Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I have always been a vegetarian. I was brought up that way. While vegetarianism isn’t generally considered that strange anymore it was very strange while I was growing up. It was possible to eat out but options were seriously limited. When people ask me how long I have been a vegetarian and I say always they are generally surprised. They usually say “You mean you’ve never….” And I say yes.

I am not one of those animal rights militant vegetarians. I don’t care what people eat. I just don’t eat meat. Some idiots ask me how I do it and I promptly tell them that I have never know anything different so it’s pretty easy. I do get annoyed by those people who say they are vegetarians but eat fish. Again, I don’t care if you eat fish or not but label yourself properly or else you will sound like an idiot.

I know I have eaten some things that are not completely vegetarian. I have ordered bean burritos and been served beef. After I bite into it, it promptly gets put in a napkin and the food gets sent back. Or I see a chunk of something in my food and, again, I send it back knowing that if there was one chunk there was probably another and I may have ingested it. I love French Onion soup although I know it is made with beef stock. I am sure many of the other soups I eat have been made with meat stocks of various types. I sometimes remember to ask servers. I often don’t. I think that I may have to start being more conscious.

Yesterday, after my useless trip to the Dr. that wasted me $20 (I got there and found out my HMO wouldn’t let them do the procedure there, that they need me to have it at a hospital which has a co-pay of $75) although I did get a few prescriptions written. Tony met up with me and we got on a family plan for our phones aaawwww, really it just saves us like $75 a month. It’s practical, not cute. We then went out to a Chanukah dinner courtesy of my grandparents (who I have to email and thank post haste) to Ed Debevicks. If you are not or have never been a Chicago resident or visitor you have no idea what this place is, if you are or have been you likely do. Ed Debevicks is a 50s style diner where the staff is obnoxious and often take time outs to dance on counters to horrible songs. They make you wear hats. Tony had never been and I was in to mood for some guacamole cheese fries like you wouldn’t believe.

So the server told us the soup of the say was cream of mushroom (one of my favorites) and I decided not to ask about stock. I ordered my blue cheese burger with a veggie patty substituted and a coup of soup, Tony got a bacon cheeseburger and some delicious onion rings. So I am politely eating my soup, which was rather delicious, and thought some of the mushrooms seemed a little off. I saw one big “mushroom stem” and ate it. It didn’t taste like mushroom. It tasted like??? I had no idea. So I hand the soup to Tony and asked him if there was meat in it. This is after I had eaten about half the cup. He told me he thought there were small chunks of chicken. Apparently I had just eaten the big chunk. I had no idea chicken tasted that way. See I have experience with veggie chick patties, chick nuggets, and buffalo wings. They are all breaded and delicious. Meat eaters tell me they taste rather like chicken so I thought that is what chicken tasted like. That is not what the chunk in my soup tasted like. It tasted like??? Then I heard the waitress at the table behind us say the soup of the day was cream of chicken and mushroom. I was pissed. Our waitress had just said mushroom. You would think that when I ordered a veggie burger she may have though to mention that "Oh, there is actually chicken in that soup you are ordering". Or maybe she thought I was one of the vegetarians that eat chicken?

See, I know a little about science and the process of digestion. I know that enzymes that digest meat are different than those that digest vegetables and other proteins. I figured that after 27 years of never using meat-digesting enzymes my body probably didn’t make them. Not being able to digest something is not a good thing. People always argue with me and say that if I introduced a small bit of meat at a time I would be ok. I argued that with someone who had not always been a vegetarian that would probably be true but that I was different. They often don’t believe me. I hoped that I had eaten a small enough bit that I would be ok. Like I said, I had stocks before and I had even bit into and spit out some beef, maybe I digested little bits here and there. I hadn’t ever remembered feeling sick. I hoped I would be ok. I thought I was.

Halfway home I realized that I was not ok. I felt so sick and my tummy was not happy with me. I turned to Tony and said my tummy hurt. He said his did too as he was so full. I said I was full too but this was a different hurt. I don’t think he really believed me. By the time we got to the house I was white as a sheet and sloughed on his shoulder. I think he was beginning to believe me. I instructed him to use the bathroom when we got home cause I could be a while. It wasn’t that long. Once the stuff came up I was entirely better (sorry if that disgusted people). I will be more careful in the future.

We are about to have our Christmas party. I noticed the security guard was judging doors and I don’t think she got mine at all. She looked at it for about ten seconds with a perplexed stare and then looked at the answers on the back of the door and walked away still looking perplexed. While many of my co-workers have told me they think I should win, I don’t think the security guard will agree at all. Not that I planned on winning anyway, I just wish the judge at least understood what I as doing.

Dangerous, Michael Jackson- That soup was dangerous is all I have to say. I don’t really know why I have this song. It is not one of the hits that I really embrace. I don’t hate it though.

Comin From Where I’m From, Lupe Fiasco- I really tend to enjoy Lupe Fiasco. In case you don’t know about him he is a skateboarding rapper from the West side of Chicago. Something about him reminds me of old school hip-hop, well at least more so than the other current rappers. He just makes me smile cause he is a big old nerd.

Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix- What is there to say about this song that hasn’t already been said? Nothing. Other than the soup put me in a purple haze. I wasn’t going to kiss anything but the toilet bowl though.


csmc said...

Gawd... That sounds awful! I'm glad it wasn't more serious. I was vegan through out HS but grew up on meat so I definitely have the enzymes and all that. :P

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I either don't have the enzymes to digest, or I have some sort of allergy to, certain oils/peppers/raw onions/raw garlic/certain shellfish, because the same nauseous/sickly white/pukey-poopy reaction occurs in my body when I partake of those things, directly or no.

I got sick today, in fact.

It makes me have to be hyper-vigilant about my food, which I don't enjoy, but which I prefer to the icky feeling that plagues me now

Sorry you had to go through it, too. =(

notfearingchange said...

Okay...once in university I stopped eating red meat for some period of time. Then summer came, and my bf at the time and i wanted steaks. Ahhh...steaks how romantic. Nothing more romantic than a kissing couple over a bbq drinking wine, eating steaks. Uh-huh fast fwd 15 minutes when this one was hanging head in toilet.

I like the idea of guccomole fries...but i'm allergic to avocados...makes me puke and pass out for 6, sometimes food sucks.

Mom said...

I grew up loving red meat -- the redder and more drippy, the better. I first started thinking about not eating it around age 11 after I realized that when my Nana made "tongue" it really was a cow's tongue. It even looked like a tongue -- Yuck!

But my mom said that she wasn't going to shop or cook special, just for me. "This is not a restaurant!" she said. And she was right about that. So I didn't quit eating meat until later.

Hope you're feeling better! (You too, Mrs. L.)

ShadowFalcon said...

A girl after my own heart, I know what you mean I became veg when I was 17 cos I don't like the taste of meat not cos of any other issue, but people still try and feed me the stuff, they refuse to believe I don't like it!!!

RastaManErn said...

Poison... poison... tasty fish.

Same thing happened to me NFC. I went to the veg-side for 5 months. The re-meating experience was bad, but I love it.

Nat, you and Mon are probably the hardest people to cook for. =P

Justice~! said...


That being said, it is said vegetarianism is a ton healthier than meat-eating in many different ways. Sorry you had to go through such a negative experience. In fairness to your waitress, not everyone who orders a veggie burger might be a vegetarian (I used to have them all the time), but it's often enough that she should have had the care to ask!! I hope you either left no tip or stole money *from* the restaurant for a negative tip!!

Natalie said...

CSMC- I'm glad it wasn't more serious also, that would have been terrible.

Mrs. L- That is too bad I love oils peppers and raw onions. It seems it would be scary to eat out.

Notfearing- good to know i'm not the only one. I would cry without avocado i might just have to get constantly sick for that one.

shadow- why do people want you to eat stuff you don't want to eat? I'll never get it.

ern- I am way easier to cook for than Monica, i just don't eat meat stuffs she can't eat anything. I'll puke and she'll die.

Justice- I realize not only veggies eat veggie burgers but it was a hint. The thing is i really liked her as a server otherwise and left my average 20% tip. Maybe it was too nice.

Sandra said...

I have only been a vegetarian for about 6 years but my enzymes have gone to pot. I accidently ate a bite of ground beef at a mexican restaurant and had the same reaction that you did. No fun!

sexy said...