We’re sure that a few of you remember what it was like to be a vegetarian in the 80s. It was a rather unfamiliar lifestyle choice for most people. You were lucky to find anything veggie friendly on a menu. And when you would inquire of a restaurant if something like the soup was vegetarian, the response was typically, “Yup. We just use chicken stock.” Your friends would tell you to just pick around the meat on a salad or topping on a pizza. It was a hard road back then.
Vegetarianism is more mainstream now, but TRMom finds that veganism today is a somewhat similar experience to being a vegetarian in the 80s. No, it isn’t quite as bad as most people have at least exposure to the vegan concept. But restaurant choices are still rather limited. Even though most food establishments now offer a veggie burger, it tends to be vegetarian and not vegan. You have to be diligent in your questions to waitstaff, “Are there eggs or milk in that dish?” Many servers simply think that vegetarians and vegans are the same thing. But with increased awareness of food allergies, most servers are accustomed to being asked very specific questions about ingredients- don’t be too timid to voice your concerns!
And friends aren’t as understanding of veganism. The meat eaters will humor a vegetarian. But they think vegans are starving themselves or making unhealthy choices. Even the vegetarians sometimes poke fun, “What’s the harm in a little cheese?” It is a flashback to the 80s.
We’re confident that with time, veganism will become as mainstay as vegetarianism. There are even some restaurants, like our local Green Owl (full disclosure: TRDad works at the Owl) that cater to vegans! Progress has been made, but it is certainly interesting to travel this new path.