what's the hardest thing about being vegetarian - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-28-2008, 01:10 AM
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Hey guys



So i joined today, and have been posting around a bit. I'm not quite vegetarian but getting there. I still consume Fish on occasions but only if i go out to a seafood restaurant or something of that sort. No other meats. I been doing this for about 8 months now.



What do you find is the hardest thing about being vegetarian?



I think eating out and social life has been the hardest thing for me when i'm trying to go proper vegetarian. When i'm at home.. no problem, I can pack up my meals and take them. There are a few restaurants that serve nice veg food too.



But being Aborigine Australian, I come from a culture which is almost solely meat. So I can't really socialize properly with my family in that aspect. My mum kind of is upset that I wont eat any of her food. Same goes for my friends who knew me as one who loved bbq pork and what not. They think i've suddenly changed and sort of turned on them.
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#2 Old 12-28-2008, 04:44 AM
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I find family gatherings the hardest part too. I don't like not eating the same as everybody else and I often find meat substitutes taste weird. I feel under pressure to eat it all and enjoy my meal so they don't think it's awful and boring to be vegetarian. If my brother is there he'll make stupid comments about what I'm eating, and my mother is over-enthusiastic in proclaiming that all the desserts are "VEGETARIAN" when we bring them out. It's quite sweet because she makes the effort to get things I can buy, but I do wish she wouldn't draw attention to it.



It's not THAT hard though, most of the time I really do enjoy all the veggies and potatoes, and can eat my protein substitute without too much trouble. Only my brother makes comments, everyone else is either apathetic or supportive about my choice.
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#3 Old 12-28-2008, 07:00 AM
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Yea eating out is hard, and when my friends make comments. By the way welcome to the board.
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#4 Old 12-28-2008, 08:59 AM
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I find people who don't understand to be the hardest. Including family gatherings...Eating out is hard too. My Mom likes to take us to eat out once in a while. If there is a soup and it does not list what is in it I have to ask is it safe for a Vegetarian. People really get on my nerves sometimes....I am not a patient person towards people..I am towards animals though...One person asked me what do you eat??? Are you serious? I eat almost everything you eat accept for the meat...Why what do you think I eat? I have to say that is the hardest part is the people...

^Cool story, bro
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#5 Old 12-28-2008, 10:00 AM
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having to listen to my step father say "its a pity you cant have what we are having" every time i have to eat with him
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#6 Old 12-28-2008, 10:04 AM
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Hardest part about being Vegan (or vegetarian) is dealing with that akward silence when someone so rudely says " yeah well in the bible it says we should eat meat" and I just want to try and explain, yet I know that will do no good because of ignorance. I hate hate HATE when people try and justify that what they eat is just all fine and dandy, when in reality, they have no clue whatsoever. I love being vegan and it is one thing in my life that I am absolutely certain about 100% of the way. No matter what rude comments people say, I try not to get defensive, because that usually makes the matter worse. But if someone is genuinely interested, I will begin to pour out the plethera of information inside my head. People usually don't get it though...
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#7 Old 12-28-2008, 10:24 AM
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I'd say just learning to cook as a veg., because as someone who's grown up in the south, everyone cooks with meat regardless of the dish.

Even our salads are usually filled with grilled chicken or something.



So yeah, definately learning to cook in a different way.



Another biggie for me is not knowing a "real life" veg.

Everyone I know are from online forums such as this, but it sure would be nice to have that extra support from someone you could call up and chat with, kwim?



The eating out thing can also be kind of awkward, but since we don't dine with too many other people, friends and whatnot, it's mostly my immediate family and thankfully they are pretty understanding about it all.
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#8 Old 12-28-2008, 11:11 AM
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I find it pretty easy most of the time apart from xmas day when my family start tucking into prawns - I still get a craving for them. The prawns that is, not my family. ho ho.

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#9 Old 12-28-2008, 11:39 AM
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Late night food and fast food. I'm a college student, so often times late at night friends and I are hungry or want to go through a drive through. Vegetarian options are severely limited on this front.
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#10 Old 12-28-2008, 12:49 PM
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I agree with eating out. At least most of the time I go with my family so I don't feel stupid quizzing the waitress on what I could special order.

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#11 Old 12-28-2008, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimplyBella View Post

Hardest part about being Vegan (or vegetarian) is dealing with that akward silence when someone so rudely says " yeah well in the bible it says we should eat meat" and I just want to try and explain, yet I know that will do no good because of ignorance. I hate hate HATE when people try and justify that what they eat is just all fine and dandy, when in reality, they have no clue whatsoever. I love being vegan and it is one thing in my life that I am absolutely certain about 100% of the way. No matter what rude comments people say, I try not to get defensive, because that usually makes the matter worse. But if someone is genuinely interested, I will begin to pour out the plethera of information inside my head. People usually don't get it though...



Luckily, in the UK, I've never come across this religious crap.



But the hardest thing about being veg*n is having to deal with dickhead omnis.
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#12 Old 12-28-2008, 03:02 PM
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For me, it's eating out. There are not a lot of veggie options at the restaurants around here. The hubby and I love to eat out, but do so less now. We did just find an amazing Thai place last night and the chef will come out and tell you what veggies he has fresh and will just whip you up something delicious. He will also turn any dish on his menu vegetarian upon request (sub-ing the meat with tofu or veggies or both). It was amazing and I can't wait to go back.
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#13 Old 12-28-2008, 06:58 PM
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I wouldn't say eating out is "hard" per-se, as in the UK there is always A veggie option on, but I had never realised how much exciting choice I was missing out on until I went to the veggie restaurants in New York. I would guess for new veggies knowing what you're going to eat before you arive at the restuarant rather than getting to read through the WHOLE menu before choosing must suck a lot.



I don't really mind the ignorant omnis anymore either; its like a moron-radar. You can waste so much time getting to know a person only to find out they weren't worth the effort if you don't have the "I'm eating a quorn turkey sandwich; any questions" litmus test.



The really really really worst thing about being vegetarian is the lack of a good salami substitute. Its not that Im still tempted by the real stuff (the smell makes me queasy now), but if they could just make a decent substitute that went so well in pasta or a cheese sandwich as I remember the real one doing, I would be in veggie heaven.



Also I hate the way I sometimes want to explain to people close to me exactly how much I hate what they're doing as they shovel steak into their mouths, but I'm not sure thats to do with being vegetarian, as I remember feeling the same way about myself shortly before I made the switch.
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#14 Old 12-28-2008, 07:18 PM
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The hardest part for me currently is that I'm in a small town in Arkansas, so I can totally sympathize with the poster from Tennessee who has no one else vegetarian around (full disclosure though, I went vegetarian in a more metropolitan area a few months ago and in another month I will be going back to a city.) Here in AR I've been subsisting primarily on bean burritos, peanut butter, and the one type of vegetarian soup the only supermarket in town stocks. And my when my Grandpa went out to dinner with our family for the holidays, he just shook his head with disgust when it came up that I'm vegetarian now. Said he couldn't live on vegetables and looked at me like I was an alien. Other people in town have had similar reactions, but it was more personal when it was my grandpa. My immediate family has been more supportive, though my mom is more carnivore than omnivore and pretty much refuses to eat anything I eat on principle.



So I guess the main thing that's difficult is the culture of meat-eating around here and its corresponding lack of vegetarians/ vegetarian foods.
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#15 Old 12-28-2008, 08:07 PM
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its people honestly...like people who apologize through a whole meal....Sorry about eating this steak..but its soooo goood....or make moo sounds...or tell me how they cut down on meat...like I care...I honestly dont care what people eat...not much else...other than that its all good really.



Peace Love and Happiness



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#16 Old 12-29-2008, 01:11 PM
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One challenge was just memorizing all the little trivial details about what I can eat where. It's my experience that you can find something vegetarian at nearly any establishment, so I'm not bothered by eating out. Just... sometimes, expect to be the one person with a house salad and a side of potatoes while everyone else is eating steak.



For me, the hardest thing is not constantly getting into arguments. People laugh at what they don't understand, especially in groups. (One on one, most people are actually pretty engaging and curious. Group dynamics are odd.) It's hard for me to just laugh and come up with a witty comment back. I'm always trying to be good hearted and steadfast in my beliefs simultaneously... most of the time it works, but it is hard.



Oh, and about your friends, my advice (even though you didn't ask for it =P) would be just to gently explain it to them and then let it become part of who you are. I get how this would be difficult though... most of my friends met me after I'd made the switch, so to them, it's just a part of my personality.
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#17 Old 12-29-2008, 01:12 PM
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Not being able to pull yourself away from VB...
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#18 Old 12-29-2008, 01:32 PM
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Eating out is the worst by far. That and now having to read every food label to check for dairy. Im vegetarian, dont eat eggs unless theyre mixed into something and now cant eat dairy. Makes it dam difficult.
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#19 Old 12-29-2008, 01:33 PM
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The hardest thing about being vegetarian is having people not take you seriously on account of it.
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#20 Old 12-29-2008, 01:47 PM
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eh, eating out isn't too big a problem for me. Most restaurants we go to we go to regularly, so they know what I need.



Additionally, often I'm fine with steamed broccoli and a baked potato. I'd eat that sometimes in my omni days. I get broccoli cravings



My biggest issue is the vegetarian community! I'm too hardcore for vegetarians and too lax for vegans, and my omni friends don't understand or care about the difference. Its frustrating, and kinda silly its easier to please meat eaters than my own.
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#21 Old 12-29-2008, 02:19 PM
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i think eating out is sometimes quite hard, especially for huge family gatherings. for example, a hotel faxed over its buffet food menu for chinese new year. price was good and all, but when i scaned the menu, the only thing i could eat apart from the desserts were 'deep fried dough fritters in spicy sauce' (hmmm...spicy MEAT sauce maybe?) and fried plain buns.



seriously. even the SALADS had meat in them. and the soups! chicken or SHARKS FIN. SHARKS FINNN!!!



the only vegetable dish contained oysters.



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#22 Old 12-29-2008, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatFreddy'sCat View Post

Luckily, in the UK, I've never come across this religious crap.



LOL. That's exactly what I was thinking!



But if someone came out with the old "It says so in the Bible" rubbish, I'd say "God didn't tell us to build factory farms and high-speed slaughterhouses - those can only be the work of the Devil!"



Hardest thing for me: As I've never missed eating meat or fish, I would say listening to meat-eaters who become instant nutrition experts when they hear you're a veg*n. "Where do you get your protein etc?" Zzzzzz.
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#23 Old 12-29-2008, 04:18 PM
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You know, there are things that used to be hard, like eating out, and explaining to family etc, but after being a vegetarian for 5 years, it's all easy now. Actually, it only took about 2-3 years before it was easy.



I've learned enough about nutrition, animal rights, health and the environment that I can debate about the merits of being a vegetarian with anyone and win. I know so much about the food and restaurants in my city that I can be sure to feed myself, and feed myself well anywhere. Last night at 1230 am I was dragged to Denny's after the kitchen was closed at all the pubs I had chosen (specifically for their good veg food.) I was with 3 vegetarians. They all just ordered meat free sides, like fries, mozzas sticks and onion rings. I asked for a Chicken Bacon Ranch melt without the chicken and bacon. I just asked them to throw on whatever veggies they had, and I wound up with a sauteed mushroom, onion, zuchinni, lettuce, tomato, havarti sandwhich on Cibatta. It was amazing!



My friends, family and co- workers are all used to my diet now, and they respect it, and know that my food is tasty and healthy. So many of them make far more veggie choices now, and at least 5 of them have become veg. or pescatarian.



So... what I'm saying is that in my experience, the longer you remain a vegetarian and the more you educate yourself, the easier the whole thing gets!



The only hard thing I can think of now is when ordering pizza for a large group, they'll get one cheese, or veggie and a bunch of meat pizzas, and many times I can barely get a slice cause they are far more popular than the ones dripping with meat.

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#24 Old 12-29-2008, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by megbot View Post

I'm too hardcore for vegetarians and too lax for vegans, and my omni friends don't understand or care about the difference.



I've been having this same problem! I'm leaning more and more towards veganism and it's really tough trying to explain to my boyfriend why certain foods are just making me sick. He's trying to be really understanding, at least... but my omni friends don't understand why I'm gradually turning down more and more cheese sandwiches, ice cream, etc. It's invariably met with "I thought you were just a vegetarian..." which sparks an impossible discussion.
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#25 Old 12-29-2008, 06:25 PM
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the hardest part at the start was giving up my moms cooking. hell, its still hard. My mom is a great cook and its hard to give up all the comfort foods from your childhood. Its not like I ever crave meat, sometimes you just miss those things that you grew up on.



I'm lucky, I have never dealt with some of the asshats that some of the people here have. Everyone in my life has been pretty respectful.





It did take me a couple years to get really good at vegetarian cooking, and another couple to have enough vegan recipes in my routine to make it easy. But I think that would be the learning curve of running a household, just the lady of the house happens to be vegetarian.
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#26 Old 12-29-2008, 06:38 PM
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trying not to cook and eat all of my delicious groceries as soon as i get home from the store.
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#27 Old 12-29-2008, 10:17 PM
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I think the hardest thing of being veggie is eating out and friends.



I can hardly ever find anything to eat when we go out and I'm always worry that I'll order something and it'll end up having meat on it.

I hate it when we go to lunch and they all order their burgers and I'm sitting eating my veggie burger an they go. "Ewww" "how does it taste?" "Don't you want some of ours".



I also hate that since most of them knew me before i went veggie they don't take me seriously, they say its a phase or something like that. They dont support me and they sit there and wave their meat in my face.



Grr. I love them but I hate them sometimes.
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#28 Old 12-30-2008, 12:39 AM
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It's those people that don't take it seriously and make stupid comments. Being told to pick meat out of things sometimes, and then the same people trying to catch you out on possible traces of meat in something.
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#29 Old 12-30-2008, 05:03 AM
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I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I used to go out to the same fast food restaurants every week, at the exact same times of the day, as part of my routine or 'ritual' so to speak. It was probably the only times I would leave the apartment at all. Now I'm having to change and adjust and its just darn difficult. I'm used to eating the same thing, one certain days every week and now I'm scrambling for substitutes.



But I can't go back to being a meat eater. I can't.
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#30 Old 12-31-2008, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synergy View Post

You know, there are things that used to be hard, like eating out, and explaining to family etc, but after being a vegetarian for 5 years, it's all easy now. Actually, it only took about 2-3 years before it was easy.



This is good to know.

It gives me some encouragement that it will get easier with time.
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