Apart from Thanksgiving, July 4th might be the most difficult holiday for vegetarians. Unless there are allies behind the stove, non-meat eaters often find themselves hungry, tempted, or dissatisfied. All weekend, I’ve been surrounded by carnivores that have an undying appreciation of meat. Chicken, beef, turkey, pork, you name it. There have been significant servings of everything meaty and of course, unhealthy.
As this is my first vegetarian Fourth of July, I’ve struggled to maintain my vegetarian lifestyle or even tell my family that I no longer eat meat. Discreetly, I’ve fixed my meatless plates with vegetables and carbs at each meal. But I’d be lying if I said the chicken and turkey burgers didn’t look delicious, as those used to be my favorite meat selections.
I’d argue that it’s easier for political vegetarians to avoid temptation during the holidays. I’m not an extreme environmental or animal rights advocate, even though I certainly care about both movements. My decision to go vegetarian came as a simple health precaution. I actually like the taste of fresh organic meat, but I don’t appreciate how it lingers in my digestive system and makes me feel bloated. The July 4th weekend certainly has been tempting, but I remain steadfast in pursuing vegetarianism as a lifestyle, not an “on and off again” diet.