Left Out No More

I was so pleased after reading PETA’s recent ranking of Major League Baseball stadium veggie-friendliness, because it seems that the very last thing I could not enjoy equally with my meat-eating companions was a classic hot dog at a ball game.  After venturing to the Angels Stadium of Anaheim, one of many that now serve “veggie” dogs, and other vegetarian options for meat-free baseball fan, I realized that this may be one small step for vegetarianism, but is one large leap in the way I, and now others, will view my lifestyle.

It seems that a very common notion for those critical of the vegetarian lifestyle is that if you don’t eat meat, you just can’t do normal things anymore. Personally, I have had several peers and family members act as if the group cannot eat at a regular restaurant if I am in tow.  Regardless of the fact that I can find a perfectly suitable and delicious meal nearly anywhere, I can’t seem to shake the stigma.

But with my stadium veggie dog in hand, I am here to fight back, once and for all.

In addition to the veggie-friendly options nearly every menu offers, there are infinite amounts of imitation products to appease a vegetarian on a special occasion.  For example, I was thrilled to find that my old, greasy indulgence at “Hot Dog on a Stick” on a trip to the mall with friends was not put to end with my switch to vegetarianism. Lucky me, they sell veggie corn dogs! (I almost wish they didn’t.) Many burger joints include a veggie burger option, and depending on your location, restaurants usually have a vegan option, regardless of the cuisine.

Not only are eateries becoming more veggie-friendly as society advances, but my big breakthrough upon becoming a vegetarian years ago, was that we actually have it better.

When people used to be served meals on airplanes, I vividly remember the longing looks of my aisle-mates while I noshed on a recognizable and even edible vegan option, while the meat-eaters picked at a blob of “magic meat.”

Just recently, I attended a conference in a hotel, and for almost every single meal, those around me admitted that the vegetarian option was far more appetizing.

Have vegetarian ticket, will travel.

Even seemingly meat-based events, such as Bar-B-Q’s and potlucks are a great chance to show off the freedom in being meat-free. There is a different veggie burger recipe for every Bar-B-Q of the summer, and an amazing vegan side dish that is sure to go faster than your generic chicken legs at a potluck.

That is not to say we vegetarians should blend in and adapt. Be creative, stand out and embrace the direction the world is taking, away from cruelty.

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