This post was inspired by a post Jillian from How to Be Myself wrote regarding one of the top questions vegetarians are asked, “What do you eat?” Every time I hear this question I roll my eyes and recite the same response I give to everyone, “I don’t eat anything with a face.”
For the past five years I’ve been a vegetarian. My decision to go down this road was based on the fact that I just never really liked meat. I ate it because it was convenient. Every meal is usually based around some kind of meat being the main course with a few veggies as a side dish. On Thanksgiving I’d fill my plate with brussel sprouts (I LOVE them), broccoli, carrots, mashed potatoes, and of course stuffing. Have you ever been involved in the process of cooking a turkey? The thought of reaching up inside the turkey to pull out the heart, giblets, neck, and other body parts I’d never like to see, makes me nauseous. On top of that, my family used to make a separate batch of stuffing including some of those internal organs.
When I was about 5 years old my Mother worked at a meat processing plant. For some reason I went to work with her one day and was escorted through part of it. Although my Mother tried to cover my eyes, I still peeked and saw headless turkeys hung by a hook, moving down a conveyor belt like they were in a conga line.
Anyway, quitting meat is probably one of the best health choices I have made. I no longer eat fast food because many of the restaurants do not have vegetarian options. When I do go out to eat I look up the menu before hand to make sure there is something I can eat. Otherwise, I just order food without the meat. Being a vegetarian has forced me to make better food choices as well. I’ll pass on the burger and fries for a salad. Vegetables are my main course and yes, I get plenty of protein. One of my favorite meals is portobello mushroom cheese steaks. Black beans are a favorite too! Did you know you can make a cake with them? On occasion I’ll eat a meat substitute like a veggie burger or ‘chicken’ nuggets. Fake meats are highly processed so, it is best to stay away from them. Being a vegetarian has also opened up my creative side when it comes to cooking. I’ve been introduced to new cuisines I may have never tried like Thai food.
Do I miss eating meat? Nope, not at all. The only downside I’ve faced while being a vegetarian is feeling like an inconvenience to those that do eat meat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “We can’t eat there because Jamie doesn’t eat meat.” It seems to me meat eaters have more issues with those who choose not to eat meat then vice versa. The bottom line is that most vegetarians eat the same things carnivores eat, just without meat!