The f**king protein experts kill me. Never in their lives have I ever heard these people talk about protein, but they’re walking doctors missing the white coat the minute I said I was a vegetarian. And yes, I’ve heard the “there’s salad” response. Or, someone tells me all the “fries/potatoes” on the menu, as if French fries are a well-balanced meal. I’ve made vegetarian chili at a past job a couple of times. One co-worker lost his mind over it and kept asking me to make it again. When we had a company-wide layoff, I think that was the only thing he was sad about to see me go: no more vegetarian chili (or mine at least).

Anyway, I think vegetarians of all races have heard everything you just said. (And I’m guessing you’re not black because you probably would’ve said it by now. At least you don’t get the soul food bewilderment. Explaining that soul food can easily be made without meat is like telling some people grass isn’t green.)

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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