I’ve been a vegetarian for over two decades and a vegan for the past couple years. Most people think it’s hard to give up meat but I found it easy, my love for animals far outweighed my desire to eat them. The hardest part has been finding restaurants that have vegetarian options. I hate cooking. Cooking makes me break out in Turrets. I get bitchy, throw ingredients violently into the sink and “motherfuck” (it’s one word when you’re screaming at the top of your lungs and linking it with other curse words) every little hiccup along the way. Martha Stewart I am not…well maybe I’m a little like Martha when she was in prison. In my gay opinion cooking sucks ass and finding restaurants that don’t discriminate against vegans is damn near impossible. I hope in some small way I can be the Norma Rae of veganism…after all who doesn’t love Sally Field and she was incredible in Steel Magnolias.
What prompted this post was a trip to a sandwich shop (that shall remain nameless but sounds like “SubGay”) this past weekend. I ordered my usual foot long Veggie Delite…”delite” might be a stretch…on wheat with no cheese. My Sandwich Artist asked what veggies I wanted. I proceeded to get less than a handful of lettuce that he spread in a futile attempt to fully cover the bread. It’s fucking iceburg lettuce not gold, the least he could have done was go for another pinch or two. He wasn’t any more generous with the spinach, onions, olives, green peppers or cucumbers (see photo above). I guess he thought one piece of veggie per square inch of sandwich was fair or maybe I was trying to feed a baby rabbit. Is it fair that I should be charged the same price as a meat sub with the same amount of veggies?
Another thing that sets me off is when I go to a restaurant and every salad on the menu has meat as it’s main ingredient. Isn’t a salad supposed to be a bunch of veggies mixed together with some dressing. Why is it that a vegetarian is lucky to even get a garden salad on a menu. If I order a salad without meat, why am I charged the same price? Isn’t meat the most expensive item? Chili’s is the only restaurant ever that charged me for a less expensive garden salad when I ordered a specialty salad without meat.
What’s even more insane is when a restaurant charges more for a meatless option. I never heard of such a thing until a few months back. My partner and I went to one of our favorite local restaurants that we go to monthly after we volunteer at the animal sanctuary. We always get the same thing but just recently they started up-charging for veggie patties. My partner wanted a cheeseburger grinder and I wanted to build my own burger both with veggie patties. I was charged an additional $2.00 to build my own since I’m picky and don’t like the ingredients on their regular veggie burger. My partner, who’s not as picky as me but just as cheap, went with the veggie burger which is the same cost as a hamburger instead of paying the additional $7.00 up-charge for the grinder. He thought $20 for a veggie grinder was too expensive, unless your Beyoncé. He’s not Beyoncé but secretly I bet he wishes he was.
Unfortunately I don’t live in a metropolis like New York, Los Angeles, or Seattle where vegetarian restaurants are common. There are only four vegetarian restaurants in the whole state where I live. I know because I’ve been to all four, however a half hour to an hour drive each way isn’t convenient. Thankfully Chinese and Indian restaurants tend to have decent vegetarian sections on their menus. I can understand a restaurant not having a lot of vegetarian options but what I don’t understand is how they can justify charging the same price when meat is omitted or have the audacity to charge more for a substitution that costs less. Cut us vegetarian’s some slack. We’re not trying to take over the world (at least not just yet) we’re just trying to live cruelty free.