I thought I could do it. I really did. I figured, I can make a whole 30 days without meat or animal products. I am here to tell you, I am ready to break. I went through tofu like it was beef jerky. I did my due diligence and ate vegetables that I wouldn’t normally eat. I even went as far as preparing meals that were all veggie. But, I am now faced with going out to dinner with a friend and I am looking up restaurant menus and I cannot find a single restaurant… like a regular Olive Garden, Red Robin, BJ’s, etc. that have any vegan food options. Maybe this is why people who are vegan weigh like 80lbs, there is absolutely NOTHING to eat at restaurants for them, so they have to come home and munch on lettuce.
I keep looking up restaurants in the area I am meeting my friend and all of these restaurants have some (very, very limited) vegetable dishes, but then they are covered in a cream sauce or cheese. An old high school friend of mine made a comment this week about the Toddler eating straight peas and carrots (I know, a whole different topic… it’s like what did you do to my child and who is this vegetable lover sitting in front of me) and he said, “Butter and cheese. The key to all veg[ies].” What is up with the world. You can’t make a vegetable dish without some cheese or cream or something dairy all over it!?!? I thought vegetables were supposed to be healthy?
I dunno… I might just be getting worked up over nothing. But, then I did take a look on Google and Yelp for vegan restaurants and they come up with like nothing in the area I need. They will give me something about 20 miles away in a more expensive area, but not in the area I need it to be in. And the random hole in the wall place is in the worst part of town. I am thinking NO, but thanks anyways.
It makes vegans or people “testing the waters” in that life style feel like freakin’ lepers. They are not welcome in places where “regular” food is prepared. And when I say “regular” food I mean meats, animal products, and overly processed foods that have all that crap in it. I mean if it wasn’t hard enough to get good hearty vegetables in your diet, but now you can’t even go to a restaurant that offers that without the fear that it will be served with something meat or cheese or a cream sauce. I know there are sauces out there that do not have cream in them.
Not to mention that even if you order a meal sans poultry or beef then they still want to charge you the full price for noodles and veggies. I guess the price is the least of my problems. Getting vegetables and tofu in a restaurant is like pulling teeth, so I guess I will count my blessings if I am able to find a place. Which, we settled on a Vietnamese place that serves Pho. I am excited about this place, but it is Asian cuisine. Asian cuisine is the only genre of food that isn’t afraid to pair veggies, tofu, and non-animal products. It’s like the restaurant industry is saying if you don’t want to eat these things we will “push you out” and you won’t ever want to leave your home. Sandwich shops (all meat and cheeses), authentic Mexican food (everything is made with lard), Italian (even the marinara sauces have cream in it now), etc. It’s a travesty!
I know I have gotten to the point where I have probably been labeled one of those uber liberal activists and such… but really, I am not. I am just a girl trying her damnedest to not eat meat or animal products for one month. Just one month people! Think how hard this would be for me if it was my lifestyle?!?! OMG! I don’t even want to think about it.
Do you know any places that can serve vegan dishes? Either chain or nice (not gonna get shot walking to the entrance) “hole in the wall” or “mom and pop shop” kind of restaurants? If you do, please share. I am going to Pinterest for some vegan inspiration!