In the past month, I’ve had my fair share of questions/comments regarding my vegetarianism. Unless people ask me, I have not come out and shared that I’m vegetarian. There really is no need to bring that attention to myself (in my opinion). I just go with the flow. It’s been quite interesting….. Here are a few of my own observations (WARNING: this is definitely a rant!):
1. It’s VERY hard to eat out when you live in rural Iowa. Now, we don’t eat out much, and I always prefer cooking my own food (see why here). However, the times we have eaten out have been pretty much horrible experiences. Very few restaurants in Burlington have any vegetarian menu items besides a side salad. UGH! This is one reason I can’t wait to move to Ames. Even Macomb, Illinois (where I’m currently getting my master’s degree) has more vegetarian options than Burlington.
2. Explaining my reasons for being a vegetarian is more difficult than I thought. I never thought people would be so critical. Overall, my close friends and family have been very supportive. Unfortunately, in social situations, someone will ask me – why aren’t you eating _________ (insert main meat dish item)? Or why aren’t you eating? Then I have to explain myself, and what do people do? Just ask more questions!!! Such as: If you don’t eat meat, how do you get enough protein? Can you eat chicken? How about fish? Is it hard to never eat meat? Isn’t vegetarian food boring? Etc., etc., etc……
There’s also the aspect of attending dinners where there is no vegetarian option. Often I will bring my own dish (when appropriate), but if that is not appropriate then I will most likely eat just a little bit of side dishes. 😦 I don’t want to be completely rude and not eat at all, but I still have to explain myself either way.
3. Criticism from family. I won’t name anyone in particular or from which side of the family this came from, but last week someone in our family apparently was concerned for my health and thought I would become malnourished. Okay, so if you know me even just a little bit, then you most likely know that I’m a bit of a health nut. Look in my kitchen cupboards/refrigerator/freezer and you will notice the amount of really good, wholesome, healthy food that we keep in our home. Why would this change if I’m a vegetarian?
Okay. I’m done. For the vegetarians out there, help a sister out!!! How do you deal with vegetarianism in social situations? I really feel like I’m doing what’s good for me right now. And to be honest, I feel great!
P.S. Rode 22 miles on the bike today and it felt amaaaaazing!!! Can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. This is PERFECT riding weather! When I was in college we would do 2-3 rides a day when the weather was this nice out…..oh, the memories….. 🙂