I have been a vegetarian for a year now,and I am realizing how difficult it is to go out to dinner with family or friends. There are very few choices on a menu for a vegetarian. In addition I have to be one of those annoying customers and ask does you pasta have eggs in it? Or can you please leave the chicken out of the salad and add more spinach? I am so sick of salads. It seems to be the only option though. Now I live in the West Coast where sea food is the one thing that most people come here to experience and have, but I don't understand why there are not enough options on the menu of meals with out meat. What about the vegetarians that come up here? I don't want to be the thorn in your side, but I dread going out now because I can only imagine what the chef is saying in the back room once my order comes up. The chefs seem to have their own opinion about vegetarians and once I say I am a vegetarian the waitress has a look on her face like I just said something horrible and the respect is lost. I don't look down on you when I see you eating a hamburger even though I know what is in a hamburger and you may not. I do not tell you I let you sit there enjoy your meal because you have made a choice to eat meat. Why can't meat eaters respect our choice and not judge us? What have we possibly done to get that loss of respect? Have any of you been through this before? Do you know what I am talking about? I don't want this to continue. I want this to change, I just don't know how to change it yet.

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Unfortunately, I know exactly what you're talking about. I live in Georgia where everywhere you turn there is a steakhouse or a car with a bumper sticker "Beef: its what's for dinner." It is nearly impossible for me to go out to dinner with my family because true vegetarian meals in restaurants are still virtually nonexistent where I live. I find that the general attitude towards veg*nism where I live is either ignorance to nutrition, or those that are aware of the consequences of a meat diet typically treat me as "what makes you think you're so high and mighty just because you don't eat meat;" both of which are excessively difficult to deal with. 

In my humble opinion, a true change towards veg*nism has to start with our generation educating the next generation. Parents have to become more informed of what they're feeding their children, and schools have to do a better job of teaching children early about diets and foods (I didn't truly become educated about diets and nutrition until I was 19 years old in an elective class, and most people never become educated about diets).

A child that is brought up believing that there is nothing wrong with eating beef 5x a week will have an incredibly difficult time realizing that their diet will eventually do them harm, which is why I feel like there is such a small number (in relation to meat eaters) of veg*ns in our current generation.

Proper knowledge about veg*n diets and nutrition isn't where it should be right now, but the day is coming when veg*nism will be properly respected. We shouldn't be discouraged by the current lack of respect, but instead foster respect in the coming generations. 

Living on the West Coast myself, I've found it's a good idea to do your recearch in advance to see if the place you're going to has vegan/vegeterian options. For spontanious outings, try to know a few places in your area in advance so that you can suggest.

Strangely though, it's been my experience that MOST places have veggie options, esspecially chain restaraunts (think Whitespot, Red Robin, Dennies, whatever) that are just part of the menu so you won't get any weird looks when you order. Wherever I'm going, I can usually count on getting a veggie burger.

Obviously if you mean vegan, you're going to have a hell of a time eating out because you're not only asking for the meat to be removed, but for the usual composition of the food to be changed. Most things served to you in a restaraunt have some ammount of pre-packaging so it's one thing to not add the meat, but another entirely to, for example, prepare a bread item without eggs or milk. The bread item is likely not made in-house in the first place and the restaraunt is unlikely to keep the vegan substitutes on hand even if they were. I'm not saying that's how it should be, but that is our current reality.

I just say to the critics , did you know there are over 1 billion Hindus in the world who are vegetarian. Hindus is a religion that is 4000 years older than Christianity so for 6000 years they have survived without eating meat! Google it you don't believe me. That's not to mention the 100 million Sikh and most Buddhist who are also vegetarian.

Kind regards
Very true not all Hindus are vegetarians I think about 80% are. I did read that there are about 1.3 billion in the world and 300 million Sikhs about the same percentage then the Buddhist again not all but we could safely say well over a billion people in the world are vegetarian or about 4 times as many people are vegetarian than live in the whole of the USA plus Canada!

Ps the amount of calcium in an elephants bones has not got there with milk. It's a fallacy by the dairy industry. You also need vit d to fix the calcium in the bones.
Everybody has their opinion. Honestly the only reason they're probably upset about it is because it's an extra step or two out of their way when preparing the dish. I don't mind criticism as long as my vegan tummy is happy. Meat eaters think it's a natural thing to eat meat and being vegetarian/vegan is a stupid trend for uncultured people. Some man started an argument with me yesterday about how humans have been eating meat for thousands of years and how being vegan is unnatural and stupid, I told him it's just a personal spiritual preference.

To keep the waitress from loosing their cool just say "I'm sorry to be difficult..." or "I'm sorry but..." before you ask a question like the egg one with a good attitude, if they get mad they're just a rude person point period blank.

Sorry there aren't many choices on the menu, maybe you should try going to a fruit/veggie/pasta based restaurant instead of a meat based restaurant.

Hey Hayley:) I have been through that. I agree with what everyone else has written so far. 

I feel like the more confidence that I had in my decision, the less people treated me that way..or the less I was concerned about it. As for what to order...I used to order side dishes or ask chefs to make certain dishes without the meat and cheese.

I hope this helps...

OMG i totzzz hear you sister, i have the same thing, i sometimes go to restraunts with my boyfriend and he asks me what do you want, then i look at the menu and its like beef this or veal that or fish and all im left to choose from is a salad or a special meal they make which they make liiikkkeee 5 times more expensive because they have to make it special, thats the main reason i don't eat out much, then it gets worse all of the other customers are staring at me while i eat like im a total freakazoid because i ordered a special meal and I'm liiike "OHH EEEMMM GGGEEE, I'm never eating here again" LOL!
Thanks hayley

My friends and family always feel the need to explain that I am vegan, when they get those looks.

I have been a vegetarian for over 33 years. In the early years we did not go out for meals, raising a family was expensive enough. Here in the uk every super market has vegetarian food, like burgers sausages ready meals. Every resturaunt has vegetarian meals on the menus. When we go to Spain it is very different. Like your experience, waiters look at you as if you have just asked for dinosaur meat.we always ask for a tortes and a side salad. As we are only there for a week holiday we put up with it. Living in a country like that must be hard but as more people go vegetarian things will change as they did in the uk. Sounds like you are vegan not eating egg. I would find it difficult being vegan over here. No egg , cheese, or milk. That's hard to do when eating out.
Keep going it will become second nature.

Kind regards
Hi ,
We live in yorkshire . It must very difficult for you as so many things have milk os eggs in them when they are prepared foods. Do you have an allergy to milk or eggs? I don't drink milk on its own the smell put me off so I have soya milk whenever I can but in cafés I will have coffee with milk.
Over here we have an adverts on the telly for vegetarian food call quorn It's a micro protein that is grown . Even the Olympic champion Mo Farra advertises it by eating this meal of quorn mince then one by one out running all the others up this very long hill!
Also a lot of people in the uk have got allergies to things like glutton , nuts, whey from milk, cheese. The big supermarkets like asda ( Walmart ) have sections call free from where shoppers can buy their food that is free from the things they can't eat. Try writing to your big store. They can do it here so they can do it there. I'm sure many Americans have got food allergies.
King regards


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