10 Things Your Vegetarian Friends Want You to Know

BY: Lauren Rinehart
last updated 01/05/2015
10 Things Your Vegetarian Friends Want You to Know

Do you love a good steak, but have vegetarian friends? Your questions... answered!

10 Things Your Vegetarian Friends Want You to Know

The above photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Do you love a good steak, but have vegetarian friends?  Your questions... answered!

1.  You eat meatless meals - you just don't notice! 

Next time you plan a dinner party with vegetarian friends, you really don't have to go so very far out of your way to create a menu that makes everyone happy. Have you had cheese pizza lately?  Spaghetti and marinara? Macaroni and cheese?  Fettucini Alfredo?  Garden salad? Grilled cheese? These are all things that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians enjoy. 

2.  Chicken or Beef Stock = Not Vegetarian

Just because a dish doesn't have pieces of meat in it doesn't mean that it's necessarily vegetarian - if it has chicken or beef stock many vegetarians will not be able to eat it.  What you can do if you're hosting a party is just be aware of what you used to make the soup, sides, etc.  If you purchase items for a meal where vegetarians will be in attendance, just keep the ingredients list handy in case they'd like to read it.  I would always rather quickly read an ingredients list than possibly have to leave the party early for suddenly feeling very ill - which leads to my next point:

3.  Eating meat can actually make us sick

Digesting meat and products with animal-based ingredients takes a little more energy and enzymes than say, fruit.  With that being said, your body will only produce enzymes as they are needed so if a person stops eating meat, he or she will also stop producing as many of the enzymes needed to break down animal-based products.  Tricking us into eating meat by telling us it's a meat substitute or that something definitely doesn't have chicken stock when it actually does can cause us harm so please don't even think about lying.  It's not only disrespectful, but can cause extreme discomfort and digestive issues that can take days to get over.

4.  Vegetarians aren't all health nuts

As a vegetarian, I enjoy quinoa, lentils, kale, and fresh fruits and vegetables.....and macaroni and cheese, cupcakes, and french fries.  Don't assume that just because we've cut meat from our diets that we're automatically opposed to helping you polish off an entire bag of Mike Sell's. 

5.  You can take us anywhere (well, almost anywhere)

We can find things to eat at just about any restaurant so please don't worry so much about where to take us for dinner.  If you suggest a place that just does not have anything we can eat, we will definitely let you know so please don't spend a lot of time searching for vegetarian-friendly restaurants because in this day and age most restaurants are much better at accommodating special diets.  I mean, we're living in a time when Italian places offer gluten free meals on their menus, so anything is possible!

6.  We will check our food at the drive through window

Sorry if it embarrasses you but we will absolutely check our burrito before leaving the drive thru at Taco Bell, even if there's a line, because at one time or another every vegetarian has sat down to eat their fast food and realized it has meat in it.  It's a total drag, because if you're eating fast food, chances are you have zero time to go back to have the order remade.

7.  Most of us don't mind if you eat meat around us

I don't know many vegetarians who are grossed out when their friends order cheeseburgers.  And no, we don't judge you.  Most of us grew up eating meat and can definitely remember how good some of it can be! 

8.  Yes, grandma, we get plenty of protein

Despite what you might think, meat is not the only source of protein out there.  Protein is found in grains, beans, greens, and veggies (not to mention dairy products, oh - and tofu!).  As long as we eat a variety of foods everyday, we're getting all the protein we need, I promise.

9. Invite us to your next barbecue

No, really!  We can bring veggie burgers but even if we don't, it's really easy to fill up on potato salad, corn on the cob, cole slaw, salad, and beer.  I'm telling you, we're not going to starve. 

10.  If you're curious about why we're vegetarian...

Just ask.  There are so many reasons to be a vegetarian but you'll never know unless you ask.  Some people find the processing of meat in the United States to be inhumane, some people have special diets and avoid meat for health reasons, some people don't eat meat in accordance with their faith, some people grew up in vegetarian households, some people stop eating meat to lessen their environmental footprint, some people just really think meat is gross.  More than anything, don't exclude your vegetarian friends from parties and restaurants just because you're not sure what to feed them - vegetarians figure out what to eat in these situations every day! 

Did you know cutting meat from your diet even one day per week can make a serious impact on the environment?  Give Meatless Mondays a try in your household!

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