Where's the meat?
Sometimes it takes a sense of humor to be a vegetarian in a meat-eating society. This is partly because many have a misunderstanding of what vegetarians eat and partly because for some, it is almost impossible to imagine a diet without meat.
Here are some true stories of what can happen.
A vegetarian family was traveling in Canada and decided to stop for lunch at a McDonald's restaurant, since the children were excited about eating under the well-known “golden arches.” They proceeded to order four “Big Macs” without the beef patties—you know “special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun.”
With a surprised look, the young cashier went back and asked her supervisor if they could do that. The supervisor looked the family over and went further back to ask her superior. Eventually the word came back as “No can do!” The children were disappointed, but settled for an order of fries and an apple pie—not the most nutritious of meals, but at least it was still eaten under those famous arches!
On a lovely summer day, Mom had a houseful of her grown children, including a couple of vegetarians, and she had prepared a nice macaroni salad to serve for lunch. Let’s see, the salad had macaroni, pickles, celery, mayonnaise and some nice, bite-size chunks of Spam. Her thought, “Spam is not really MEAT, and if they can’t eat it, they can just pick it out.”
Then there was the time that a vegetarian couple were invited to lunch and the hostess, thinking she was catering to their vegetarian tastes, served a lovely shrimp salad. Hmm… She thought “vegetarian” meant that they just did not eat RED meat!
Only a little meat!
A young vegetarian couple was visiting friends when they were invited to accompany their hosts to a dinner party. It turned out that hamburger lasagna was the main course at the dinner, and the hostess, upon discovering that they were vegetarians, assured them that the lasagna only had “a little meat” in it and proceeded to serve them a generous portion.
I’ll have some of that!
Another young vegetarian couple was planning the buffet dinner for their wedding and decided that since there would be five vegetarians at the wedding, that they knew of, they would have one large chafing dish of vegetable lasagna and one large chafing dish of meat lasagna.
Much to their surprise, the vegetarian lasagna ran out, even though the servers explained the difference to each guest. Since they got to keep the leftovers, the vegetarian newlyweds ended up with no vegetable lasagna leftovers and a large amount of meat lasagna, which they were happy to give away.
Psst! That's VEGETARIAN!
An extended family was enjoying a potluck meal with a variety of tasty dishes to choose from. One young husband and wife were sitting next to each other on the sofa, and the wife was enjoying a nice serving of vegetable lasagna. She was about half done with her portion, when her husband leaned over and said, “That’s VEGETARIAN lasagna, you know!” The wife looked at him in surprise and didn’t touch another bite of the same lasagna that she had been enjoying only a moment before her husband’s startling revelation.
When planning their wedding, the bride and groom realized that their best man and his wife were vegetarians. They kindly made arrangements with the chef who was preparing their elegant, sit-down wedding meal, to provide a special vegetarian meal for the best man and his wife. When the dinner was served, each guest received a small salad, a baked potato, and a Cornish hen with mustard sauce.
Then the vegetarians were served, each with a gorgeous wooden platter of colorful, artfully arranged, steamed vegetables surrounded by a scalloped border of mashed potatoes—a true work of art! Murmurs could be heard all around, as the other guests wondered why this couple was receiving such special treatment. Although the best man and his wife were embarrassed by the attention, they did enjoy the delicious treat their hosts had so thoughtfully provided.
While attending a party where he only really knew the hosts, a vegetarian was having a nice conversation with a young man who was wearing a t-shirt that made it obvious that he was an avid hunter. The hostess, seeing them together, commented to the hunter that the person he was talking to was a “vegetarian.”
Suddenly, what had been a nice, easy camaraderie between two men with much in common, became an uncomfortable awareness of the one interest they did not share, and the hunter soon moved away to speak with others at the party.
A group of ladies were having lunch at a nice restaurant that specialized in a variety of specialty burgers. One of the ladies, a vegetarian, ordered a “veggie” burger with all the trimmings. When her lunch was served, she was so busy visiting with her friends that she didn’t notice that the kitchen had made a mistake and prepared a real hamburger, until after she had taken a bite.
When she realized what had happened and commented on it, her lunch companions all looked at her with big eyes, waiting to see if she would throw up, keel over dead, or have a case of hysterics. Contrary to their expectations, she calmly called over the waitress and asked her to exchange the burger for the one she had ordered.
A businessman was out to dinner at a “steak joint” with several of his customers who did not know that he was a vegetarian. Much to the surprise of his dinner companions, when the time came to order, the vegetarian sheepishly told the waitress that he would have the “Little Cowgirl Special.” It was the only vegetarian item on the menu.
A group of work colleagues from a small town, known for it's hunting and fishing enthusiasts, decide to stop for dinner on their way home from a customer visit. They are attracted by a bright neon figure of a steer that adorns the outside of a busy steakhouse. Unbeknownst to them, there is a vegetarian in their group.
After checking the menu and finding no meatless offerings, he heads for the men's room and on the way flags down a waiter to discreetly ask about the possibility of ordering a meatless meal. The waiter helpfully grabs a menu and points to a dish that the chef can make without meat.
Relieved that he can order without making a fuss, the vegetarian rejoins his colleagues. When the time comes to order, he points to the dish on the menu that the waiter had recommended. The waitress, eyeing him up and down, says loudly, "Oh, so you're the VEGETARIAN! Mike [the other waiter]told me all about you!"
As all eyes at the table focus on him, the embarrassed vegetarian quietly admitted that he was guilty as charged!
The local church was planning a banquet for its members and everyone was urged to attend. There was a cost involved for each couple and one vegetarian couple in the church decided not to attend because the menu was set and did not fit with their meatless lifestyle. However, the organizers of the dinner assured them that a vegetarian meal could be provided and so they signed up and paid their fee. At the banquet, the meal began with a green salad in a small wooden salad bowl.
When it came time for the entrée, after serving everyone else, the waitress brought the two vegetarians each a very large salad, identical to the one they had just eaten, in a very large wooden salad bowl—the size that would normally contain all of the salad for a family of four! In other words, first there was salad as an appetizer, and then there was SALAD as the entrée! Apparently, the chef’s imagination as to what vegetarians eat did not go beyond a green salad.
Two ladies were having lunch at a restaurant, and one who was a vegetarian. The following conversation ensued:
Waitress: Are you ready to order?
Customer: Yes, I would like a Reuben sandwich without the corned beef, please.
Waitress: (helpfully)“Oh, can I have them put some other kind of meat on there for you?”
Customer: “No, thank you, just leave off the corned beef.”
Waitress: “Uh, you mean you want a sauerkraut sandwich then?”
Customer: “Well, it’s actually a Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on rye with dressing.”
Waitress: “Okay, if that’s what you want.”
The waitress, rolling her eyes, went off to put in the order and to tell the chef about her strange customer at Table 4.
Then there was the gentleman who went to dinner at his boss’s house along with all of the people in his department. The boss, knowing he was a vegetarian, provided carrot juice for him to drink, as he was sure that’s what a vegetarian would prefer, and then proceeded to give a blow by blow description of how he had shot, gutted and skinned the deer that was the source of the venison that was the main course of the meal.
A husband entered a contest for his wife sponsored by a local, small-town radio station, and she won! The prize included lunch with a celebrity from the radio station with her and two of her friends. As luck would have it, one of the friends was a vegetarian. Concerned, the husband called up the station during the morning talk show and “warned” the host that he would be having lunch with a “vegetarian.” You gotta watch out for them leaf-eaters!
The newlywed vegetarian wife had discovered that she could make a nice breakfast for her husband by putting wheat kernels and water in the crock-pot and letting it cook slowly overnight until the wheat popped into nice warm, chewy wheat berries. One morning, she sleepily dished out a serving of the wheat cereal from the crock-pot and set the bowl in front of her half-awake husband.
Looking down at his bowl, his eyes suddenly opened wider when he discovered an unexpected source of protein tucked in his cereal. Apparently, at some point, weevils had gotten into the sack of dry wheat, and when they were cooked in the crock-pot along with the wheat kernels they swelled up and caused quite a sensation at breakfast! Mmmm!
A vegetarian couple invited another couple over for dinner after the wife had expressed an interest in sampling “real” vegetarian food.The hostess obligingly prepared recipes that were not only meatless but also were “vegan” as they contained no eggs or dairy products. When dinnertime arrived, it was obvious that the husband was less enthusiastic than the wife since he put one small teaspoon of each specially prepared dish on his plate—and that was all he ate!
One vegetarian couple agreed to watch another meat-eating couple’s small children while they were out of town. Everything went well, and when the couple arrived back home, the wife noticed an empty box in the garbage that had contained frozen veggie burgers.
Both she and her husband were totally “grossed-out” at the idea that such disgusting fare was consumed in their home. It was only after the vegetarian couple assured them that they had not fed any of the offending veggie burgers to their kids that they let the matter drop.
A vegetarian mother was concerned with the junk food in her grown vegetarian son’s diet. Much to his mother’s dismay, one of his favorite snacks turned out to be those wonderful, oblong, yellow cakes with the white cream filling. The son refused to give them up until he discovered one day that the filling was made with “beef fat.” The empty calories and sugar didn’t bother him at all, but, being a life-long vegetarian, the animal fat was a deal breaker! Go figure!
A young vegetarian airman was stationed at a base in North Dakota, where the vegetarian population is arguably not very large. His commanding officer often tweaked him about his meatless diet—all in good fun. One day the young airman arrived with a brown paper lunch bag and set it on his desk.
While the airman was busy, his boss peeked inside to see what the young man was having for lunch. Much to his surprise, he found three bright green plants in little pots inside the bag. He quickly closed the bag, deciding that he was glad he was not a vegetarian!
Unbeknownst to him, the airman had stopped at the BX and picked up the plants for his wife’s planter at home. He was actually planning to go out for lunch!
A vegetarian family had invited the husband’s brother and his young family—who were not vegetarians--to lunch on a summer weekend. Since they were driving in from out of town, the wife planned a nice vegetarian meal that could be served whenever they arrived. When she heard them drive up, she dropped the corn on the cob into the boiling water on the stove and began to set out the meal of various cold salads and homemade pizza calzones.
She was admiring her handiwork of colorful and tasty dishes, when her husband came quietly into the kitchen ahead of the guests and whispered to his wife that their guests had already eaten at a fast food restaurant in town right before they arrived.
Can you eat nut “meats?”
Can you have a cat? (They are carnivores, you know.)
Can you have a dog? (same reason)
At Thanksgiving dinner--Is there enough for you to eat? (This is kindly meant, but consider that at Thanksgiving there are generally at least 15 different dishes on the table and only one--possibly two--of them contain meat—the turkey and the stuffing.)
What do you eat at Thanksgiving dinner, since you don’t eat turkey? (see above)
Do you eat fish? (Not a bad question since many of those who only eat fish and not other meats, do consider themselves “vegetarians.”)
Do you eat chicken? (see above)
Don’t you crave meat?
How can you make a meal without meat?
Whenever there is one vegetarian in a crowd and pizza is on order, everyone else states a preference for sausage or pepperoni pizza, and yet when the order arrives the one small, cheese pizza suggested by the vegetarian, disappears first, often before he gets any.
Similarly, there was a vegetarian who attended a class where the lunch caterers were given the food preferences of all the attendees. Without fail, the vegetarian sub sandwich or other vegetarian item prepared for that one guy, would be gone before he got to the serving table. Hmm… Was there a vegetarian in the group they didn’t know about? Is there such a thing as a “closet vegetarian”?
Get answers to your healthy eating questions.
Answers to your questions...
Sign up to receive emails of my blog
Bright Hope International brings hope to those living on less than $1 a day. Every little bit you can give will help these kids toward a healthy future. Thank you in advance for your kindness.
How to Use This Site
BOOKMARK this site or add it to your Favorites.
Become an informed eater by clicking on the NUTRITION button and reading the general information there.
Check back whenever you have a question about your diet, meal planning, nutrition, specific foods or any healthy eating issues. Use the SITE SEARCH function to track down your particular concern.
Try some of the free recipes available on the site by clicking on the RECIPES button.
E-mail me if you cannot find what you are looking for, if you feel that any of the information on the site is not accurate, or just to say hello!