In my defense, ignorance is bliss.
So, if I’m going to be a vegetarian, I can’t eat meat. Fine, no problem. No birds, no steak. No chicken broth or seafood. Easy.
But then we have what I’d like to call “The Gray Area.” Obviously, if it has a face and personality and gives birth, I probably should pass on it (if I eat it, I have to turn in my Vegetarian membership card and I JUST got it laminated last week). But then what if it’s just made with animal product? Well, I guess beef broth or chicken broth–that’s easy. That’s a no go. And I suppose I knew, deep down in my soul, that there were some foods that hid animal products in them. But I didn’t read the labels and I’m so lazy, that sometimes the hardest choice I have to make is “should I take a nap here or in my bed, two feet away.”
So, I present: The ten most surprising foods that are not vegetarian friendly (and my reaction to realizing I have to use my DARE education and JUST SAY NO when it’s offered to me):
1. Gummy Worms
Reason: Gelatin. Dammit gelatin!
Reaction: I don’t LOVE gelatin, but know what I do love? Dirt Cake. You know ,with the bucket and the shovel and the oreos and pudding. And the gummy worms on top–that are supposed to be pretend animals. Except they apparently do contain animal, which is both gross and unfortunate. Apparently I can get vegan gummy bears if I really need my fix, but I can’t ever imagine being pretentious enough to top my dirt cake with special ordered gummy worms. My kid is already going to have frizzy hair and pale skin, let’s not add another element to tease the poor little girl about.
Reason: Gelatin. Again.
Reaction: DAMMIT. Okay, I give in. We’re special ordering these. Thank god I recently got Amazon Prime, we’re stocking up. I’m not have s’more and just skipping the entire “roasting a marshmallow ” part.
3. Worcestershire Sauce.
Reason: made with itty bitty fish.
Reaction: I have no idea what this is. WAIT. This is in Chex Mix. Ann, are you reading? I’ll be home in two weeks. FIX THIS.
Reason: Lard. Gross.
Reaction: I can make my own and they’re way better and lower in calories so psh, I don’t need your shitty lard tortillas.
5. Barbecue Chips
Reason: contains chicken fat
Reaction: Look, you can have your barbecue chips. But I swear, if I find out peanut m and ms have animal products in them, I’m going to lose it.
6. Cake Mix
Reason: Beef fat. And yeah, Twinkies are guilty of this too.
Reaction: Let’s be honest, cake mix sucks. Funfetti cake is the only good one and (spoiler), that’s just vanilla cake with sprinkles. This is a shame, but not a real loss. Also, beef fat in your cake is way gross. The amount of time it’s going to take for you to mull that one over is substantially less than the time it’d take to make a cake from scratch. Which obviously, as I have no kids, no husband, and no friends here, I can say that with 100% authority.
7. Refried Beans
Reason: A lot of brands use lard. I’m looking at you, Taco Bell.
Reaction: I actually learned to make this from scratch (recipe coming!) for way cheap and super healthy. This is not a loss to society. And frankly, your digestive system will thank you if you stop eating T-Bell anyways.
8. Store-Bought Bagels
Reason: Chicken FEATHERS.
Reaction: What. The. Hell. Did you know this? Einstein Brothers and Dunkin have both admitted to using poultry FEATHERS in their bread products. Apparently Pizza Hut slaps it in their garlic bread. Forget the vegetarian side of this argument. I think we can all agree that feather isn’t exactly making me go “nom nom nom.”
9. Vegetarian Pad Thai
Reason: Fish Sauce
Reaction: This is why I have trust issues.
10. Some Wines/Beers
Reaction: I’m going to pretend I didn’t see this.
Anyways. After all this research, this is what I’ve concluded: if it has a face, I won’t eat it. If I don’t like it and it has animal product, I’ll use the excuse of being a vegetarian to avoid it.
And obviously, if it’s wine, I will not read the label.