Tess-tify: Where’s the beef?


Tess Riecke, Columnist

Want to hear my favorite joke?

How do you find a vegetarian at a party?

It’s easy, they’ve already told everyone that they don’t eat meat.

This joke makes me laugh about as much as it offends me. I haven’t been a vegetarian for a long time, so I’m easily able to see the humor in it.

However, it does make me uncomfortable because it implies that all vegetarians make this choice to get attention or just bring it up to seem better than others.

I can tell you right now, I rarely tell people I don’t eat meat, unless I need to for meal preparation.

The connotation that surrounds vegetarians isn’t very fair. A majority of the people I’ve met are level-headed and almost view it as a burden to others rather than asking everyone else to constantly serve them.

When my uncle was getting married this summer and I was a new vegetarian, I was a little concerned that there wouldn’t be a full meal that I could have. Luckily, they added a vegetarian choice, but I made up my mind that I wouldn’t make a scene because meat had to be present on my plate.

If I get asked about my meal preferences, that is great, however, it isn’t up to everyone else to cater to me and I don’t expect them to.

Another connotation is that I expect people to follow my diet.

That is just ridiculous.

To anyone I dine with in the future, you are more than welcome to have the biggest, juiciest steak you want. Just don’t be offended when I don’t want to try a bite.

I love to cook.

I’m open to cooking almost anything, and that still includes meals that have meat. I’m not going to force someone eat tofu or seitan (a wheat product that is similar in texture to beef and is chockfull of protein) because most people aren’t too interested in eating it. I will, however, make enough in case someone tries it and likes it.

People also assume that I am vegetarian because I don’t like the killing of animals. While I don’t see the ‘entertainment’ in hunting for reasons other than food or population control, I’m not going to protest a packing plant.

When I see a cow, I’m more likely to say “moo” rather than get upset that it is being raised for slaughter.

The reason I became a vegetarian is mostly due to health reasons.

I’ve never liked meat to begin with but when I eat red meat, my stomach always gets upset. After a few years of basically being a vegetarian, I went for it all the way.

It has definitely been a challenge starting the new academic year. There are times when I just think it would be easier to give in and just have some meat but overall, I’m happy with my decision.

I am very open when people ask me questions about protein sources and my morals behind becoming a vegetarian.

While I do take pride in my decision and I think it is an important one, I still appreciate a good vegetarian joke now and again.