Being a vegetarian or even – god forbid! – a vegan is thankfully getting easier in Ireland, but there are still a few niggling little annoyances that those committed to the cause have to endure.
1. Strangely concerned strangers
When you tell people you're a veggie, they suddenly get really, really concerned about your protein levels. Note to meat eaters: vegetarianism does not make you shrivel up from lack of protein.
And anytime you get sick? "You're probably not getting enough protein!"
2. The great bacon debate
Hearing "but bacon though!" every other time you tell people you're a vegetarian.
3. Wanting to be vegan…
But not quite having the will power to give up cheese and eggs yet. Maybe one day. Maybe.
4. People never understanding why you cant eat jellies
Having to explain what gelatin is and where it comes from every time someone breaks out a bag of Haribo isn't fun.
Not that we usually get the weather for them, but these meat feasts inevitably roll around every summer, and for vegetarians the BYOB usually means bring your own burgers. Of the veggie variety.
Sharing tapas with a table of meat eaters never works out well. They two or three token vegetarian tapas get snapped up as sides for the meat dishes and you inevitable leave hungry. And you still had to split the bill equally.
7. It's a phase
Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents will probably use this phase to describe your new found vegetarianism at some point or another.
Even after a decade or two.
8. "So what DO you eat?"
Everything that meat eaters do. Sans meat.
9. People thinking you're out to convert them
This is not the church of chick pea curries and chicken-less nuggets. There is no Quorn Quran.
10. Overly relying on carbs
When making the first foray into vegetarianism, things can seem pretty simple. Pizza, pasta, noodles, bread and their equally carb-laden cohorts are the initial go-to foods.
Luckily vegetarianism is an excuse to experiment with new foods, so turning a beige palette into a rainbow doesn't take long.
11. Excessive label reading
Fortunately at least half of all supermarket items are vegetarian these days.
Unfortunately at least half of that half are mysteriously not marked with the comforting green V label veggies are reliant on, leading to excessive label reading and quick scientific equations (via google) to figure out if the triglycerides in those biscuits are derived from animal fats.
12. Tofu troubles
Unless you have been specifically trained in the art of preparing and cooking tofu, it can be a bit of a bother.
Seriously. how long does tofu need to marinate? Does anyone know?
13. Having notions
Even if you hail from the glittering metropolis that is Dublin city, being opposed to eating meat can still be placed in the "notions" category.
It's up there with drinking almond milk, preferring ciabatta to good old fashioned Brennans and wearing hats for fashion as opposed to function.