The Accidental Meat Eat - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-08-2016, 10:36 AM
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The Accidental Meat Eat

So I have seen the other posts of people who have accidentally ate meat and I wont lie, all I could think was attention seeking and people who couldn't care enough to check.

Today after 10 months vegetarian I did it and holy **** does it ever feel terrible. I think it wouldn't be bad had it been something small like someone used chicken broth in a casserole and I only found out after. No in my case it was a burger. And no it was not a restaurants fault either.

How in hell does someone accidentally eat an entire meat burger you ask? I will explain. We went to Burger King, they have an awesome veggie burger that is pretty bang on as a substitute. My husband is an omni and I gave him a lecture about spending so he got the whopper junior, which is about the same size as the veggie whopper (but different looking which should have been a clear indicator but was not) I was starving because I had not had breakfast, they gave us separate bags and Richard just handed me one, he didn't check to see if it was the veggie one and I don't blame him. I wolfed back that burger in about 30 seconds. Then I sat back in the car, and looked at Richard and was like I think something was wrong with my burger it has a super weird aftertaste. And then it hit me, and I looked at him and was like Oh my god I just ate the meat one. He looked at me confused and uncomfortable and was like uh well that kind of thing was bound to happen at some point? Then I burst into uncontrollable sobbing (I do not cry I have no idea why I was sobbing but hey here we are).

Now I have the taste of meat in my mouth and I have never felt so bad or so stupid. And we are trying to make good decisions, we are even trying to cut back on dairy and eggs and then this **** happens! I am so angry right now. And it doesn't help that I watch all the videos I can find about all the horrors so now that is all I can see.

Just needed to vent, cookies for those who made it to the end.
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#2 Old 07-08-2016, 01:50 PM
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My wife and I stopped frequenting most 'American food' restaurants. We grew tired of finding meat particles in the food and other evidence of cross-contamination -when vegetarian meals were ordered. Most American restaurateurs have very little in the way of knowledge or respect of their vegetarian customers.

We have found better service and consideration with ethnic restaurants such as Indian, Ethiopian, and Greek/North African/Mediterranean.

That said, where do you suppose that Burger King veggie patty was cooked?

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#3 Old 07-08-2016, 01:52 PM
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Yipes, that sucks!! Since you can't go back and un-eat the burger, the best (and only) thing to do now is use it as a learning experience; even if your husband had handed you the right bag, you still can't always assume that you're getting what you asked for in a non-veg*n restaurant. I know it sucks to have to check your food, particularly if you're not accustomed to doing it, but it's probably a good practice.

I personally always dissect my food before eating it, but that's because I'm vegan, and have to check for things like mayo or butter or cheese... if you're a L/O veggie, it's a bit easier of course, but it never hurts to check; better safe than sorry!

If your husband ended up eating the veggie burger instead of the beef one that he had intended to eat, at least the actions were balanced out?
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#4 Old 07-08-2016, 03:22 PM
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I know how you feel! I made a post just recently about just accidentally buying meat! Thankfully I didn't eat it but I didn't even notice that I was carrying around a stick of death in my purse until I got to work. It's really just a slip of the mind. We don't feel like that we need to be on guard every single food eating decision but really if it's outside your own kitchen, you've just got to.
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#5 Old 07-08-2016, 04:54 PM
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Burger King must have changed veggie burgers, or maybe yours is different. I remember early on getting one, it was just a warm, mushy, thing. I was convinced they trying to dissuade people form wanting them.

Now at least you can tell your husband he can eat veggie burgers too since he can't tell the difference.

I'm sorry that happened to you. I was at a Pho restaurant with a friend and ordered what labeled vegetarian pho. It came with a small bowl of what I expected to be tamari. Failing to get the servers attention I dipped my spoon in, a few times, wondering what the H*ll it could possibly be. Fish sauce. damm that's a hard taste or memory to rid
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#6 Old 07-08-2016, 05:15 PM
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Thanks, for the support guys. Yeah even my husband says he can see how I got confused because the veggie burger is really that good.

Good point about where they cook them. Wish I hadn't thought about that

The funny thing is I think they were trying to be helpful putting them in separate bags it just backfired on me (because of my own actions no theirs). It's kind of a selfish feeling I am having I think because, yes it did kind of even out and I suppose it really isn't the end of the world but at the same time now I identify as a vegetarian and I have for the past 10 months and I am proud of it, and I feel like a jeopardized it? And I just can't stop thinking how the heck did I eat a whole burger and not notice, I feel so stupid for doing that ( I do have a really nasty cold though I feel like if I had my sense of smell maybe that would have helped). I also feel a little overly dramatic, but the tomato truck has pulled into town and I feel that is really encouraging the crazy emotions going on.

In a kind of make myself feel better thing I donated some money to an animal sanctuary here in Canada that does great work with farm animals and I put a little note on it saying for the cows, it made me feel a bit better sort of a bandaid on the situation
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#7 Old 07-08-2016, 05:23 PM
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I hope you don't think you're starting over. That would only be true if you ate it intentionally.
You're good!
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#8 Old 07-08-2016, 05:38 PM
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I hope you don't think you're starting over. That would only be true if you ate it intentionally.
You're good!
100% agreed!!! intention is everything ^_^
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#9 Old 07-08-2016, 07:41 PM
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I'm one of those people who usually secretly wonders how anyone could "accidentally" buy or consume an animal product. I usually meticulously check my food sources/ingredients/products before buying or consuming them. In 5.5 years, I have made maybe two or three errors that I am aware of (once with soba noodles that had egg in them, and once I bought a granola bar and missed that it had honey in it...both times were early on as a vegan).

HOWEVER, I too have been humbled and caught off guard recently. I bought some bagged coleslaw in the produce section of my local grocery. I have bought fresh raw coleslaw mixes many many times with no problem, and when I get home I add my own dressings and so on to them. Never in a million years would I expect a bag of fresh coleslaw veggies in the produce section to have an egg dressing in it! I bought the bag (which looked just like the other bags I have bought), not paying attention to the label because, well, it was supposed to be just raw veggies. It was not clear on the front label that there was anything else in it and the veggies looked dry, not saturated with sauce. So I got home, put away my groceries, then proceeded to open the bag of coleslaw to make a salad with dinner. The back of the package caught my eye as I opened it because I saw the word "egg". WTF!!! I looked more closely and sure enough it came prepackaged with an egg based dressing. In a bag of fresh coleslaw in the produce section! Who'd have ever thought? The veggies looked dry as a bone so this was a surprise. I guess I learned my lesson too. Even lettuce must be carefully examined. Or buy in bulk, NOT prepackaged. Never assume the brand you have bought for years which used to be vegan will remain that way. Unfortunately more and more grocery stores are prepackaging fresh produce, and this affords the opportunity for the manufacturer to throw in other stuff. :/ I swear I am going to start buying all my produce bulk and organic. Maddening.

I eat out maybe five times a year on average, though this year it has been a little more (once per month) due to being involved in a local vegan meetup. I am fortunate to live in a city that has vegan friendly restaurants and wait staff that are knowledgeable about what is vegan, vegetarian, and omni food. I was impressed when I once ordered what appeared to be a vegan sandwich, but the waiter warned that the bread was made with honey in it. I was grateful for his honesty. Sometimes it's a matter of researching the restaurant ahead, or the type of food and where it is sourced (that particular restaurant for example gets their breads from a local progressive bakery that used to have a lot of vegan breads but they started adding honey to most of them). For example, I know that many Eastern Indian restaurants cook their rice in ghee, and in fact I had to ask one restaurant to make a batch of rice without. I also know that many Asian restaurants add fish sauce to otherwise vegetarian seeming dishes, so I know to inquire about this. I don't leave it up to the staff to know what is vegan or vegetarian and what isn't, even if they should.

Mistakes happen though. It is frustrating, but realize it is just one blip and that otherwise we are doing what we can to lead more ethical and healthful lives. Compared to the 38 years I was an omni, my one mistake buying an egg based product (which I could not return since I opened it before I knew it had egg in it) is like a drop of water in a vast ocean.
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#10 Old 07-08-2016, 07:58 PM
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I've never accidentally eaten meat (as far as I know, at least), but I do remember once getting a veggie burger from Burger King and then not eating it because I was paranoid they might have made a mistake and given me meat.
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#11 Old 07-08-2016, 09:37 PM
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My questions is this - why would you devour a sandwich before you and your partner had a chance to see that his and your order were correct? Seriously, I understand that you did not have breakfast, but how could you just eat something that came in a bag without first checking the order?

I truly don't mean judgment here - I just mean to remind people to be careful. Check your order. Eat mindfully. Remember your values, and proceed with care.
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#12 Old 07-08-2016, 10:31 PM
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My questions is this - why would you devour a sandwich before you and your partner had a chance to see that his and your order were correct? Seriously, I understand that you did not have breakfast, but how could you just eat something that came in a bag without first checking the order?

I truly don't mean judgment here - I just mean to remind people to be careful. Check your order. Eat mindfully. Remember your values, and proceed with care.
I get it, it seems really hard to believe even to me. The burger he got is the whopper junior so it's a pretty small burger and they even come in the same wrapping, and the thing is so covered in sauce you can barely taste it. If he had gotten an actual sized burger it would have been obvious right away (it still should have been pretty obvious because the veggie has this weird shape to it but I guess I just wasn't looking for it)/ I know I keep coming up with these excuses and I don't mean them as excuses. I realize this is my bad. I am ready to own up to it and learn from it.

I can tell you one thing though sure has given me some insight on the amount of dedication it would take to be a vegan when ingredients are really truly hidden. All I can say is good on you guys.
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#13 Old 07-09-2016, 05:03 AM
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I get it, it seems really hard to believe even to me. The burger he got is the whopper junior so it's a pretty small burger and they even come in the same wrapping, and the thing is so covered in sauce you can barely taste it. If he had gotten an actual sized burger it would have been obvious right away (it still should have been pretty obvious because the veggie has this weird shape to it but I guess I just wasn't looking for it)/ I know I keep coming up with these excuses and I don't mean them as excuses. I realize this is my bad. I am ready to own up to it and learn from it.

I can tell you one thing though sure has given me some insight on the amount of dedication it would take to be a vegan when ingredients are really truly hidden. All I can say is good on you guys.
Don't beat yourself up over it, mistakes happen. The meat burger was already bought anyway, it doesn't matter to the cow which one of you ate it.

About the cross contamination issue, I'm a long time vegan with a vegan kitchen at home, and my husband and I don't stress about where our food is cooked when eating out. I know the restaurant's grill or pan isn't going to be sterilized of meat residue before cooking my majestic vegan dish. That isn't the point, for us anyway. The point is about something not being killed for us.
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#14 Old 07-09-2016, 09:50 PM
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I can tell you one thing though sure has given me some insight on the amount of dedication it would take to be a vegan when ingredients are really truly hidden. All I can say is good on you guys.
I can't speak for everyone and I am pretty new at being vegan myself, but even though it seems pretty inconvenient at first, you do get used to it pretty quick ^_^ I really don't even think about it anymore; I just know what to look for and what to check, and it makes me appreciate my own home cooked meals and those I get to eat in an all-vegan restaurant all the more! ^_^

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About the cross contamination issue, I'm a long time vegan with a vegan kitchen at home, and my husband and I don't stress about where our food is cooked when eating out. I know the restaurant's grill or pan isn't going to be sterilized of meat residue before cooking my majestic vegan dish. That isn't the point, for us anyway. The point is about something not being killed for us.
agree 100000% ! thank you - this is exactly how I feel too
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#15 Old 07-24-2016, 09:29 AM
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So just checking in here. After the situation happened I got over it I moved on I continued along my vegetarian way. No further hiccoughs have happened. But now I'm plagued by these nightmares. I keep reading that I'm somewhere like KFC and somebody brings out what is obviously meat. What I realize it is not meet it is actually tofu so I eat it. Everyone looks pretty surprised but I tell them not to worry it is actually tofu. Then I realize once I am done That it is actually meat. Then I panic until I wake up. It seems funny and I'm not going to lie when I wake up it is kind of funny but when I am sleeping and it keeps happening it really sucks. Has anyone else Ever had anything like this happen?
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#16 Old 07-24-2016, 09:42 AM
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So just checking in here. After the situation happened I got over it I moved on I continued along my vegetarian way. No further hiccoughs have happened. But now I'm plagued by these nightmares. I keep reading that I'm somewhere like KFC and somebody brings out what is obviously meat. What I realize it is not meet it is actually tofu so I eat it. Everyone looks pretty surprised but I tell them not to worry it is actually tofu. Then I realize once I am done That it is actually meat. Then I panic until I wake up. It seems funny and I'm not going to lie when I wake up it is kind of funny but when I am sleeping and it keeps happening it really sucks. Has anyone else Ever had anything like this happen?
Yes it is common! I had the same type dreams after quitting smoking cigarettes years ago.
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#17 Old 07-25-2016, 03:53 AM
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I'm just going to give a quick reply and let you know that you're good.
Obviously, It didn't seem like it was your intention to eat that burger though I still can't relate to how you did not realize it, at least while eating it.
Take a chill pill and relax.
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#18 Old 07-25-2016, 06:54 AM
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I don't think that this is such a big problem, you've reassured yourself that your decision is correct and that's it. IMO there's no reason to feel bad, stupid or whatever. Just do whatever you did. And it is very important that you're honest, this is what really matters.
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#19 Old 07-25-2016, 05:25 PM
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I've had the BK veggie burger a few times.

While I was OK with it, I felt like I was cheating the system, or something.

I resorted to making the same thing at home with a veggie burger patty.

Costs less, tastes better, and I feel better.

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#20 Old 07-25-2016, 09:09 PM
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I've had the BK veggie burger a few times.

While I was OK with it, I felt like I was cheating the system, or something.

I resorted to making the same thing at home with a veggie burger patty.

Costs less, tastes better, and I feel better.
What does "cheating the system" mean?
Veg'ns shouldn't have a place to get food on the run?
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#21 Old 07-25-2016, 09:37 PM
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I got a meat patty in a salad burger once. I asked for no patty, so I was pretty miffed when I bit into it. It was too far away to return to the shop (drive thru)so I threw the patty out the window into the bush for the ants to eat. The taste of that patty was chewy and bland. What's the point of it when you have to salt it and sauce it to make it taste good? Why not just salt and sauce a lentil burger or something else?
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#22 Old 07-25-2016, 10:49 PM
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This sort of thing happened to me at Taco Bell a few years back when I was still just vegetarian and my dairy allergy was still mild. We ordered Chalupas with beans and when we got the the house I bit into one and it was chicken...the other 3 were all beans, but somehow the one I bit into myself was the chicken one. I spat it out after the taste had filled my mouth and nostrils, but it was late at night and by the time we got back to the restaurant they were closing. I settled for just the one and vowed I wouldn't go back for a while. It took a long time to give up fast food, but going vegan kind of helped because of how inconvenient it is to have to go home, put on your own condiments, and make sure that no non-vegan ingredients were in what you just ordered.

I rediscovered a love of cooking after that and haven't had a problem since, the few restaurants we go to that are omni know we're veg and take great pains not to cross-contaminate. My favorite one, a little ramen shop in Federal Way, even added the veg menu because of my suggestion!

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#23 Old 07-26-2016, 11:21 AM
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It's totally normal. I still have dreams of smoking, years and years after quitting, and I had multiple recurring nightmares about eating meat involuntarily when I first went vegan. They've subsided a bit, but I still have them.
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#24 Old 07-27-2016, 05:23 AM
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What does "cheating the system" mean?
Veg'ns shouldn't have a place to get food on the run?
Agreed, why would you feel like you're cheating the system? So it pretty much means that if you're not doing it yourself, then you're cheating the system? Silva is right and I think that you shouldn't feel like that.
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#25 Old 07-27-2016, 12:28 PM
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I've never accidentally eaten meat (as far as I know, at least), but I do remember once getting a veggie burger from Burger King and then not eating it because I was paranoid they might have made a mistake and given me meat.
Same here. I got a veggie burger from a restaurant once, took one bite, and wouldn't eat the rest because I was not convinced it wasn't meat

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#26 Old 08-02-2016, 04:05 PM
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What does "cheating the system" mean?
Veg'ns shouldn't have a place to get food on the run?
Yes, they should.....however I felt like I was part of the problem.

Burger King makes it's profits off of BEEF burgers.

OK, so I buy a veggie burger.....is it just window dressing?

Maybe I should do what I did today....go to the salad bar at WHOLE FOODS. Yeah, there's some meat there, but I felt better about it. I ate veggies.

I'm probably over thinking this.......

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#27 Old 08-02-2016, 05:17 PM
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Yes, they should.....however I felt like I was part of the problem.

Burger King makes it's profits off of BEEF burgers.

OK, so I buy a veggie burger.....is it just window dressing?

Maybe I should do what I did today....go to the salad bar at WHOLE FOODS. Yeah, there's some meat there, but I felt better about it. I ate veggies.

I'm probably over thinking this.......
If popular fast food places offered GOOD veg'n options more people would gravitate towards them. People in my experience are mostly concerned with convenience, taste, and availability as their reasons to not eat veg. They're going to stop at Burger Kings McDonalds, Wendys, anyway.The more things are in their face the more they'll become popular
Burger King (at least by me), has yucky veggie burgers. I've always felt it was purposeful on the part of the beef suppliers to keep them from selling
Other sit down places that feature good veg'n foods find them selling quite well and get good reviews. There's no reason fast food can't
I also can't understand the attraction to Whole Foods. They make their money off the lie of humane meat, organic dairy, and cage free eggs at stupid prices
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#28 Old 08-02-2016, 05:21 PM
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I gotta admit, it would take an awful lot to get me to eat at a Burger King and I'm pretty sure I like their fries!
Now when my kids were little and they had veg options I would. That was the last time I tried the veg patty.
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#29 Old 08-02-2016, 06:14 PM
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To go back to the original post, if the reasoning behind being vegetarian is not to cause animal suffering or death, then an accidental swop doesn't make any difference, as Ledboots mentioned above. The amount of animal cruelty/suffering is the same either way.


As Silva says, you could in theory if you wanted to try and use this incident to persuade your husband to reduce his meat eating, I mean why not benefit the environment and reduce animal suffering if you're not even going to notice the difference. It's arguably him not noticing the difference that is more important here. Getting him to reduce his meat eating by 10% would have a far bigger impact than the occasional accidental meat eat.


By the way, such a mistake is easily done. What is slightly surprising is that NEITHER of you noticed at the same time. Reminds of Michael Pollan in the Omnivore's Dilemna where he eats fast food, a Big Mac, and he strips everything off the burger just leaving the meat patty and notices it isn't really like real food, and says it doesn't have much taste or smell when removed from bread, seasoning, salad etc, and it is kind of an abstraction. In which case, one may as well have a soy burger abstraction.
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#30 Old 08-02-2016, 10:33 PM
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2 things I want to weigh in on here first I agree with Silva if there are good veg options people will take that route. If you make being veg accessible you open it up to the masses.

To Jamie, I always joke that the Hubs eats less meat then most vegetarians (you know the I eat fish and meat only when I am drunk vegetarians). He is a huge part of the reason I am a vegetarian, on top of being very supportive 90% of the time because I don't eat meat he eats a mainly meat free diet as well. We went from eating meat three times a day to me eating meat never (not including this incident of course) and him eating meat once a day if that. He often goes days at a time without eating meat which I think is great.

As for not noticing it as I mentioned the burger was so covered in stuff that I barely tasted it, Hubs was driving so he hadn't had his yet. By the time he was left to eat his I had already realized what had happened. In all honesty I think he would have probably noticed the difference in spite of the fact he thought the veggie burger tasted good and "meaty".
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