kitchen and think, “Man that smells divine! I’m hungry!” My reaction back in the day would be to steal one from the skillet when he wasn’t looking. Now my reaction is whip up my own vegetarian concoction.
People can be real sinister sometimes too. In my experience, it seems like that when people learn about your dietary choice, most will take it upon themselves to be your knight in shining armor and save you from this forsaken, meatless place you reside in. They want to be the one that got you to see the error of your ways. They want to be the one that turned you on to meat. They’ll eat meat right in front you making tasty-food noises and telling you how good it is. Some try to do it on the sly and feed you meat without your knowing. My aunt claims that she had made a dish with meat in it and I ate some of it. It was so good apparently that I even asked for seconds. I don’t know what it was or when it happened. She may indeed be bluffing anyway. The point is, new veggies watch your back. Don’t let your guard down! To this day, my mom still offers to make me a few hot dogs.
- Vegetarians live longer.
The only legitimate source of evidence that I have found to prove this is that in Sims 3 my sims with the vegetarian trait did live longer than the ones who didn’t. (Granted, I killed off the ones who didn’t but that’s beside the point.) Since Sims is based off of real life, obviously this proves it. Do with that as you will.
- Vegetarians just don’t eat meat.
There are different kinds of veggies. Subtypes range anywhere from they don’t eat meat or dairy to they don’t eat anything that would harm the plants. When you learn of these subtypes, you’ll understand when I simply say “I don’t eat meat.” I’m sure more information on the subject can be found on the internet if you’re interested. Not all of it is cat videos and people yelling, “World Star!” off-camera you know.
Whether you were born one or not, being a vegetarian is lifestyle choice that should be taken seriously considering the social implications that come with it. If you’re only looking to become one because it’s “in” or because a celebrity is doing it, you have no business doing it. That’s not a good enough reason to give up bacon anyway. Still, if you’re ready for a life a questions, being referred to as the “weird girl/dude who doesn’t eat meat”, and more than lifetime’s worth of jokes about it, then by all means, come join the Rabbit Food Club! We have carrots!