Friday, May 25, 2012

Vegetarian Tips: You totally don't realize what's out there

This one isn't about grunge, but I just wanted to make it anyway.

So yes I'm a vegetarian and have been since I was either 13 or 14 (which would be 6-7 years so far) and throughout the years you start to realize that you actually never were a vegetarian because there are things you pick up on that you didn't know before, and ESPECIALLY things you totally wouldn't think have something non-vegetarian in them but do (such as dishes that are mainly vegetables). When I started out, I have a feeling that I thought it was meat you get rid of and animal by-products that vegans get rid of, but recently I've started to think about all the things I've cut out such as gelatin that I know for a fact aren't vegetarian and realized that I had a lot to learn as a yungun' with no support or people telling me how to do it ( my mom was a vegetarian for a bit, but she was no help and apparently had a lot to learn as well ans she was always telling me "Oh it's a veggie dish, or it has tofu, of course it's vegetarian, that's why they have it there", yeah right... and I was always suspicious of this anyway, freaked that it actually wasn't vegetarian, and I was probably right with a lot of stuff). So here are some key points to make sure you realize (oh and OF COURSE fish isn't vegetarian, or any other meat, I don't know who came up with that one).

*Gelatin is made by boiling the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and hooves of animals such as horses, cows, pigs and whatnot, so get rid of that right away

*Things like animal fat/lard, animal broth, bullion, and things like that obviously aren't vegetarian

*Authentic Mexican restaurants cook their beans in lard, and I've heard their tortillas as well, so if you aren't just going to stick to Taco Bell and Del Taco then make sure you either avoid the restaurants or ask what they cook them in

*Donuts can sometimes be cooked in lard so make sure you know what whichever donut places cook theirs in

*I read from Panda Express' website that NOTHING there is vegetarian because even their just cooked veggies are cooked in chicken broth (which made me sad because my favorite dish was their Eggplant Tofu which one would totally think was made especially for vegetarians, but nope they use chicken broth in it)

* I recently came across something that said that Long John Silver's cooks their french fries and hush puppies either in chicken fat or in the same vegetable oil they cook their chicken in so it could contain chicken fat (and whichever that was, I think KFC's potato Wedges was the other one) which is like why would you go to the trouble to make sure you cook them in vegetable broth only to cook the chicken in that too and thus make it non-vegetarian?

*I think I might have seen gelatin in stuff you wouldn't think such as croutons, and I know Frosted Shredded Wheat and Lucky Charms, and other things in stuff you wouldn't think as well (such as how Twinkies and I think also Hostess Cupcakes are made with beef fat) so make sure you read ALL ingredients labels, as well as it never hurting to ask all restaurants what they cook everything in and if it's vegetarian and whatnot

*There's something called Rennet (I don't even know how you pronounce that) that is like either sheep's or cow's stomach lining that they usually use to make cheese or something, so if you see that on the label, then kaput, out it goes...

*Oh and of course all leathers and furs are non-vegetarian. Lots of shoes have leather, so make sure you always check your shoes, as well as belts and tons of other accessories.

*Oh and Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it, and usually so do Ceasar Salads in the sauce

well that's what I can think of for now so yeah it seems like it is a corrupt system for us vegetarians, never having knowledge of what's in our food. I think the next labeling laws they should make is properly identifying what's vegetarian or vegan or not, though I have seen a couple dishes like that but not that many, and not being so vague with ingredients. It also made me realize how being a vegetarian is quite the test of discipline and structure. Join the army?, pft, become a vegetarian!

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