Meet Vegetarian Amanda Drake: It's Not Easy Being Green

Many people think that being a vegetarian is an easy decision and lifestyle change, but that isn’t always the case. I sat down with Amanda Drake, a UNC Charlotte student, who educated me on some of the ups and downs of being a vegetarian.

How old are you now and how old were you when you first became a vegetarian?

I am 23, and I became a vegetarian first when I was 15 but then I stopped for about a year.

What made you take a break from this lifestyle?

The main reason I stopped being a vegetarian was because I felt like I was being an inconvenience to my friends and family who eat meat. I didn’t want to be rude or seem snobby.

So what was the turning point when you decided to stop eating meat?

I think I stopped eating meat because in my sophomore year of high school we watched a documentary called “Meet your Meat,” which showed how meat was made.

How did you make the change?

Honestly I feel like it was more of a transition for my mom than me at the time, because I was in high school and she was the one who made my dinner. It seemed like a hassle for her to have to make two meals because I have brothers who obviously still eat meat.

 

Once you made the change, did you miss meat?

Yes, definitely. But eventually I got to a point that I didn’t even remember what meat tasted like, so it was hard to miss it.

Was your family supportive of your change? Yes my mom was very supportive and accommodating, like I said, she made all of my meals, which helped me learn how to cook myself!

What is a challenge you came across while being a vegetarian that you didn’t expect?

Making accommodations at restaurants, especially fast food restaurants. If I want to eat a really cheap meal there aren’t a lot of fast food restaurants that sell salads or vegetables. Take McDonald’s for example, the only thing I could eat there would be French fries.

Describe yourself as a vegetarian today.

I cook for myself 100% vegetarian. Sometimes if I am out and I feel like I don’t have another option my first choice is fish and white meat would be second.

Do you think your change has influenced anyone else?

I would say my mom. Since my brother moved out my mom cooks almost entirely vegetarian for herself. Which makes me feel like my change did someone else other than me good.

Finally, if you could give a prospering vegetarian one piece of advice what would it be?

My advice would be to cut meat out of your diet slowly, rather than going cold turkey. If you just cut all meat out from the beginning you have more of an inclination to go back to your old ways.

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