No beef about it

Junior breaks down vegetarian stereotypical questions

Story by Katie Dusek, staff writer

For as long as I can remember, a day hasn’t gone by when someone doesn’t ask me a ridiculous question about being vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat for almost two years and people still ask me the same set of questions before actually taking the time to look the answers up online.

I have memorized the answers I give to each question. I no longer have to think before explaining myself. It irks me to no end that people don’t just use common sense, or at least Google.  

“Where do you get your protein?” Contrary to popular belief, meat isn’t the only way to get protein. There are tons of foods that provide the same amount of protein without causing any harm on living things. Foods like cheese, fish, beans, lentils, seeds and nuts are rich in protein. Thank you for your concern, but I have done my research.

“What about plants? They have feelings too?” This question makes my blood boil. No, plants do not have a central nerve system. They cannot feel pain. I never knew that meat eaters had such compassion for the feelings of plants.

“What about bacon?” People ask me this question so much that it makes me laugh now. I am aware that bacon is some sort of food sent from Heaven, but I seem to be doing just fine without it. Bacon isn’t a food vital to living, I will not die without ingesting it.

“Do you eat eggs? They are basically meat, right?” No, they are not. Eggs are unfertilized. The eggs that hens lay do not contain a “baby chicken” inside of them, unless they have been fertilized.

“Isn’t being a vegetarian hard?” Yes, it is. But only when I have to answer these ridiculous questions.

Another common misconception of being meat free, is that I am faced with the unfortunate fate of only eating salads. This so called “rabbit food” is not the only things we vegetarians eat. There is a plethora of other foods that do not contain meat, or meat products.

People have also given me a look of pity when they find out that I don’t eat meat because they think I’m missing out on all of the good foods. However, since going meat free, I have been introduced to many new delicious foods.  
I now answer these questions with a smile and try not to get upset because I know they aren’t trying to be mean or offensive. It just gets draining to have to answer the same things over and over again.