Vegetarianism: what's the deal with that? Well, aside from the "Do you only eat vegetables?" commentary you feel blessed enough to hear once in a while, it's pretty much life as normal... minus meat. Plus, you get the occasional worried outsider who asks you if you're getting enough protein with all the "wonderful foods you're limiting yourself from." But as the only vegetarian among my friends, how does it feel on a daily basis? These 13 moments pretty much sum it up.
1. Someone will ask, "What happens if you accidentally eat meat?"
This question honestly is really interesting, so I can't complain. Someone asking this question isn't them being ignorant because it's a genuine question that even a vegetarian might not know the answer to! So I did some research of my own and have found that it's okay to eat meat once or twice, but too much at once can make vegetarians feel sick.
2. You'll hear at least one comparison between tofu and chicken.
I mean, are they wrong? They do look a little similar in a lot of different ways.
3. You'll feel a bit burdensome when going out for food with friends.
This actually is a serious point to make because no matter where you go, you know you'll probably be the only person ordering a vegetarian meal. It's a little worrisome in situations where people want to share meals because you feel like you're burdening them with a so-called lack of meat.
4. You'll sometimes feel tempted to just renounce your vegetarianism and try meat.
Those advertisements that some fast food companies show? You wish you could eat whatever new food they're showcasing, even if it means your health is at risk.
5. You'll be retelling that classic story about how you accidentally ate meat that one time.
Someone will ask, and you'll refresh your memory of that time years ago when you realized that meat actually wasn't as delicious as you thought. For me, it happened in first grade when at my best friend's birthday party, the marinara sauce in the pizza had been replaced with beef. It tasted absolutely disgusting.
6. You'll have to explain to others how being vegetarian doesn't always equal being healthy.
Almost every kind of junk food is still free of meat, so avoiding meat doesn't necessarily mean that one would be avoiding junk food, too. So when someone says that they're going vegetarian to lose dozens of pounds, you immediately want to tell them that it's not as easy as they think.
7. When someone asks, you've figured out how to word the elaborate reason for why you're a vegetarian.
For me, I used to have the clear-cut reason that it was solely because of the religious beliefs that my culture enforced, but now, I'm a vegetarian just because of personal preference. It's strange to tell this to people because they'll ask why I don't just eat meat if I'm only vegetarian because I want to be, and frankly, I'm not sure how to answer that question.
8. You'll meet another vegetarian who'll automatically be your friend because of the commonality.
It's inexplicable! But because you both know how it can feel sometimes to feel like a burden because of being vegetarians, you can't help but feel like you relate on a spiritual level.
9. You'll get slightly annoyed when someone asks you if you're "a condescending vegan."
When it comes to vegans, they're just doing their own thing. But when it comes to the vegans who attempt to force everyone around them to go vegan, you obviously wouldn't want to spend too much time around them. When someone starts to compare you to the latter type, it kind of hurts. It's nothing personal, but it's just the idea that you don't have to be condescending for people to judge you that makes it painful to hear.
10. When someone starts talking about "plant-based" versus "vegan", you feel guilty that all you know is about avoiding meat.
I mean, when I first heard that there was even a difference, I had no idea what people were talking about. I used to know people who would stress so much on being vegan rather than plant-based, and at the knowledge that I was vegetarian, they would gawk and tell me to start being cognizant of what I was wearing, too. Safe to say, I'll stick to my cotton sweatshirts without that extra judgment on top.
11. You get a bit freaked out when you realize you probably don't get enough protein like your friends do.
We do have protein options, but they're not as varied as they are with people who eat meat. Tofu, one of my favorite foods, is my main source of protein, but if I haven't eaten it in a while, I'll suddenly get a rush of dread during lunch when it hits me that I'm missing protein. It's a weird fear to have, but every vegetarian has thought about this at least once.
12. Unlike your friends' meals, all your meals are just various renditions of the same food you love.
You can never get tired of that one food, so you just switch it up a bit every day.
13. The one food you and your friends can always bond over is pizza.
At the end of the day, who cares about whether you eat meat or not? All that matters is the pizza you're ordering. End of story.