Being a vegetarian today in the South can be very challenging. We have to travel just to get the food we enjoy, change meal plans with friends because there isn't food that you can enjoy, and we constantly have to explain why we don't consume meat in a friendly manner to strangers and even to friends. Here is a list of 9 things that we often deal with daily.
1. "Do you want to go to McDonald's?"
No, because almost all of their food have some kind of meat product and the food is very greasy.
2. Having to eat only an appetizer when going out to eat with friends or family.
I don't just want fries, I want a REAL meal that includes all the portions I'm supposed to receive each day.
3. Having to explain to people what you can and cannot eat.
Each time I go out to eat with a friend, I have to explain what food limits I have and sometimes the menu is very limited.
4. Not being able to eat at a picnic, party, luncheon, etc.
Whenever I go to one of these events, they always serve chicken wings, burgers, and small appetizers. There are such things as veggie burgers that you can serve to the vegans and vegetarians.
5. Having to make sure that the product doesn't have any "secret" ingredients.
Some packaged food has ingredients which include animal parts; for example, marshmallows and pop-tarts have traces of pig in them.
6. Making your group of friends accommodate the food they ordered.
Whenever we order pizza for example, they want pepperoni or sausage as a topping but I want cheese or vegetables, so we either choose the cheese or order separate pizzas.
7. Getting excited when you find out a certain restaurant has tofu or veggie burgers on their menu.
Whenever a place has your favorite meal that you didn't know about is the best feeling since barely any other place has it.
8. Friends attempt to peer pressure you into eating meat.
"Just one bite, come on!" No, not one bite, I don't eat meat. I refuse to put one bite of animal in my body.
9. Eating at college.
Fortunately, my college has lots of vegetarian option, but when I go to visit friends at other campuses, I struggle to find food items for me. Sometimes I just have to get a bowl of salad or fruit that isn't ripe.