I have never eaten meat in my entire life. My mom and dad raised me vegetarian and it stuck.
I always thought of meat the same way I think about cocaine or acid, if I’ve gone this long without, I’m probably good.
Over three decades without meat, and over half of a decade without dairy has been awesome.
The comments and questions below have made it even more awesome.
These are real comments and questions that I’ve gotten over the years that have amused me. Trust me, I couldn’t make this shit up.
1) “Don’t you miss meat?”
This was after I explained to my girlfriend’s mom that I had been vegetarian my whole life. Some people just can’t wrap their head around it! Bless her heart, every time we go back to Malaysia she takes me out to the newest veg restaurants.
2) “I didn’t know vegans could be so…voluptuous!”
I was at a networking event in San Francisco and it was 6am. SO not an appropriate place or time for this comment. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that he was tacky, or that all vegans aren’t stick thin. (side note: Witnessing people kiss each other’s asses at 6am is not advised.)
3) “I really want to give up meat after my kids are grown because I don’t want to compromise their growth. Is that a good idea?”
I grew up just fine (see point #2, above).
4) “Yes, we do have vegetarian food! Vegetarians eat chicken, right?”
Bless the taco truck guy’s heart because he was being totally sincere, and he really thought that chicken was in the vegetarian food category.
5) “So, you want a cheeseburger with no burger? Sorry, we don’t have a button for that”
Said the McDonald’s employee to me when I was 10 and attempting to be “cool” by having lunch at McDonald’s with my friends. They never could figure out how to ring up that burger-less burger so I got fries instead.
6) “You want a ham sandwich with no ham? I don’t understand. I don’t understand! Why no ham? Why no ham?!”
Said the German room service worker on a trip to Berlin. I think he did understand, he was just really irritated by the thought of a meatless sandwich.
7) “You don’t eat meat? No wonder you’re so pale”.
First of all, what kind of logic is this? Secondly I was two chromosomes away from being born an albino. My skin has been practically see through since I came out the womb. It has nothing to do with not eating meat.
8) “Would you eat eggs if they came from my chickens that I have raised in my yard with lots and lots of love?”
Says a friend of mine, EVERY TIME I SEE HER.
Why are we having this conversation again??? I don’t want to eat eggs, give it up! (and yes, she lives in Oakland. Shocker.)
9) “Are you sure you don’t want to come fishing with us?”
I know that fishing is fun for a lot of people, but even if I did eat fish, I think it is the most boring thing to do maybe ever. So no, I’m positive that I don’t want to go fishing with you for so many reasons
Are those some doozies or what?
It’s worth noting that none of these things actually offended me. I’d rather people ask than assume, because assuming is shitty. I know I’ve asked my share of questions about meat in my life, having absolutely zero experience with it.
- For instance, how do you know what meat comes cooked and what meat does not? For example, some hot dogs come cooked and some don’t. How do you know? Does it say it on the package? Do you have to examine the color?
- Also, how do you know when meat is done cooking? Surely not everyone uses a cooking thermometer every time they cook meat. Or do they?
These are the things I wonder about, so I totally get that people are curious about someone who has never ingested meat.
If you have any questions for me, have at it in the comments below.
In the meantime, here’s a super simple soup recipe for you. It’s easy to make, ultra healing, and it is the most comfort I’ve ever had in a bowl.
Miso Soup with Burdock, Daikon and Mushrooms
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped (8g)
1/2 cup burdock, outer skin peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks (50g)
1 cup daikon, cut into thin rounds and then cut into quarters (130g)
1/2 cup carrot, sliced into thin rounds (70g)
6 cups water (1.4 liter)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (70g)
1/4 cup miso (60g)
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped. White and green parts. (20g)
- Heat a medium sized pot and saute the ginger, burdock, daikon and carrot for 2 minutes on medium – low heat.
- Add water and mushrooms and bring to a boil, turn heat down a little and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add the miso and the green onions.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, stir the soup. If all of the miso is not yet dissolved then use a whisk and gently whisk until miso is entirely dissolved.
- Never boil miso, this will kill off the beneficial bacteria that makes miso so healthy.