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?