Yes, I’m A Vegetarian, No, I Don’t Just Eat Salad

I’ve written before about being a vegetarian, talking about explanations and common misconceptions that happen when people ask about it and why people may judge. What I didn’t write about in that article, was just how many people ask, “so what do you eat?” when they find out. This post will look at why it’s one of the most irritating questions to ask a non meat eater and why the idea that we are all sickly, pale, protein deficient people is a lie.

What Do You Eat?

Food, the same as you. No, my life isn’t made difficult by not eating meat or animal products. My choice is occasionally limited when eating out, particularly at certain places, but it’s very rare to go somewhere that doesn’t have at least one option for us veggies. I eat rice, potatoes, vegetables, pasta, fruit, in fact, I eat all the things you do, just not the meat but I sometimes substitute the meat for Quorn or other brand alternatives. The chances are, whatever you like to eat meat wise, there will be a brand or company out there making veggie friendly replicas. I eat mince, nuggets, fillets, sausages, burgers etc, the same as all of you, mine just don’t have animal in. Sausage and chips may be your favourite dinner,  or maybe spaghetti bolognese, chili, burgers – I can eat all those too! I eat the same things you do, my versions of it just lack one thing yours does, meat.

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 20.22.48Do You Eat Fish or Dairy?

I get this all the time. I don’t eat fish, they are an animal. There are some people who argue they aren’t and that it’s not real meat. One thing is for sure, fish are neither vegetables nor fruit. There are “vegetarians” who do eat fish, they are called “pescetarians”. I understand why it can be confusing for people who are not familiar with the veggie life style.

In regards to eggs, milk, cheese and dairy, yes I do eat it, I’m not a vegan. We keep our own rescue chickens, we have no males and so the eggs we eat are from our gardens, we know the hens are free range, happy and we also know what the are eating. I do have split feelings about milk. I don’t agree with some methods of cow and dairy farming so am careful to buy certain milk and dairy.

You can read more about the different types and levels of non meat eating here.

Where Do You Get Protein?

Don’t you worry yourselves, we are capable of having a diet  rich with protein so it is a myth that vegetarians are lacking in it. Here is a list of foods Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 20.29.49which we can eat to ensure we have our healthy diet:

  • Whole Grains – bread, brown rice, quinoa
  • Quorn and other meat substitutes
  • Dairy – milk, cheese, eggs
  • Beans – black beans, kidney beans, baked beans
  • Nuts and seeds

Are You All Anemic?

This is another popular myth. No we’re not but iron is something we need to think about. For those wondering or concerned, you can get iron form the following foods:

  • Egg yolks
  • Leafy greens – spinach, stinging nettles are also great!
  • Pumpkin/sunflower seeds
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Fruit – Watermelon, apricots

Conclusion

Hopefully this, along with my previous post will have cleared up some questions people may have about this diet and lifestyle choice. Just because we don’t eat meat, doesn’t mean we have a dull or boring diet. There are so many substitutes for meat out there now that we can eat the same themed foods (sausages, burgers, fillets, nuggets, mince etc) that we don’t miss out. You don’t need animal on the plate to make a good, tasty and satisfying meal. We don’t suffer from lack of energy, scarcely able to drag ourselves out of bed in the morning or faint because we’re so weak. We don’t get sick all time. Some of us have differing levels of animal products in our diets, it’s all down to the individual. We don’t mind people asking questions, as long as they are reasonable and not small-minded, condescending and judgmental.

~ Image sources: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maraker

http://www.flickr.com/photos/edtechie

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6 thoughts on “Yes, I’m A Vegetarian, No, I Don’t Just Eat Salad

  1. When my husband and I first went vegan, both of our families thought we were nuts! We got all the questions you addressed and more. By the way, I think it’s great that you keep your own rescue chickens. If I had more than a tiny little backyard, it’s something I might even consider. Thanks for the post!

    • Some people don’t even bat and eyelid when they find out someone doesn’t eat meat, but you do get a few who really pick into you about it. Chickens are great pets, you get to watch them grow their feathers back, learn what freedom and grass is. It’s very rewarding. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Review – Farmaround | Poli Fowdrey

  3. Ha, my wife hated salads for, like, the first 5-years after we went vegan. The salad question used to drive her nuts. i might add spirulina to your least of “where to get protein and other awesome things.” it seems to be shedding’s its “green-paint/food-for-hippies-and-wierdos” image now that folks like Dr. Oz and etc are suggesting Omni’s eat it, too. Ditto for Nutritional yeast (b12, not so much the protein).
    Attached is my wife’s food-riot blog on the whole salad-haters thing:
    http://foodriot.com/2013/07/05/i-was-a-salad-hating-vegan/

    • Hello,
      Pleased you enjoyed this article! It’s really very irritating to be bombarded with stupid, ignorant questions all the time, I guess it’s something we have to get used to and endure. Veggie/vegan food is healthy. Thanks for the suggestion, will look into that some more and will certainly read your link 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

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