The Questions.

Every time I tell someone I’m a vegetarian, I get the same series of questions. It’s borderline comical and has become a standing joke with Vore and me. They are asked almost identically, in precisely the same order. I’ve answered them a million times. Since they are clearly common, I thought it made sense to post them here.

1. Why don’t you eat meat? Is it about animal rights?

Wouldn’t it be nice if I had a dramatic story to tell? Growing up, I frequently visited my grandparents, who had a farm. I do love animals more than the average girl, but sadly, my  “why vegetarian” answer is rather dull. It certainly doesn’t involve PETA.

In 1996, I was a senior in high school. I found myself eating less and less meat. I didn’t care for the taste or the texture. As a result, I was eating and more and more refined carbs. Bad recipe, right? I was feeling lethargic and gross.

At my graduation dinner, my Mom got a HoneyBaked Ham, which the former me would have loved. I was utterly uninterested. At that point, I decided that if I wasn’t going to eat meat, I needed to do it the right way. I gave it up entirely haven’t looked back since. (And no, I don’t crave meat. I seriously don’t like it.)

2. What about chicken? Fish? Do you eat those?

Nope, neither. “I don’t eat anything that had a face” seems to be the easiest way to make this resonate. The technical term is “lacto-ovo vegetarian,” which means that I eat dairy and eggs, but no other animal products.

3. How do you get protein? Do you live off tofu? 

I am extremely conscious of the protein I take in. As a very active woman, I try to consume 75-95 grams of protein a day. Yes, I count. And good gosh no, it’s not all from tofu.

Here’s a my short list of favorite protein sources:

  • Egg whites
  • Milk (usually eaten in oatmeal or chugged in a smoothie)
  • Greek yogurt, Kefir, cottage cheese and regular cheese
  • Whey protein powder
  • Beans, grains like quinoa and nuts
  • And finally…Soy, including tofu, tempeh and soy granules

I am absolutely adamant that each of my meals contain a minimum of 15 grams of protein. Otherwise, I’m starving later. And you don’t want to be around a starving Veggie. It  makes me grumpy.

Veggies, do you get asked similar questions? Do you have a canned response? 


14 thoughts on “The Questions.

  1. Yes, I get all those questions and more. My favorite question is ‘What do you eat?’ as if there’s nothing else to eat but meat. When people ask me why I don’t eat meat my usual response is ‘It just doesn’t make me feel good and I know that it’s healthier to not eat it’.

    I love your blog and will be checking it out regularly. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you’ll find good stuff there. I am working on a new ‘Clean Eating’ section but have gotten behind this month due to work but I assure you it will be good and it will be coming soon. Feel free to add your two cents any time you want. 🙂

    • I went to a baby shower last night and got all three questions! At least I have canned answers 🙂 I might have to add yours about ‘how food makes you feel’ to my list. That’s perfection!

      I can’t wait to see the Clean Eating section you are working on. I could use a little cleanliness…


      • Yes, that answer about how food makes you feel I find is great because no one can argue with you about that ever. So it’s a great answer when you want to tell the truth but you don’t want to have to sit there and debate and justify why you do what you do. It makes things less stressful especially when you’re in a room full of meat eaters that think you have three heads. 🙂

  2. Well as a former Peppe-tarian you can only imagine the questions I got hee hee! I think just like people we are all different even down to our food choices. Not sure why that is shocking to others; however, I do have to point out (HA me on my soap box) as a counselor who has had experience with eating disorders personally and professionally being a “vegetarian” is at times a way for those suffering to restrict! I am so glad to see your blog an others discussing the importance of balance (still getting plenty of protein for example). This is a positive way to not only present this healthy lifestyle but also includes how cooking and eating can be joyful experiences! Being that I HATE to cook! I just might learn from ya! 😉 Thanks for sharing and for keeping it real/healthy/balanced! 😉

  3. I definitely get asked the same questions, but what I hate the most is people saying “you’re crazy” or “you’re weird” (loving responses I’ve received from my friends and younger siblings). I haven’t been a vegetarian for very long (only less than a year), but I’ve done a lot of research and am well aware of the health benefits of going meat-free. My biggest decision to change stemmed from becoming more aware of the unethical practices used by factory farms and their negative impact on the environment (it takes 15,500 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef vs. 1,300 litres to produce 1kg of wheat!!). I don’t mind explaining to people why I’ve made the switch, but it’s starting to become frustrating when their responses can be so disrespectful!

  4. You’ll get an eyebrow raise or two at first, but I promise, people will come around. This sounds cheesy, but I’ve been at it long now that being a vegetarian is truly part of me. Love it or leave it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  5. I hate to say it… But I am one of those “animal rights” vegetarians. And yes, it’s because of Food, Inc. I just tell people that I would rather not eat a cow that has been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics while standing knee deep in its own feces… sometimes I leave out the feces part 🙂 But I my main pont is always that mistreated meat packed full of artificial-this and growth hormone-that isn’t good for you. My man is a big meat eater too, but I’ve finally got him on the purchasing-organic-meats train.

    • Being kind to animals is a major bonus of being vegetarian. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about how my broccoli is being treated! But I’ve seen Food Inc too, and because of it we only buy free range eggs. I try to buy organic meat whenever possible. I’m right there with you. 🙂

    • I want to state full disclosure up front: I’m a man and I’m not a strict vegetarian, but I have to admit I’ve grown into using less and less meat over the past few years to the point where I hardly eat any meat at all. I will deliberately chose a non meat food if i have a choice. I have a number of female relatives to thank for this who simply lived the life without “forcing it down my throat”. I find I feel better eating less meat too. Congratulations for leading, not driving your “man” down the veggie trail. Even if he doesn’t go for it “whole hog” he still doesn’t have to be
      “one of the herd.”

  6. I have been a vegetarian for six years now, since I was about fifteen years old. I had wanted to be a vegetarian since I was thirteen but it took me two years to really do it. I am also vegetarian due to animal rights reasons.. mostly, anyways. I do not like the environments that food corporations keep their animals in and do not like the way animals are transported, either. It’s weird because when I was a little girl (my dad being a hunter), I grew up helping him pack up the meat and it didn’t bother me until I got a bit older! Now, I wouldn’t go near it! I think that my least favorite reaction from people is when they ridicule or criticize me for not eating meat. I am not going to judge you, ridicule you or criticize you for eating meat so I would really appreciate it if they would do the same for me! The only time I will give someone my little lecture on why they shouldn’t eat meat is if they ask 🙂

  7. I LOVE the answers to your questions! I love that you seem to be super open/awesome about people who DO eat meat, and yet are going about your vegetarian-ism in a healthy manner. Good for you!

  8. I happened on your blog while searching for recipes for the Cacique I just brought back from CR. I’m celebrating my 20th year as vegetarian and I’m married to a very open-minded carnivore. ‘Nothing with a face’ has been one of my canned responses these past 2 decades, as I’ve gotten older my choices are questioned less by new acquaintances. Best wishes for you and Vore and your interesting blog.

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