Arguments, bill politics and a whole lot of risotto: things you only know as an adult vegetarian

It had been a bad week involving undercooked chicken fajitas, a dead cat outside my house and an embryonic-looking egg. Then I saw Morrissey at Glastonbury, which really sealed the deal. At the age of 21, I decided to became a vegetarian.

 

Judging by most of the veggies I’ve met since, I was a little late to the life of Quorn scotch eggs (they’re amazing, do it) and getting excited at the little green ‘V’ logo on a packet of barbecue-flavoured anything.

 

Here’s what I’ve learned since then.

 

You won’t lose weight

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You won't loose weight

Via: Pizza Hut / Giphy.com

Like, absolutely none. In fact, I think I probably gained weight because there were a few cocky weeks at the beginning where I spent every day ignorantly skipping towards the cheese counter oblivious to the vast amounts of cheddar replacing fresh, healthy fish in my shopping basket.

 

Paprika is king

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Paprika

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Even though the thought of putting a slice of pig belly in my mouth is about as appealing as reliving my university years sober, I miss the smoky element of bacon. Luckily, paprika is readily available – even in the little supermarkets – so bean bake, fried eggs, mushroom fajitas, mini roast potatoes and corn on the cob can all get that smoky treatment with no guilt. I owe that spice everything.

 

You’ll avoid vegans like the plague

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Vegan

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Even more than everyone else does, because if you don’t eat animals why would you continue to eat their by-products and wear their skin? Because chocolate and trainers, that’s why.

 

Animals have a lot to answer for

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Animals

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You’re not eating their mates, so why aren’t animals constantly showering you in love and expressing their gratitude in the form of gifts? Every time my cat Columbus ignores me I feel like eating spaghetti bolognese in front of him.

 

It’s not just about giving up meat

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Giving up meat

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Bits of animals are used in loads of things and you have to decide which of those you’re going to ignore. The main culprit is rennet, which is extracted from mammals' stomachs – and devastatingly, you’ll find it in most cheese. Plus there’s other dodgy non-vegetarian things like leather, wine, paint, beer, and that’s before you’ve even had the free-range egg conversation. Saying good-bye to parmesan was a particularly harrowing afternoon.

 

You’ll eat a lot of risotto

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Risotto

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Yep. The fact parmesan isn’t vegetarian doesn't seem to bother the chefs when they put creamy risotto as the only veggie option on their menu. Pubs and set-menus are the most common situations you’ll get stuck with it, making weddings, fancy work dos and Friday nights a hungry nightmare. Side note: apparently rennet’s only in the hard bit of the cheese, but come on chefs – you’re playing a dangerous game.

 

Being full feels different

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Beng full different

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You know how there's a separate stomach for dessert? There’s one for meat-free food too, and no matter how much you cram in it’ll never feel as bad as when you’re full on red meat and getting the sweats. This rule is based on my own in-depth research.

 

No one wants to share pizza

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Share pizza

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The beauty of eating pizza out is you can find a like-minded dough-lover and share two different flavours, but no one wants double vegetarian. It’s just you and Margo the margarita from now on. Chili oil is your only saving grace.

 

Splitting the bill at dinner is one hundred times worse

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splitting bill

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Oh, you want me to pay for the rib eye steak that’s been putting me off my £5 side salad all evening? No.

 

No one wants you at their dinner party

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 No one wants dinner part

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A friend once fed me new potatoes and broccoli, while everyone else got a huge portion of homemade parmesan chicken followed by a big chunk of strawberry cheesecake. Don’t make me beg for crisps.

 

You’ll be dragged into the vegetarian argument, even if you don’t want to

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Arguing

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Because, about once a month, you’ll meet someone who challenges your decision to stop eating cheese burgers, and you’ll be forced to defend yourself. These people are usually strangers at a dinner party and the debate will draw in a crowd. Preparation is key.

 

 

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