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Questions I Get Asked This Time Of Year

Oriental Resturant Table

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It comes to this time of year and I find myself out and about more at various functions and parties. As someone that doesn’t drink very much and who is a very strict vegetarian, I get asked a common set of questions. I thought that this year I would write down the answers and direct people here (at least when they are sober).

No, I hardly drink at all. Yes, I know that is hard to appreciate for some people. No, it’s not because of medical reasons or addiction, it’s by choice. When my wife was pregnant I cut out smoking and drinking as an act of support. I found I missed neither but I did enjoy the feeling of a clear head and improved cognitive functions. In all truth, I just didn’t miss it at all. So I never started drinking again. No, I do not miss it. No, it doesn’t mean I am boring. Yes, I occasionally do have a drink when I fell like I want one. No, I haven’t been drunk for over 12 years and that’s the way I like it. I appreciate that some people struggle with this choice but that’s their problem and not mine. (Oh and yes my wife does drink but not to excess and neither of us started smoking again.)

Being a veggie is a more fundamental life choice and I have not eaten animal-based products for over 20 years. This surprises a lot of people given my rounder appearance! It is even more of an issue for some people than not drinking.

I had never really enjoyed meat and had slowly reduced my consumption during my teens by choice. As a child, I started to suffer from migraines that would cripple my head and eyes. I also suffered from some stomach issues as I reached my late teens. On researching them they could have been caused by an intolerance to meat. At this point, I was only eating it occasionally and so cut it out altogether. Instantly my stomach issues vanished and within 6 months my migraines reduced significantly.

“Oh, what do you eat”, “Do you have to live on Tofu”, “You don’t look like a veggie” and “eating must be really boring” are all commonly said to me. These are closely followed by “I can’t live without meat”, “Don’t you regret it when you smell a bacon sandwich” and “I bet I could tempt you to eat meat again”.

I eat a perfectly balanced diet of salad, veg, Tofu and various vegan-friendly foods. I actually like it. I have never, ever, missed eating a bacon sandwich although the smell of a Donner Kebab still makes my nostrils twitch (that could be more to do with the chilli sauce). Please don’t buy one though as I will not be tempted for anything. I like the smell of certain, scented candles, I don’t want to eat one.

If you are lucky enough to go out for a meal with me or to cook for me I am actually really easy. I do not impose my choices on anyone else. I will eat dairy (cheese mainly) based dishes when out to ease the situation and I am happy with whatever you serve. If we are out as long as there is a burger or something meat-free I am happy.

In much the same way I wouldn’t comment on your chosen religion then there isn’t really much you need to say to me about what I eat.

So there you go. I am a non-drinking veggie with good reasons and who you cannot turn with a Big Mac.

I’m fine with it and so should you be.