What Most Vegetarian Articles, Websites, and Books Forget to Mention
Many of our standard dishes taste like baby food and branches unless … you can cook like vegan-chef-jedi.
Yes, then vegetarian food can be quite amazing. You wouldn’t want me to cook vegan food for you though. It’s also worth mentioning that dining out can be an arduous task if you live in the Midwest. The good news is bigger cities in the U.S. (or California) are quite accommodating towards plant-based dining.
That said, I have plant-based dishes I enjoy a lot and I’m super-glad I went green.
Do I like them as much as I used to like meat? It’s close, but it’s just not the same. There are some bad-ass veggie burgers out now though.
Also, some of the new vegan protein powders on the market (e.g. Garden of Eden, PlantFusion, etc.) are impressive and taste just as good as anything out there.
“But here’s the deal: I didn’t become vegetarian/vegan for pleasure and to make my life more comfortable. I did it for better health and moral reasons. And like many things in life, there’s give and take, and a price to pay for what we want.”
I’m all in. I’m willing to sacrifice a little flavor for eight more years of vibrant life and a better planet. I know my furry friends are grateful, as well.
Sometimes I miss meat, but then I remember what I’ve seen in videos and how grossly animals are treated. When I remember this, my mind plays a trick on me, and the idea of eating meat makes me literally nauseous. I’m not saying this to be dramatic, this is precisely what happens.
I wasn’t always this way when I started to become vegetarian, but the more exposed to the images of the inhumane slaughtering of animals I became, the more this switchover happened.
I wrote this article for the person considering a plant-based diet because I wish someone had tactfully, and unapologetically, told me in the beginning:
- That vegetarian food may not taste as good at first* (even though there are some great recipes).
- Eating out isn’t nearly as fun in most parts of the country.
- The return on investment in terms of health and “spiritual currency” is worth it.
*I acknowledge that others feel differently. I think the biggest majority (not all) of that group aren’t being honest with themselves for the sake of making the case for a vegetarian lifestyle.
I think it matters when people tell us the complete truth.
It shows authentic confidence when the time comes to explain our lifestyle to others. This can go a long way, because when we also disclose/address the negative side of things, it feels less like a sales pitch and gains trust. It also better prepares us for the journey ahead and can lend itself to a higher chance of success.
Besides, isn’t the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle supposed to include this brand of truth?
Feedback from our Audience
Troy T. Seman wrote the comment below in response to this article and I felt is was worth sharing another view that both compliments and deviates from my own. But that’s the point, we can always learn from one another and don’t need to be afraid of views that challenge our own:
I really enjoyed that you were honest with people. I would add to the list certain social aspects of eating vegan and mention that food is cultural.
There is a HUGE social aspect to how and what we eat. Humans bond over food. This means you’ll probably develop social ties to other vegans, and ironically, some vegans can be the cruelest people [towards other humans].
I did vegan for a year. Yes, the food didn’t taste as good. Eating out is a total b—-! Vegetarian restaurants tend to close early. And, Mom feels bad when you bring all your own food even at holidays.
The social aspect of being vegan, I feel, really needs to be communicated to people.
I spent a couple years trying foods and making vegan dishes before I took the plunge but nothing really prepared me for what was to come. Your family and friends will be put out or simply won’t want to go to restaurants with vegan options, or won’t want to make special food at gatherings and it’s a pain to bring enough of your own food to share.
So food is social. Food is cultural. That is an aspect to the vegan discussion that often gets left out.
Anyway. I digress. Thank you for your honesty!